Endless TormentLet me start this review by telling you a bit about my “metal concert experiences history”. This is needed because it impacted, for sure, my opinion about this event.
I’m Brazilian… which means: metal festivals were not part of my reality when living there. I currently live in Los Angeles so, again: metal festivals are still not part of my “reality”. Attending a European festival, not only to me but to most Brazilian or American metalheads, is a BIG dream!!! So, please consider my review as a “first timer” attendee.
Now let’s talk about Summer Breeze 2013!!!
The festival was held in Dinkelsbühl (Germany) from August 14th to August 17th. Four days, four stages, 98 bands, 35000 metalheads.
The first night of the festival was basically a “bonus” night with bands playing on 2 out of the 4 stages. I don’t know how many people showed up for this first night but I had the impression that the place was quite full. Come on!! Who would want to miss bands like Vader, Destruction, Exodus, Year of the Goat and Kadavar?
The day in a few words:
-Wait in line to get to the venue (by car) – I have to learn to get to these things early!!!
-Very organized entrance for the press. Easy to find my way with all the signs showing the correct direction to things, including the parking lot.
-Very long/unorganized “line” to the merch stand: 1.5 hours to get my stuff. But, well… it was all worth it. Maybe something to improve?
-Lots of choices of food and drinks.
-Very nice people everywhere ?
For obvious reasons I didn’t watch every single band playing but, in my opinion, Vader was the highlight of the night. The energy during that concert was so intense that I still have chills thinking about it.
Endless TormentFriday was a fun day to say the least. It was the third day so I was already very used to things at the venue and totally submerged into the festival’s “spirit”… And it really felt like I was not the only one feeling that way.
On the bill: Anthrax, Lamb of God, Leave’s Eyes, Tiamat, Finntroll, Rotten Sound, Orphaned Land, Firewind, Marduk, Nocte Obducta, Agnostic Front, etc. Hard to pick a favorite one.
I also realized that day, how long a line could get for a signing sessions. The location of the stands (Metal Hammer and Metal.de) were kind of bad because people walking from one stage to the other or even trying to get food/drinks, would have to go around it or pass in front of people in line who didn’t really seem very happy to open up space for people to pass. But then again: only a very minor detail.
Endless TormentThe second day of the festival was the first day with bands playing on all 4 stages. All concerts started sharply on time. Concerts ran from 12pm to 3am. It was very easy to go from one stage to another, you just needed to be careful to not get hypnotized by all the tents selling lots of cools stuff in the middle of the way (clothing, jewelry, decoration, CDs, big record label’s merch… you name it!). If you look at it you are doomed: empty wallet and missed out concerts (haha just kidding of course).
The bands??? Necrophobic, Atrocity, Cult of Luna, Dying Fetus, Haggard, Carach Angren, Korpiklaani, Alestorm , Solstafir, Saltatio Mortis, Soilwork, Winterfylleth, Fear Factory, to name a few. My personal favorite (again… I did not see all the bands): Cult of Luna. The guys had the entire crowd looking like they were in a trance. I was such in another dimension… I couldn’t even look to the sides. Simply magical!
Endless TormentThe last day of the festival and to tell you the truth, the best one. The bill was so incredible I had a very hard time choosing what bands to see. I did have to run between stages to pick a half concert here and another one there, to be able to see all the bands I wanted. The festival really put a very special day together!!!
The bill included bands like: Ensiferum, Enslaved, Hate, Grave, Primordial, Arkona, In Flames, DevilDriver, Hatebreed, Van Canto, Moonspell, Amorphis, Dark Funeral and Cliteater. I don’t know if there were more people at the last day only but I couldn’t believe the amount of people watching In Flames. It was hard to even see the video screens next to the stage.
Any negative moments? Only a few sound/equipment issues that happened during the Hate set (the concert I was anticipating the most), which made the band reduce the amount of songs they played. Grave was also having a bit of trouble. Both concerts happened at the Pain Stage. And both issues were fixed pretty fast.
Best gig? I do have to say that Enslaved stole the headlights that night, in my opinion. They never fail to deliver a very intense and energetic concert. Once more, they blew me away.
I don’t think I could have chosen a better festival to go to, as a first time European festival attendee. Summer Breeze is a big but not too big of a festival. You can see all the bands you want with no problem. You can walk around with no problem. There are bands for every taste in metal.
Even though they have visitors from all over the world, you still feel like the majority of the public is German so it makes the experience very “typical”.
Summer Breeze is a very well organized festival. I never felt unsafe. I never felt ripped off (prices are very fair). The people there were very nice and polite. And a big plus: Dinkelsbühl is a very nice town and totally worth visiting before or after the festival. There are supermarkets close by, stores, pharmacy, etc. So, if you run out of stuff, you can just catch a shuttle bus from the festival and go do your shopping.
Lessons learned during the festival:
-Germans like to crowd surf. I saw people asking to be lifted, people falling trying to do it, people doing it with signs, people using it basically to avoid the crowds (like leaving the merch area), people doing it on customs.
-By the way: what’s up with the customs?
-Even if it is damn sunny and warm during the day, BRING a jacket! You may be freezing by night time.
-Apparently European festivals don’t give a damn about you bringing your own food and drinks to the festival area (as long they are not in cans or glass containers). Very different from the US or Brazilian ones where you have to pay a fortune to eat or drink.
-Very fair price for food, drinks and merch.
-Summer Breeze has a stand selling only vegan food ?!!! Extra points!!!
-And, last but not least: once you have experienced Summer Breeze, you will probably want to go back there. Totally addicting!