Alannah Meyrath, editor-extraordinaire and occasional RTL Today Radio guest was there to represent the RTL Today team! Now she's sharing her experience at her first ever Rock am Ring Festival!
Like many other festivals Rock am Ring saw a two-year break due to the pandemic, but last weekend, Germany's most notorious festival returned to the stage with a record-breaking 90,000 visitors.
And I was one of them. Along with all the attendees, over 70 bands found their way back to Rock am Ring and its "sister festival" Rock im Park, which happened simultaneously with almost the same line-up in Nuremberg, Bavaria.
For me, the RaR festival has always been the one that got away. With little preparation time and not a lot of general camping knowledge, I was lucky to be traveling with a group of professional RaR-goers. We didn’t have just one fridge, no, we had two, and a freezer for additional cooling space.
We stayed at the private camping south of the racetrack meaning we had plumbing; having a functional toilet and sometimes hot shower made all the difference. So does an actual air mattress instead of a sleeping mat. Mark my words.
The first batch of our group arrived on Wednesday, whereas I found my way to the festival Thursday with the second batch. From the North of Luxembourg it only takes around an 1h30 to get there, while from the City it's approximately a 2 hour journey.
That evening we went and traded our tickets for festival bracelets, which for the first time included a cashless paying system. You could either use the cashless top up booths or charge your account via Visa or Mastercard. Thankfully we got our bracelets in advance, because the line on Friday was incredibly long.
On Friday the festival officially started and we made our way to the site, which involved a small 20 minute hike. Once we arrived, I was honestly speechless. Until that moment, I never realized how many people were in attendance or how huge the site truly is. There were three stages, countless food and drink stalls and even a small amusement park complete with giant ferris wheel and bumper cars.
On one hand, after several years of mask wearing and social distancing, it felt weird to be in the midst of 90,000 people, but on the other hand, it was one of the best moments ever.
This feeling persisted throughout the festival. Everyone was incredibly nice and forthcoming, and without fail, every musician or band talked about how thankful they were to be playing again after such a long and difficult time. You could really feel the love.
I used to be a big rock/metal fan as a teenager, so my 15 year-old self was happy as a clam to finally see the Offspring, Billy Talent and Korn live. Alternatively, my 27 year-old self was most excited for the German hip-hop acts.
Even if rock music is not entirely your jam, you can still find plenty of fun things to do during the event. Hanging out with my friends, watching them enjoy themselves jumping around in mosh pits really was a sight for sore eyes.
I have to say that this has been by far my best festival experience and I cannot wait to go back next year. I am not going to lie: it was exhausting. My body hurt after sleeping in a tent that was way too small for me, and at some point I couldn't feel my feet anymore, but it was an unforgettable event after all we’ve been through over the last few years.
I can only recommend visiting the Rock am Ring festival next year if this is your kind of music (or even if it's not), you won't regret it.
Time for a little band recap
Before we start the recap, I do wish that I took more pictures. But when I wasn't recording for RTL Today Radio's Instagram, I put my phone away and just enjoyed my time there. I barely had any service, so being on my phone was more of a hassle than anything else.
Next time I promise there will be a lot more visual content, but for now please enjoy my recap :-)
In terms of personal taste Friday definitely was my favorite day. One of us was celebrating his 31st birthday and we started the festival off with SSIO, a German rapper who is definitely an acquired taste. It was a fun gig and after he finished, we made our way to the main stage where Måneskin was playing their concert. We arrived just in time for their song Zitti e Buoni, which many of you might recognize from their Eurovision performance last year. Right after Måneskin, it was time for one of my personal highlights: The Offspring. They were by far my favorite band as a teenager and finally hearing their songs live was a dream come true.
After The Offspring, some of us made our way back to another stage where Jan Delay & Disko No. 1 was waiting for us. It was the second time I'd seen them live, first time being here in the Grand Duchy at the Rock-A-Field in 2010. If you are ever in need of some funky music to dance to, this is it! There is no way you can be in a bad mood after listening to them. Definitely worth checking out.
The evening was now approaching along with the dilemma of the day, and maybe of the entire weekend, Marteria or Green Day? Green Day was the main headliner for the day, whereas Marteria was one of the most anticipated gigs. One of us chose Green Day since the chances of seeing them again are smaller than Marteria, whereas the rest of us stayed loyal to Marteria. Marteria, a former football player and model turned rapper, was for many of us one of the highlights of the weekend. In 2013 he played the Food For Your Senses Festival in Bissen and he was just as great then as he was this weekend. He has an amazing voice and even if you are not a German-speaker you should definitely check him out.
The first band we attempted to see on Saturday was Sportfreunde Stiller, a German indie rock band that was another big influence on me during my teenage years. It took us way longer than we anticipated to get to the site and then the main stage, but we've managed to hear Ein Kompliment, which was all that I could have asked for.
After this performance I stayed at the mainstage for RIN, another German rapper, and Alligatoah who (you guessed it) is another German rapper. You might be starting to wonder why I was at ROCK am Ring at this point. But all jokes aside, both concerts were really great, with Alligatoah's concert resembling more a show than a traditional concert.
After Alligatoah, we went on a pilgrimage to the other stage where we saw the ending of Fever 333 before Deftones started their act. I was waiting for Casper, another German rapper (who's surprised by now?) while Muse was headlining and ending the day at the main stage. Same as on Friday there had been a discussion of whether to watch Muse or Casper since they overlapped each other. There had been the option to see both by starting to watch one act before leaving to switch to the other act. However, the two stages were pretty far apart and wiggling your way back and forth between 90,000 people is not always easy, especially during the last hours of performances.
Also known as the day it finally rained. We had been waiting for storms since Friday evening, so we were lucky that we only had rain on Sunday morning/afternoon. But as the saying goes: Kein Ring ohne Regen, there is no Ring without rain.
By now my feet were feeling like bricks and I could barely stand or walk, so I decided to wait and made my way to the venue later in the day. For many of my group Sunday was THE day with bands like Airbourne, Royal Republic and A Day to Remember. My plan was to start my day at Korn, but I was persuaded to get to the festival an hour earlier than I had planned to see Bullet for my Valentine. I'm not going to lie, I was sitting on the ground for all of that concert because I knew I had to save my strength for Korn, which ended up in my top 3 concerts of the weekend. Another one of my teenage bands, I enjoyed the music a lot, and the vibes of that concert were also off the chart. Watching my friends enter moshpit after moshpit, with us girls being handed all their jackets, drinks and bags, as well as taking tons pictures with strangers, it was a blast.
After Korn we again made our way to the other stage where we were planning on listening to Beatsteaks, another great rock band from Germany. We arrived right on time for their song Summer, definitely worth checking out. And then it was time for another daily dilemma: Volbeat or Billy Talent? I don't think it's a surprise that we stayed for Billy Talent. Altough Volbeat was Sunday's headliner, the real star of the day was Billy Talent. They were the last show of the festival which was fully reflected in the mood of their concert. Listening to bangers like Fallen Leaves, Surrender and Red Flag in the midst of a 90,000 people just hits differently. It was the perfect ending for the festival. By the way, Billy Talent will be playing at the Rockhal in November 2022 and they are definitely worth every cent!
Did I make you curious? You can stream some of the concerts on RTL+ here. Furthermore they just announced the dates for next year's Rock am Ring. It will take place the first weekend of June and you can find more information on the official Rock am Ring website.