Tag Archives: festival

Why I love music festivals (and Rock im Park in particular)

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Hey there, I’m sorry it’s been a little quiet on here lately, but summer has finally arrived, so I’ve been trying to spend as much time out in the sun as possible. When I’m not working that is. I’ve also just returned from a week-long holiday that took us to Nuremberg for a music festival and to Lake Constance for a few days of much needed relaxation after rocking out for 4 days. The weather was just amazing every single day, even though it was almost a little too hot for my taste, but hey, I’m not complaining about that. Of course I want to tell you all about our recent adventures and I’ll start with the music-side of our trip which took us back to Rock im Park, one of Germany’s biggest and personally my favourite music festival. We’d already been there last year and since we had a great time it was clear we needed to be back.

It seems there are basically 2 different types of music lovers – the ones who love festivals and the ones who hate them. I’d always wanted to visit one, but I have to say that a lot of things I’d heard and seen about festivals made me doubt if it would actually be enjoyable for me. First of all, I don’t really like camping. It’s not the hygiene or lack thereof that I’m worried about. But I need a decent night’s sleep. I don’t function well without it and something that’s supposed to be fun can easily turn into a nightmare if I’m sleep-deprived. So the prospect of sleeping in a tent on uncomfy ground being kept awake by drunken party people didn’t seem very appealing to me. Then I’m not the biggest fan of huge crowds. I love going to concerts, but being stuck in the middle of thousands of people makes me feel utterly uncomfortable. So the thought of 70.000 people piling up in front or constantly moving between stages kinda scared me. And while I like drinking and having fun, I’m definitely not a person who enjoys being pissed 3 or 4 days straight or to the extent of not being able to walk, talk or stand properly. Neither do I like being  harassed by people who act this way while trying to enjoy the music. These were the thoughts I had before I went to Rock im Park for the first time. And you know what? None of them were actually true in the way I had imagined them. Except for the camping part of which I had my fair share at Southside festival where I basically didn’t sleep for 3 days because it was a) freezing cold and b) the only place we could find for our tent was on a hillside. But: there’s a solution to this which you’ll find, among others, in my reasons for loving music festivals.

1. Music, music, music – all day long

Of course, for me the main reason to visit a music festival is the music itself. I always have a few bands I definitely want to see. This year for example these were Portugal. The Man (who I’d seen as a support band in March), Maximo Park (who always make for a great show), Metallica (because I’d never seen them before and well, it’s Metallica) and Linkin Park. But I also love to explore new bands who I have or haven’t heard about before. We often just wandered from stage to stage and stopped when we liked the sound of the band playing. This year I really enjoyed Kasabian, Fall Out Boy and New Politics and I’ll definitely buy a few albums of theirs. I know a lot of oldschool festival-goers have been complaining that the lineups, especially of Rock im Park and Rock am Ring, have become very mainstream over the past years and the “Rock” in the title has been neglected more and more. I do agree with that at least to some extent, but I’ve always been able to find plenty of bands I like.

2. It’s not like they show you on TV

As I said before, my opinion of festivals was highly influenced by the way it was depicted by media. Drunk, half-naked, screaming people, garbage, dirt, pee, puke everywhere. Of course you get that, too, at least to some extent. But it’s not like you won’t enjoy yourself if you’re not the 24/7 party animal. I actually found the festival crowd to be a very pleasant bunch of people. The atmosphere was always very relaxed and everybody was just trying to have the greatest time they could have, whatever that means for the individual person. Of course, you will get hit on by a drunk person from time to time if you’re a girl. But as long as it doesn’t get annoying, that’s ok. And the boyfriend always made sure they left quickly. Of course, several 10.000 people will leave their traces, so garbage definitely is an issue. But it’s not like you can’t sit down on the ground anymore or something like that. Just make sure you don’t wear your newest clothes and especially shoes (you most likely won’t want to wear them anymore judging by all the undefinable things you’ll find on their soles). Using portable toilets definitely isn’t for the squeamish, but it’s bearable if you know how to breathe through your mouth and make sure not to look around too closely. And be cautious if a toilet is free despite there being a huge queue. You don’t wanna have a look into that one. As always there’s also a luxury option if you really can’t bring yourself to use a portable toilet. The normal version usually costs you a little fee (at RiP it was 0,50€) and you’ll probably have to bear with quite some waiting time.

3. Moshpit or chilling in the back? You can have it all!

One reason I like Rock im Park so much is how the festival area is laid out. There’s lots of space in front of the stages, so if you don’t like being in the middle of the crowd you can just sit down on the grass in the back and still see something thanks to the huge screens on the side of the stages. There are also a few trees around, so we were even able to stay in the shade when the heat was too unbearable during the day. This actually saved me because I don’t really cope well with heat. We had temperatures of around 35 degrees for almost all 4 days, so it was really, really hot. On the last day, I dared to step into the sun in front of the stage to see Maximo Park at 2 pm. I jumped and danced around, but after their set was over I was in desperate need of some shade and water. The barriers in the crowd are also set out pretty nicely, so it never gets overcrowded (at least from what I’ve seen) in the area in front of the stage. We went to the front of the main stage to see Linkin Park playing and there was still plenty of space in the back. The only time when it can get a little tight and pushy is when entering the front area, especially right after a band has finished playing. But it’s never been too bad when I went.

4. You don’t have to sleep in a tent

The great thing about Rock im Park, especially for me as a camping-hater, is its close proximity to the city center of Nuremberg. The train will take you from the main station to a stop nearby the festival area in a few minutes and then it’s only a short walk and you’re in the middle of it all. It’s so convenient! We stayed in a hotel near the main station, had a nice lie-in, then went for breakfast and showed up at the festival well rested and showered. I know a lot of people think that camping is part of the real festival experience. But for me it’s just the perfect way.

I’m currently looking into other festivals to attend this summer. Probably only for a day trip since I’ve already planned most of my holiday. I really, really recommend to visit a music festival if you’re into music. It’s so much fun! I’m really dying to go to one again soon.

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My year in travel

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Continuing with my annual review posts, this time I’d like to share a review of my travels in 2013. This year definitely was a good year in travelling for me. I went to 7 destinations by plane alone which was probably the most I ever did in one year, including two business trips and 2 oversea flights. We also did quite a few road trips in Germany since the boyfriend bought a car this summer. I absolutely love going on road trips. Before we had the car, I mostly travelled to places by train. But with a car I find there to be so much more freedom. You can basically go wherever you want with no schedule to stick to. I love to see the landscape pass by in front of my eyes, to discover new territory, just to let the road take me somewhere unexpected. Usually I’m more of a long-distance traveller because I love to discover different cultures and landscapes. It can never be too different for me. However, this year I learned that there are actually a lot of interesting places to explore just very close to where we live, so this is definitely something I want to continue to do next year. Since we’re having a move ahead which will probably cost us a little fortune with all the stuff we need to get for the new place, there definitely won’t be any long-distance strips in store for us in 2014. But I’m just as excited about doing more local trips and travelling to places here in Europe. Anyway, here’s a review of my travels with my favourite picture of each trip:

London

Our first trip of the year led us to London for the Easter weekend. While it was still freezing cold, we had fun exploring the city and meeting up with some old and new friends. My favourite part of the trip was when we strolled around Camden town. I just love the creative vibe of that place despite it being a bit touristy here and there.

Canada: Montreal and Quebec City

In May, we went on our first long-distance trip together. Well, it was basically the boyfriend’s first ever long-distance trip and his second flight after London. I’d never been to Canada before and even though it was still fairly cold at times (we seemed to have an issue with that during our travels this year) I absolutely loved it. While I liked staying both in Montreal and Quebec City, my favourite part of the trip was when we stayed at this cozy place in the woods. One day we took a little hike to a lake hidden in the woods. There was noone else there. Just us and nature. It was so beautiful and peaceful, almost like being in a dream.

Berlin

Well, this was probably the shortest trip of the year. In June, I went to Berlin for a 30 Seconds to Mars concert. I spent less than 24 hours in the city, but it was still well worth it. I’d been waiting to see this band again for 1,5 years and I met with some awesome people I know from a band-related forum. So. Much. Fun.

Nuremberg

The reason I was only able to stay in Berlin for such a short time was that I had to get to Nuremberg the next day to attend my first ever music festival, Rock im Park. I had an awesome time there, not only listening to great music all day, but also playing our first ever little street gig. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that we’re going back next year. I absolutely can’t wait!

Neuhausen ob Eck

Only 2 weeks after Rock im Park we went to another music festival in the black forest area called Southside . And of course, the weather was rather cold for this time of year. I basically spent the whole weekend freezing because I didn’t expect the temperatures to drop that much during the night and we were camping this time. I still enjoyed it, but to be honest I was very happy when I was able to sleep in my cozy warm bed again after that weekend.

Loreley

DSC02049The Loreley is a famous rock on the river Rhine and part of the UNESCO world heritage. Close to that rock is an open air theatre where a concert of one of our favourite bands in the whole wide world, Muse, took place in July. I’d always wanted to see a concert at this famous venue and while the organisation was crap (especially for food/beverages and parking), I loved the atmosphere there. It was a magical night for sure. While I’m dying to see Muse again, I’m not sure I want to go back to that particular venue though  because it was quite a hassle.

Nice

And there was even more concert-related travelling in 2013. Only 2 days after the Muse show, I went to Nice to meet up with my friends from the Mars forum again. This time it was boiling hot, but we enjoyed some lovely days in Southern France. The concert took place at a fairly small open-air venue which was definitely a plus, even though the band seemed to be more busy with shooting a live video than actually putting on a great show for the audience.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

August marked the last music festival we went to this year. Luckily, this festival is only a 45-minute drive from my parents’ place (well, at least if you’re having a decent GPS which we didn’t), so we decided to spend the weekend with them and only went to the festival on Sunday because we basically just wanted to see one band in particular. It’s a rather rural area, but I love it with its many fields and forests. It reminds me of home.

Löf

In August, we also celebrated the boyfriend’s birthday and because I thought it would be good for us to have a relaxing break from everday-life my present to him was a weekend in a spa hotel on the river Mosel. Thanks to our crappy GPS we ended up taking the car ferry to cross the river Rhine which was an adventure in itself. And we had an awesome time relaxing in the spa and taking some time off from our sometimes hectic life.

USA: Lake Michigan road trip

Our second big travel adventure of the year took us to the US, specifically to Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Originally, we had planned to go on a road trip through Europe in the fall, but since the boyfriend had to go to Detroit on business we changed plans. Even though it was already quite cold there in October (surprise!) and we even saw the first snowflakes of the winter, we had an amazing time. I felt so alive duting these two weeks, like I was finally able to live fully again. I absolutely loved it!

Cologne

My last concert-related trip of the year was to Cologne in early November. Again I went to see 30 Seconds to Mars with my friends. I’d never really been to Cologne before, so it was a nice way to connect a concert with a nice little trip. I really want to come back in summer because I think it’s an awesome place especially during that time of year.

Bad Kissingen

DSC_0559On November 24th, me and the boyfriend had our first anniversary. We’d decided to go on a weekend trip to celebrate it properly and the boyfriend wanted to organize a little something. He surprised me with a trip to Bad Kissingen, a well-known spa town in Bavaria. We spent the weekend eating great food, taking a stroll in the park in the sunshine and soaking in the spa. It was wonderful and just the right way to celebrate the past amazing months we’ve spent together.

We don’t have anymore trips lined up for the rest of the year except for a trip home for Christmas to see my family. We’re going to spend the rest of the year relaxing at home and preparing for the upcoming move. This year definitely was exciting when it comes to travelling and I can’t wait to explore more next year.

Have you been on any trips this year? Where did you go and what was your favourite place? I’d love to hear your travel stories!