Saturday, 25 July 2009

Melt! Festival 2009

On the weekend of July 17, I made my way to Germany’s Melt!, a festival located in the city of Ferropolis, one otherwise known as ‘the city of iron’. However, there was a slight problem - it seemed I was spoiled for choice - Melt! was to be taking place on the same weekend as UK music festivals, Latitude (16-19) and Lovebox (18-19). With such a smorgasbord of options, how was I to choose?
What enticed me to leave Ye Ol’ London Town, cross the North Atlantic and travel to the Ferropolis Peninsula; a location situated almost 3 hours from Berlin?

The stellar line-up was definitely a plus; fusing 80 live indie, electro and rock acts ranging from the Gossip, Buraka Som Sistema, Digitalism, Bloc Party, Röyksopp and Oasis; spread across 6 floors - over 3 glorious days. The setting was simple: a giant open-air museum of 20th century industrial machines coupled with the surrounding Gremmin Lake; proving to be a magnificent backdrop for the German outdoor music festival. Since its inception in 1997, the festival has grown from 2,000 to 20,000 attendees.

Despite the cold, wet and windy weather, day-early attendees were treated to one of heat-induced fun, in which soaking up the rays and frolicking in the lake proved much needed relief. Convinced? But, wait there’s more. The niche spectacle owes much of its credibility and appeal not only to the incredible line-up and its unique setting, but most importantly to the people. Together the festival dwellers create a passionate, euphoric yet exhilarating ambiance sans the aggressive, rowdy behaviour that is synonymous with ‘some’ English festivals (ahem.. see Reading festival and tent burning).

Upon sharing my thoughts with Whitest Boy Alive bassist Marcin Öz (right) he was quick to agree, revealing that the Berlin-based electronic outfit prefer a continental-European audience, rather than an English audience and as a result they always ‘refuse offers to participate in English festivals’!

The 12th Melt! Festival was a musical melting-pot that proves an amalgamation of individuals surging with an unbridled zeal, does not have to result in testosterone fueled hedonism; behaviour which merely detracts from the harmonious unity. Melt! Festival sees a unity by those with an unerring feel for music; whose hands reach as high as the five enormous coal mining diggers, which crowd the German skyline.

“Thanks for the best German show ever.” Booka Shade

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I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

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