Rock äm Ring
Last weekend I went to Rock äm Ring – a German rock festival held at the Nűrburging. It proved to be a great boys weekend, with a squad of Bens, Brenden, Jonny, Pete, Richie, Steve and me. We took the Shaguar and the 330d:
I was pleased to make it from the ferry to Germany without stopping, let alone getting out of the car. After an entertaining meal out and night stop over in Aachen, we were up bright and early to make tracks for the ‘ring. Geddit?
The Lidl in Breidscheid is normally full of stickered cars, but not quite like this:
We moved to the circuit, where we’d paid a premium for track side camping. Initially it looked as though we were going to struggle to find a place, but eventually lady luck (in the form of some Swiss, eager to avoid the Germans) found us, and we had a place. Ringers: we were by the 3km mark (Hocheichen).
It soon became apparent that as the festival didn’t start until Friday, we should spend Thursday drinking. So Huge and I nipped out to top up the 330d’s tanks.
However, none of us were prepared for the Germans and their crazy drinking games. Good videos of the festivities on Brenden’s site.
We decided to play them at their own game. We even won a few times:
But ultimately, we were all wrecked by 4pm.
To the soundtrack of the German’s rock sound system, all kind of crazy capers commenced. Those lucky enough passed out by 6pm. The rest of us continued:
Eventually we’d had enough of the German’s rather gruff taste in music, so we unleashed the 330d’s system, complete with roof top ghetto blaster. We weren’t as loud, but the Germans soon bowed to our superior taste in music and switched their system off.
It was a great night. And an even greater hangover. In the morning we were all ruined. The Germans, of course, had barely noticed the previous night’s drinking.
We went for a walk along the circuit to get some currywurst, and stumbled across many unusual sights. This is perhaps the highlight:
We nipped up to the festival. During Papa Roach’s performance, a Jager balloon flew over.
The main stage area was HUGE. A capacity of about 70,000, and easily a 100K+ sound system. It rocked!
That night saw Placebo and The Killers as the headline acts on the main stage. Placebo (below), were many, many, many times better than I had expected. A great show, and immense talent. I was really impressed.
The Killers were frankly awful. No interaction, no show, just a dull, dreary performance of their collection of frankly bland ‘hits’. So I went to see Basement Jaxx on another stage, who were amazing!
On Saturday I felt slightly better, but the German’s insistance on playing their sound system until 6am in the morning had got the better of me, and my tent was leaking in the rain. I checked into my favourite Bavarian haunt:
Saturday night at the festival was amazing. We saw Machine Head (or Machine-F*cking-Head) as every moronic German shouted repeatedly for the rest of the weekend).
Then the Prodigy were on. No photos for this – it was full mosh-pit action. Hilarious stuff!
The headline acts for Saturday night were Slipknot. Heavy metal! The arena was at capacity, with everyone from front to back leaping around like loonies to powerful rock. Crazy Germans!
I was pleased to get back to the cafe that night. I ventured down from our room about midnight to sneak a quick beer (I’d been driving), and was delighted to find an on-road-cafe and more importantly on-form Lex behind the bar. “How is Neil?!” he asked. “Cold, tired and in need of a beer”. “Here’s a beer, and now you have thisch yellow shit on the housche!”. It was fantastic. We didn’t get to bed until 3, but apparently the Germans left their PA on until 7:18am that morning so we fared better than those who opted to stay at the camp site.
Needless to say, on Sunday all 8 of us were checked into the Cafe. The camp site was a mess – just look at the state of our neighbour’s site!
We spent a lazy afternoon in the cafe:
We popped out for a quick steak on a stone, at an alternative to the Pistonklause we found in Adenau.
And then came back to the cafe. We watched Billy Talent and Limp Bizkit on MTV, and were glad we didn’t bother returning to the festival to see them.