Since it was Saturday, breakfast times were extended until 10:00 in the morning at our hotel, and we finally had breakfast there and it was astonishingly luxurious. Then I packed all my stuff, hid the pink brick in my sister’s trunk and we went back on the road to look for Summer Breeze. The landscape remained unchanged, lonely, middle of nowhere farms and some sleepy villages and finally in the middle of all this nowhere, metal heads again!
The daily parking lot was just outside the daily ticket gate and my sister had luckily no problem getting a ticket and thus something to do for a day 😉
Luckily, or unfortunately, it was insanely hot again if not as hot as in Wacken or Jaromer. At least in the shadow it was a bit cooler than in Wacken, but in the sun it was more or less unbearable. It had been dry in the south of Germany for quite a while and instead of mud, Summer Breeze fought with another problem – dust! So, in a way I’ve had it all, heat, rain, mud, dust – it feels like I’ve spent my holidays in the wilderness 😉
My sister and I did some reconnaissance and went onto a shopping spree afterwards. I got two of the silver rings on my fingers here, notably the long one on the left pointer finger and yet another black t-shirt and also my sister got into shopping mood and bought a black t-shirt, a pendant and a leather bracelet.
We fled into the party tent where there was beloved shadow and hung out there, waiting for the sun to go down. The party tent is Summer Breeze’s smallest stage. The main stage is simply called Main Stage to set it apart from the Pain Stage. The main bands alternate between those two stages.
Summer Breeze is a “normal” festival in metal terms and though of course smaller than Wacken, has a Wacken-like atmosphere and the crowd behaves like a metal crowd should. They scream, they shout, they mosh-pit and they crowd surf. I had the impression crowd surfing was very popular at Summer Breeze. Somehow you need mud to properly mosh-pit and not dust 😉 So the Summer Breeze crowd compensated for the missing mud with loads crowd surfing and sings tribute songs to the security guys in the pit. The crowd calls them “Grabenschlampen” = pit sluts, lol, and they take it with a smile and bowed to us and fired us up to sing “Grabenschlampen” 😉
By now the festival atmosphere felt refreshingly normal to me, but alas, not for everyone. Like Wacken, Summer Breeze gives for-free tickets to locals and while I had not seen any locals in Wacken, my sister and I discovered a not clad-in-black elderly couple wandering in wonder around the tents and stalls and stages, looking a bit scared at the aliens that had landed among them. I can understand that they felt as overwhelmed by us as I felt the day before, glimpsing into their world…
The notable acts of the day were Devildriver, Hatebreed, Ensiferum, Amorphis and In Flames, though my sister and I had to leave during In Flames, since I had to get back to Frankfurt that night. My flight back to Japan went the next morning.
Somehow I forgot to take a lot of photos that day, maybe because it was too hot or I had gotten used to the scenes before my eyes at festivals but here are a few on Flickr again.
Alternating stages are the open secret to a festival’s success. The bands have enough time to set up while another one plays next door and the audience is constantly occupied. Summer Breeze was excellently organized in that fashion and left nothing to complain about.
It felt unreal to leave the metal world to go back home but I could sober up a bit during the long ride to Frankfurt. Germany is bigger than one might think. We were in a hotel at Frankfurt airport only at 2 in the morning. Thanks to my sister for all the driving!
After having slept only for some four hours, my sister and I had to get up again and I flew from Frankfurt to Paris and then on to Tokyo. As expected getting from one terminal to the other was no fun at Charles de Gaulle airport and I made it to the gate to Tokyo just ten minutes or so before boarding started. The machine to fly me home though was as hoped for an airbus A380. My first time on board the big whale. I must say I am surprised at the lift off. While it seems a Boeing 747 takes forever to get off the ground and rattles like it’s coming apart, the fat airbus lifted off like it was nothing and that in what seemed a ridiculously low speed. Seats in economy are as crammed though as in other aircrafts. Anyway, nice to finally have been on board an A380.
In total, what a trip. From Germany to the Czech Republi, to England via Germany and back to Germany.
It was good to meet my sister again and it was awesome to get this overview over European metal festivals and to have been for the first time at the legendary Wacken Open Air. I am not tired of festivals and already have the ticket to “our” one here in Japan – Loudpark: 19./20. of October 😉
And my very own and personal festival ranking (SB = Summer Breeze, BA = Brutal Assault):
Category: Ranking: 1st = excellent, 2nd = good, 3rd = soso, 4th = hmmmmm
Best line-up: Wacken, SB/BA, no 3rd, Bloodstock
Best organized (for the audience): BA, Wacken/SB, no 3rd, Bloodstock
Best sound: SB, Wacken/BA, no 3rd, Bloodstock
Coolest audience: Wacken, SB, BA, Bloodstock
Best merch: Wacken, BA, SB, Bloodstock
Best goodie bag: Wacken, BA, SB, Bloodstock
(in Wacken every guest got: a rucksack, fridge magnet, badge, key holder, ear plugs, poster, shower gel, detergent, rubbish bag, sticker, condom, cloth patch),
(at BA: plastic festival schedule on neck strap, DVD from year before),
(at SB: earplugs),
(at Bloodstock: nothing)
Best toilets: Wacken, SB/BA, no 3rd, Bloodstock
Best food: BA, SB, Wacken, Bloodstock
Best drinks: BA (0.5l), SB (0.4l), Wacken (0.3l), Bloodstock (no cups, just plastic bottles)
Best venue: BA, Wacken, SB, Bloodstock
Best pit sluts: SB, Wacken, BA, Bloodstock