Rave Review – LBF Adventures do Melt Festival

Welcome back Adventurers! Making the most of the European summer festival season, we’ve just got back from a wild weekend at Melt Festival. Never heard of it? Considered going before but needing some convincing? Check out our Rave Review to see why Melt Festival is a party you can’t afford to miss!

 

The location was…

Ferropolis, The city of Iron. A decommissioned mining station situated next to a small lake about 2 hours south-west of Berlin. Completely open-air aside from one stage, it allowed for a sense of freedom and exploration not always achievable at a festival. The gigantic machinery towering over the main stages gave a dramatic, industrial backdrop suited perfectly to the acts we were most excited to see (Techno of course!). Taking full advantage of the lake-side setting, a stage also appeared on the beach, providing an opportunity for dancing into the both sunset and sunrise, some keen partiers even cutting shapes in the water. The true gem though was the forest stage, tucked away in the trees and hosted by Berlin club Sisyphos. Opting largely for house music influenced sets, the DJ’s here provided a soundtrack that when paired with the organic setting of the stage, created a wildly fun atmosphere reminiscent of Spanish party-masters, Elrow. While the festival had a solid crowd turnout, none of the stages felt crammed or uncomfortable and there was always room to dance without the fear of someone stepping on your feet.  Another bonus came in that while the site itself was pretty big, it never felt so big that a walk between stages seemed like mission impossible. Multiple routes across the site stopped bottlenecks from occurring and helped eliminate crowd tension. Quite simply, it was stunning, and a huge-selling point for the festival.

The music was…

A well curated combination of live-bands, DJ’s and solo performers, although all acts tended to be electronically influenced with their sound. The list of live-acts read like an education in ‘how to be a music hipster’, with past and present trend-setters in sound featuring across the weekend, including Sampha, Bonobo, Phoenix, M.I.A. and Glass Animals. For the ravers, a collection of techno’s more progressive stars like Maceo Plex, Tale of Us and Dixon showcased their skills in crafting engaging, diverse sets, while some classic hard-hitting heavyweights kept the bass pumping well into the night, including Marcel Dettmann, Richie Hawtin and of course, Adam Beyer. Special mention though has to go to South African rave-rap nutcases Die Antwoord, who relished their festival closing set with the kind of insane energy that really needs to be seen to be believed. The sound quality was fairly impressive across the stages, with the only exception sadly being the Gremin Beach stage, which seemed to be needing a little bit more oomph to really get pumping. Elsewhere the volume was kept intense but without ever losing clarity, booming bass balanced perfectly with clear vocals and easily distinguishable melodies. Audiophiles out there rejoice!

The campsite was…

A 10-15 minute walk away from the festival itself and where the majority of our fellow revellers were staying, given it came free with the price of the ticket. Camping can be a daunting prospect for some, but Melt managed to make it feel like a crucial part of the experience rather than simply an accommodation option. There wasn’t many rules about what could or couldn’t be brought into the campsite, some bigger groups setting up miniature homes with gazebos, gas cookers, speakers, tables and decorations. Bringing in your own alcohol cans/bottles was allowed too, helpful for those not wanting to spend too much at the bar. A stage pumped out tunes til 6pm to make sure everyone was in the mood to party, and a variety of activities throughout the day made for a bit of fun, including yoga, flower headband making and art classes. For anyone too wrecked from the night before to attempt those, the lake was easily accessible for a swim or sunbathe session. Of course the facilities were fairly basic (think portaloos and shared showers), but the opportunity to meet fellow festies from across the globe made it worthwhile.

The crowd was…

A friendly, multi-cultural, enthusiastic collection of hippies, travellers, ravers, and munters, with noted strong attendances from the Dutch, the Irish and Germans from across the country. It was an odd-mix, but was also a contender for the best crowd we’ve ever had the pleasure of partying with. Compared to some big-scale festivals we’ve attended in London and Sydney, everyone seemed to be genuinely there for the love of the music and to have a good time with strangers and friends alike. No fights, no dickheads, just a lot of love and even more energy. We’ve always believed that good crowds make for better performances, and every act we saw appeared to feed off of the positive reception they were getting. DJ’s were dancing through their entire sets, lead-singers were stage-diving into all corners of the crowd and we rarely saw anything other a smile on anyone’s faces. It was a refreshing reminder that music and dancing truly unites people, breaking down boundaries like language and replacing them with a connection that was a joy to be a part of.

The staff/security was…

Relaxed, non-invasive and helpful. Getting in was a breeze, with a quick pat down and bag check preventing massive queues at the entrance. We’ve noticed a significantly higher level of trust towards attendees at clubs and festivals in Germany; drinks in plastic cups were allowed into the festival, no police were on site and security staff weren’t lurking around every corner waiting to evict completely harmless partiers just wanting to have a good time. It’s a wonder that with so much freedom there isn’t more trouble, but we didn’t see single incident or issue over the weekend, and it turns the focus back onto what it should be, the music!

The food/drink was…

A bit better than the usual festival offerings, with a large range of cuisines suited to all tastes, even including a few vegan options. It’s good to see a trend moving away from just offering chips, burgers and other greasy junk, and we definitely felt healthier and better fuelled to rave with some added nutrition! The campsite itself also had a mini-supermarket on site, selling some basic items like bread, fruit and sausages, great for those who had brought their own cooker. The bars at the festival were placed conveniently close to each stage and we thankfully never queued for more than a few minutes to get drinks. The selection was pretty typical; beer, spirts, cider, etc… however, a pro-tip we found comes via the rule that you are allowed to bring in 1 sealed Tetra-pak container (i.e. Juice) under 1.5L. This sounds pointless until you realise that shots at the bar cost only 3 euros, less than half the price of a mixed drink. Whack them straight into your juice and voila! Instant cheap alcoholic creation!

The best bit was…

The Sleepless Floor. Basically, it’s a stage just outside the main entrance that started on Thursday night and literally did not stop until midday on Monday. It was as ridiculous as it sounds, and a bit of a dance on the floor at some ungodly hour appears to be a rite of passage for all Melt newbies. The stage provided easily the best people watching over the weekend, with the alluring bass capturing revellers in all kinds of states both entering and exiting the festival. It also ensured that those not ready to sleep when the rest of the festival finished at 7am didn’t return to the campsite to continue the bender, and annoy everyone else ready to crash in the process. An after-party that is also a pre-party… genius!

Overall..

Melt knows how to keep a festival running smoothly and keep partiers happy. For only 150 euros for 3 days plus camping it’s also super affordable. Despite running for 20 years now it doesn’t seem to have gotten too commercialised or invaded by tryhards ruining the fun for those there for the music. With a mixture of genres to suit all tastes, it’s a festival seriously worth considering working into a summer euro-trip or popping over from London for. Pencil it in for 2018!

Did you go to Melt Festival this year too? Or think it looks like your kind of party? Share our review with your friends and get planning for next year!

 

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