26.08.2023-26.08.2023, Wolfshagen (Harz), Germany
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The Harz Mountains are probably known more as a beautiful area for hiking and enjoying nature – but few people know that there are great smaller festivals as well. One of these cozy festivals is the Rock am Beckenrand, where nothing would be working out without the masses of volunteers.
Once again a festival, which was not created because of “profit, profit, profit”, but because you really like it and you want to create a cool time for everyone.
If you like it sporty, you can start your morning in style with beer yoga – or non-alcoholic with aqua aerobics. Not in the mood for that either? Then off into the cool water, down the slide, off the edge of the pool or quite boringly with a ladder. There is definitely no lack of refreshment for the visitors – and it is an effective pastime as well.
It started at the best time of the day with DIE DORKS – while the weather did not mean well with all participants and one could call it affectionately “Schietwetter” (shitty weather), at least the few audience in front of the pool stage and in the pool was in a good mood and opened the day together with the band really rocking.
The show continued on the main stage with EMBER SEA – the weather remained unchanged, the amount of fans in front of the stage as well – but the mood was right. There was rocking on stage, and dancing in front of the stage and slowly but surely the first mud holes formed. But that didn’t stop anyone. A really great voice, a wonderful charisma – and definitely a too early slot, so that the show really just cannot work one hundred percent.
After that, the crowd wandered towards the pool again – because ARKADEN were on stage there and replaced Maid of Ace, who unfortunately couldn’t perform after all due to private reasons. No matter if you were in the pool or in front of it at that time, you got wet anyway – and it’s always great when a band isn’t afraid of the cool water either. Fun was had by all participants anyway, all were in the mood to rock- and suddenly there was also the sun again and it cried out for a further cooling. Therefore, a part of the band simply went via stage diving on the direct way into the pool to enjoy some time with the fans right there. Bands like this are what is needed by such festivals – close to the fans and ready for any madness.
VENUES almost tore down the stage – it’s always fascinating to me how you can have so much power in you, and then transfer that to the audience. Unfortunately, it was way too early in the day, and way too few people, but those who found their way here had fun – and in the end you’d rather have a small but good-mooded audience than needind to look into bored faces.
OLYMPYA on the small stage fall a little out of the (musical) raster – but the mood is and remains simply good, the fans are heated up and everyone joins in beaming with joy, the ones who can stay calm are absolute carriers of cold blood. Circle Pit in the water? Everything is possible here! And why not, we are in the outdoor pool!
The show continued with 100 KILO HERZ – and wonderful pyro. I think it’s always nice to see Bengalos and the like, simply because it’s not the standard pyro you know. But the band wouldn’t need the pyro, because even without it they make a great atmosphere and you could say that it was almost a demolition of the pool stage. Absolute party atmosphere, and the band had truly earned it.
MONTREAL almost didn’t even make it to the otherwise sleepy Wolfshagen due to gearbox damage of their van – but thanks to brisk support from the festival crew they were able to continue on their way to be on stage on time – in front of a well grown audience and in dry weather! The band rocked everyone in the audience, the obligatory “Max Power fetches schnapps at the beer stand” was surprisingly early in the set – but maybe the nerves needed that. The audience also treated themselves to some booze from the carrier, which was brought back to the stage via crowdsdurfing. The rest of the set was a good mix of songs that the audience knew and could sing along to – just what you need to bring to an audience to convince and fully pick up even the casual listeners.
The actual headliner ROYAL REPUBLIC then made the audience, already heated up by Montreal, sweat even more. As always, the band gave full power ahead, take a breath? Not with these guys from Sweden – a band where ballads are an unknownword, and which just makes everyone dance, jump, clap and just once again get everything out of themselves. No matter how tired you were from the already long festival day, in these 90 minutes it was like forgotten, because no one knows better than Royal Republic how to transfer their own energy to the audience.
The last act of the day was then REIS AGAINST THE SPÜLMSCHINE – a chill, but still definitely entertaining and made for party conclusion of the evening. There was dancing, laughing, still enjoying the last beer of the evening – and that in a surprisingly high amount of audience, who were not yet longing for time in their tents.
While the first day shone by changeable weather and very much to water from above and mud from below, day 2 started with sun from above and not yet dried mud from below.
The day was opened by THE ANTIPRENEURS on the pool stage – the sun was laughing and the band was really into performing here. And compared to yesterday’s first act it was really crowded, you looked into happy faces throughout, no matter if on stage, backstage, in front of the stage or even in the pool. The singer of the band showed an energy, which is not self-evident at this time of the day at a festival.
Not less rocky, and just as female-fronted it went on the main stage with MARCH. The bass was booming, the drums were driving you forward – and the singer of the band made it clear to the audience with an announcement that it was time to wake up and really rock out with them. Sympathetically direct, authentic and simply a music that – if perhaps more audience would have been there – would have got a real good mood.
The small stage at the pool then mounted the Hamburg based band GET JEALOUS – and unfortunately I in the crowd I also saw some puzzled faces, it´s not always love at first sight with the audience. But every person is different, and there were enough with whom you could see that they had fun listening to the band and watching, and that’s exactly the great thing here – there’s just something for everyone.
Even if today is not the day of rocking women, there was one again with a band on the main stage – SETYOURSAILS, a rather petite woman, but with a power in her voice that blew you away. The urge to move and the joy of playing of the band also rubbed off a little on the more and more growing audience, they nodded along, or else the head was moved more swinging and the neck muscles were trained. What can I say, the performance was simply fun – and looking into the audience it became clear that I was not alone.
Afterwards the band Butterwegge was supposed to play – but due to a heavy stroke of fate the band had to pass, and so HIGHGAIN stepped in, who some of you already knew from the living room stage. As with Get Jealous, not everyone was unanimous when it came to whether it was good for partying or not. But the majority was in a positive mood and enjoyed sun, pool and good music.
Speaking of celebrating and partying – this then rose with LIEDFETT, who drew a good crowd and with their honest manner and honest lyrics invited the audience to sing along loudly. The band and the audience seemed a bit blissful from the alcohol, and is there a better start than when the band says: Guys, there’s free beer! I doubt it, festivals do have their own rules, and alcohol is always a good part of it.
Yes, and what can I say – then the AWESOME SCAMPIS came and the atmosphere on the pool stage and around it literally exploded. I had already heard that they can really create a good atmosphere. And hallelujah, they really did that. A fun demolition for all involved, even if the stage wasn’t designed for this amount of band members – a bit more space could have definitely helped the band’s freedom of movement.
The ROGERS then played in the starting sunset – but were definitely not cheesy about it. Their German rock is not only partly political and peppered with topics that are unfortunately always topical, but also provided with choruses that you can really sing along or shout (eg “Geh mir nicht mehr auf die Eier”). The audience rocks along, balloons are “released” into the audience, and boom, everyone is a kid again. The band creates a great atmosphere, a great and varied mixture of somewhat more thoughtful and perhaps critical songs and sing-along makes the setlist a coherent performance.
Just as rocking it went with ZEBRAHEAD through the last bits of sunset – I knew the band only from the name, and I must say: damn, I wish I would have listened to them before! It was a bombastic set, not only the band and the audience had fun, but also the crew and the security. Especially the security, when during one of the songs the call came to do as much crowdsurfing as possible – a sight for the gods, fun for the fans and just an all around successful action. For me personally, it was the headliner of the day, because felt there was so much power buned, that not much could´ve been left anymore afterwards.
At least that’s what I thought – until DAS LUMPENPACK entered the stage as the last band of the evening and also of the festival. Once again a hard cut when it comes to the music – because a tight training program for the laughing muscles was directly included. I was absolutely surprised what an amazingly good mood this band created within seconds, and I enjoyed every moment – and a look into the tightly standing and dancing crowd told me that I was only one of many with it. At the end, the singer of the band did not miss the chance to be carried to his crew member in the reopened pool for a midnight swim. Hats off, I would not have thought that he really pulls this off!
For those who didn’t feel like taking a frosty swim in the wet, the time on the festival grounds came to an end – because the party continued on the campground.
So guys, if you are up for a small festival, which is organized and carried out by people with a lot of love and heart, has really social and fair prices and offers cool bands and a great environment – buy tickets! Yes, you can already do that for 2024! And you can do it right HERE!