Those of us who were lucky to attend this year's M'era Luna festival in Hildesheim were in for two days filled with music, laughter and love. We could write a thousand words about why the M'era Luna was one of our favorite gothic festivals this summer. But instead, we'll simply invite you to watch the Aftermovie and soak up the vibe and atmosphere, before leaving you to the account of how our two lucky ticket winners experienced the event.
The M'era Luna 2015 as experienced by ticket winners Sarah and Daniel
Now that this year's M'era Luna is over and we're back home - and have overcome the post-festival depression - it's time to reflect on the many impressions. One thing's for sure, after 6 years of going to the M'era Luna, the 1015 edition was the most memorable, of all 16 festivals I have had the fortune to attended.
But let's start at the very beginning: as soon as I saw the captivating line-up, I knew right away I would not be able to see all the bands and would have to prioritize. A daunting task, considering the broad choice of genres and bands that had been invited to perform at the festival. As it would turn out, choosing which bands to see would be less challenging than getting to the event itself.
The campground: chaos, reunions, friendly faces and food-runs
First, when we arrived at the festival parking area, it was pure chaos and mayhem. The event staff that was supposed to guide and organize was swamped and seemed to have given up, leaving the crowd of festival goers to organize things themselves. Then, getting our passes proved to be equally challenging, as again, the festival ground staff had difficulties pointing us to the right area to claim the bracelets required to gain access. We were finally able to get the bracelets, which to our surprise were baby-blue - a classic goth color, right? But we didn't care much, because now we were finally off to meet our friends and have a good time!
Camp 6 and 7 were already packed, despite us arriving much earlier than previous years. We were still able to secure a spot for our tent, so we quickly headed back to the car to get our gear. This supposedly quick trip turned into an unexpected journey as we kept bumping into familiar faces, with all the hellos, memories from previous years and lots of laughter included. Once we were through with the anecdotes and glorious memories of past M'era Lunas', we headed for the festival supermarket - a new feature this year.
This new addition to the event was much appreciated - too much, maybe, as many festival goers chose to use this convenient supply stop. Despite all 4 cashiers being open at all times, waiting for half and hour or longer. Still, way better than having to bring your own beer, and a nice alternative to the beer selection at the festival area itself. We also liked that they had fresh bread every morning, including sandwiches. We're glad they added the supermarket, and hope they will bring it back next year.
It rocked hard, from the first note to the last pyro explosion
The two festival days were awesome but also challenging, especially the first day, as many of the medieval bands that I love were performing back-to-back, but on different stages. That meant a continuous running from the main stage to the hang and back, hoping to miss as little as possible, which was sadly not always possible. Definitely a sting in the heart of a true fan of the genre.
On the plus side, this year the hangar had been fitted with better sound equipment, which meant a much nicer sound. I also think the additional PA next to the screens was a good idea, as was the new look of the food-area. It looked really nice, the food was good, with very little waiting. Honestly, the only improvement I can think of would be to maybe split the bands of the same music genre on two different days, to make it possible for fans to watch them all, or at least most of them.
My personal musical highlight was ASP, who of course played their classic hits, but also exclusive preview songs from the upcoming album. We felt truly privileged to hear the fantastic new songs ahead of others. And that they brought out Spielbann as special guest was truly exceptional. I'm a big fan of Live-features, and was not disappointed.
Another band that impressed me were German shock-rockers of The Other, who pretty much hit the stage in full stride and at top speed from the git-go, and rocked hard from the very first note to the last. Rob Zombie is also a fantastic act to witness live, a charismatic and wild madman that kept bouncing on stage like a rubber ball. Personal highlights of his show were the face-melting guitar solos and the medleys, a concentrate of Zombie's greatest hits.
The overall sound of the event was pristine, with the only notable exception being the Austrian darkwave duo L'Âme Immortelle who suffered from multiple microphone failures. Maybe not a surprising thing, considering the strong and powerful voice of Sonja Kraushofer - she has by far one of the best live voices I have ever heard. We probably wouldn't have heard her voice much anyway, because the crowd was singing along so loud that they often drowned out the PA.
It's impressive to see that after 5 years of being absent from any stage, L'Âme Immortelle simply pick up where they left and carry on like if they'd never been gone.
Verdict - no time for boredom
As parting words, I would like to commend the organizers of M'era Luna for the excellent line-up, but also the festival framework and side events: recitals, fashion show or the fire performers from the UK (Pyrohex, featuring the incredible Shelly d'Inferno), there was so much to do besides the music that everyone who went enjoyed themselves with little time for idling around. We certainly did have a blast, and will be back in 2016. We're looking forward to it.