While the rest of New Zealand freezes their asses off in their poorly-insulated houses, CDH and I will be spending the winter cruising through Germany, enjoying sausages, archaeology, metal festivals, and lots and lots of beer. We start in Munich and work our way up, finishing in Hamburg and Wacken Open Air. On the way, we will stay in a castle, hunt out some ancient tunnels, and attend the Veldensteiner festival in Neuhaus a. d. Pegnitz.
Why Veldensteiner festival? Well, it worked in with the dates we were going, it’s a folk/folk metal festival on the grounds of a castle, and they’re shooting me a press ticket, so I get to wander around with a camera all official-like. How could we resist?
The lineup promises great things. On 21 July, we’ll be seeing Blackmore’s Night, who you may or may not recognise as the current project of ex-Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. Apparently, Deep Purple keep asking him to come back and do a reunion tour, but Ritchie is perfectly content playing folk rock music with his gloriously hot wife.
On the 23rd we return to the castle of the Veldensteiner Festival, with a lineup of German folk and medieval goodness:
The Sandsacks: The Sandsacks are a Germany folk quartet who play their own unique style of Irish folk and medieval music.
Nachtgeschrei: A folk metal band from Hesse following in the footsteps of Subway to Sally, these guys have a slightly more pared back style, with only two traditional instrumentalists in the group. I’m excited to see how Nachtgeschrei perform, as I imagine we will probably be two of the few non-Germans in the crowd. They are one of those bands where the language barrier really becomes noticeable. I understand about 1/3 of the words, but not enough to make any sense out of their stuff.
Feuerschwanz: A German folk-comedy band (what? I don’t know!) who are big on the Mittelaltermarkt scene. I’ll be interested to see if I get any of the jokes. Any band with an album called Met und Miezen (mead and chicks) is OK by me.
Eluveitie: One of my current favorite bands and one of the main reasons we chose this festival. Eluveitie rock a Celtic/metalcore sound that totally should not work, but actually does. Also, the lead singer is quite hot.
Letzte Instanz: a metal band from Dresdon who incorporate cello and violin into their songs, Letzte Instanz are beloved by German fans. I’m not too sure about the rap-style vocals, but the other guy … oooooh, a beautiful voice.
Subway to Sally: One of my favourite German discoveries from our last trip, Subway to Sally incorporate medieval and folk instruments into their hard rock/metal sound, producing an ecclectic style that’s uniquely their own. It’s through listening to their songs that I’ve learned a lot of new German vocab. Subway to Sally are playing at Wacken this year but I’m stoked to be able to see them twice.
And this is not to mention the epic castle to explore, the Mittelaltermarkt, the fantastic German festival food (meat-on-a-stick, here I come), the fire dancers and magic shows, and the on-site castle brewery.
Tickets cost 39.65€ for Blackmore’s Night and 42€ for the Festival and can be purchased here. If you’re a non-German trying to purchase tickets email me and I’ll give you an alternate site to purchase from, as this one is a bit annoying.
If you’re in Deutschland and you’re keen to come down to Veldensteiner Festival to hang out, look for the blind chick wandering around looking lost. I’ll either be speaking terrible German or English with a kiwi accent. And I’ll totally give you a hug. All the accommodation in Neuhaus is booked out, so we’re staying in Plech nearby. I’ll be blogging about the festival from our Pension, and I might even post a few vids of me attempting to interview people in German. It will be hilarious.