A festival isn’t just about the music, it is about the feeling, the atmosphere, the location and the people, and Rock im Dorf had the perfect balance between all of them
Its friday afternoon, the temperature is lazily lingering on the 30 degree mark in the T2 VW bus and doesn’t seem to have any intention of cooling down. Our destination – The idyllic area of Kremstal for Rock im Dorf. A two day (three including the extra jazz night on Thursday) mini festival in Inzersdorf/schlierbach.
Now in its tenth year, the festival has developed from a small one day festival into a three day camp-a-thon which attracts people of all ages and musical tastes to the small festival area.
Dorffests in Austria haven’t necessarily got the best of reputations. Images of Herme’s “unteren 10000” instantly come to mind with any mention of a party “im dorf”. The fear of being on the next episode increased as we headed down the dusty country road, surrounded by corn fields and turned into the tight caravan area to be welcomed by copious amounts of hardcore electro music and multiple “camping dj’s”. What had we let ourselves in for?
The reality of the festival however was something entirely different. Cosy is the word which comes to mind when thinking about this festival. The breath-taking backdrop on the main stage and an impressive sawmill-come-bar on the 2nd stage meant it was a location which is not easily beaten for a festival of this calibre. The tiny camping site and the caravan site across the “bachl” still proved to be difficult to navigate once the alcohol flowed and the “I am standing next to an entrance” directions became more vague, making you feel right at home like at some of the bigger festivals. A lot of hard work and preparation had been put into this festival, and it showed in all the right ways.
The line-up was extremely impressive as well, and it was clear to see that a lot of thought had been put into the selection, with some of the best local talent taking to the stage. The organizers kept true to their desire to give local artists the chance to show what they can do. Beth Edges were as solid as usual as the sun went down as they kicked off the evenings entertainment with their hit filled setlist which never fails to entertain.
OK KID, the only non-Austrian act to take to the main stage this weekend was up next. Anyone who has seen this band before will know just how energetic and powerful their performances are, and this one was no different. The new songs sound even better than the last album, with Grundlos slowly turning into one of the songs of the summer.
We took a little stroll into the “sägewerk” next only to have our ears well and truly beaten up by some heavy electro and extremely loud pop. So this was where the people from the caravan site were….
We retreated to the more eardrum friendly but just as danceable Davideck and Drums who put on a well-behaved performance without ever really getting out of there comfort zone. It was good, but somehow there was a feeling that they could have taken this one up a gear. The paper confetti missile launcher was a nice touch though, next time full of free drinks coupons though please.
With the proceedings on the main stage now over, it was time to brave the sawmill again for a good old village disco.