SUMMER BREEZE 2014
- by Dan Barkasi & Rune Grande
- Posted on 13-05-2014
Festival season is coming quicker than an emo kid crying to an old My Chemical Romance album. Yeah, lame, but this guy is never short on bad jokes.
There are always a ton of options when it comes to choosing a festival to attend. For those lucky enough to reside in Europe, it’s a lot easier, as one can hit up multiple festivals without incurring too much cost. For a poor sap living in North America, however, the decision is a bit more difficult.
Being a picky, discerning pain in the ass, it took a while to choose which festival to attend. That decision almost completely comes down to lineup. This year, it’s all about Summer Breeze.
Why, you ask?
Just look at that monster of a billing! This will be my second trip to the German festival, having attended in 2012, which was one of the most fun times ever. So this year, the expectations are very high, which is totally reasonable for such a class festival such as this.
The pre-festival day is loaded, featuring bands from the Nuclear Blast label. Death Angel, Grand Magus, Orchid, Decapitated, and others will be amongst the Nuclear Blast bands of the night. The second stage is also brimming with quality, with Ereb Altor, Hamferd, Bodyfarm, Pentagram (Chile), and Carnal Ghoul being amongst the acts this guy is excited for.
That’s just the freaking pre-fest day!
Here is a smattering of the band’s playing the regular days of the festival, which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday:
Anneke van Giersbergen
Children of Bodom
The Devin Townsend Project
The Excrementory Grindfuckers
Hail of Bullets
Heaven Shall Burn
Legion of the Damned
Mors Principium Est
The Very End
Winter of Sin
Yeah, that’s a lot, and there are plenty more that couldn’t be listed.
For the entire lineup, go here: http://www.summer-breeze.de/en/bands/index.html
Interview with David Gregori
(By Rune Grande)
Music festivals aren’t just about the music anymore. There is a lot of other stuff going on like merch-stands, tattoo-stands and stuff. What can Summer Breeze offer their audience besides the metal?
We have a huge non-food area with merchandise stands and stuff like that. But we don’t offer anything that goes further than that. Dark and hard music is the main thing. We don’t want to lose the focus on that, because music is the main reason why people are coming to our festival. Good music and a great time partying with lots of crazy metalheads for four days.
Does Summer Breeze have a main festival hotel where the metal fans can meet with the bands for breakfast and drinks?
No, we don’t have anything like that. Does any festival have? Never heard of something like that. But we have two stands run by German Metal Hammer and metal.de (Germany’s oldest and biggest webzine) where a lot of bands do signing sessions, where you can talk to your favorite musicians, get your stuff signed and take a pic with them. Other than that we do a lottery shortly before the festival where fans can win meet & greets with some selected bands. Just keep an eye on our homepage for further announcements and news…
The typical Summer Breeze audience; is he or she German or do you get a lot of foreigners attending your festival?
Most of the people are from Southern Germany, of course. But the number of foreigners is getting bigger and bigger every year, which makes us very happy. Metalheads are a big family, no matter where they’re from.
Have you seen a steady increase in the number of foreigners in their audience or have the economic problems in several countries in recent years given you less foreigners?
In general the number is increasing, but we noticed less people from the countries that you are talking about. But on the other hand more and more people from Scandinavia, the UK, Australia, Israel or Russia, just to name a few, are discovering our festival and its beautiful surroundings like the medieval city Dinkelsbühl and Bavaria in general.
Are you sold out or can the fans who want to attend the Summer Breeze 2014 still get tickets?
We still have tickets left. But the fans shouldn’t wait too long with buying. We will be sold out within the next one or two months like it was the case in the past years. At the festival we only have a limited amount of 1-day-tickets for every day (except for the Warm-Up-Wednesday) left that can be purchased only on that specific at the box offices.
Summer Breeze is all about metal and most of its beautiful subcultures and the variety. What are your main goals when you book bands for Summer Breeze?
You answered the question yourself: We wanna celebrate metal and all of its subgenres! Of course, we have an eye on which bands are hot and which are not. But I think we have a good mixture of genres, the big names and promising newcomers and underground acts, no matter if they have 1 or 10 albums out. No matter if they have a record deal or not. No matter if they play Heavy, Death, Black, Thrash, Doom, Gothic, Core or Classic Rock.
Are there any bands you want to see in the Summer Breeze lineup that you have not managed to book since the festival began in 1997?
I can only talk for myself right now, because every one of our team has different faves. This year for me a huge dream is coming true with Machine Head and Down playing at Summer Breeze for the first time. I couldn’t be more happy.
Which of the bands playing this year is a must-see for you personally?
I already mentioned Machine Head and Down, but of course there are way more bands you shouldn’t miss in my opinion: Heaven Shall Burn, Testament, Obituary, Ignite, The Haunted, Hail Of Bullets, Maroon, Rotting Christ, Ahab, Blues Pills, Wolfheart, Undertow, Master, Winter Of Sin, Rise Of The Northstar…
Seems our booking department did a great job, hehe! Personally I think this year we have the best line-up we ever had. I’m pretty sure that every single metalhead will find his faves when he looks at the 111 (!!!) bands that are playing the four stages of Summer Breeze festival.
This year’s festival is the 17th edition of Summer Breeze. During all these years, what has been the absolute highlight for you?
Gigwise: Amon Amarth (every year they played), Heaven Shall Burn (2008), Bolt Thrower (every year they played).
And on the other hand it was very fulfilling to see that a band like Volbeat played their first German festival gig at Summer Breeze and started their journey somehow from Dinkelsbühl in the year 2006 when they were the opener of our festival. Look where they are now! Amazing!
And not to forget the last gig God Dethroned ever played on German soil, a band that means a lot to me!
And what have been the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenge always is to be better than the year before.
And to keep the special atmosphere and vibe that Summer Breeze is known for.
In the end we are happy when people are leaving Summer Breeze with a smile on their face, because they had a great time and they know that they wanna come back!
…because we wanna see you again!
As any good metal fan can see, that lineup is absolutely brimming with amazing band after amazing band. Wolfheart, Mors Principium Est, Hail of Bullets and Legion of the Damned alone are enough to entice enduring the long flight over to Europe!
The festival organizers haven’t said it, but chances are, most of the lineup is already announced. Keep an eye on the Summer Breeze webpage for any updates, or download the mobile app. I have the app personally, and it’s a nice thing to have, especially once everything is set (maps, running order, etc.). It was a fantastic tool to utilize when there last time, and you’ll get news updates nice and fast.
If you’re able to make it, this is easily the festival to go to this summer. The lineup is far superior to any other European festival, and the organization – from my experience in 2012 at least – is top notch.
Stay tuned for comprehensive coverage of the event soon after the craziness is over. Until then, grab a ticket, go to Summer Breeze, and Eternal Terror hopes to see you there!