It turned out that many of the Qualifastians are fond of going to (rock) music festivals. How cool is that - we have a common passion! We unanimously decided to print a company banner with the Source Dragon and start taking it with us at the places we go. Now, with the festival season concluded and four events later, it is time to tell you a bit about our experience.
Rock am Park / Rock am Ring
Rock am Ring (and its twin festival Rock in Park) is one of the main highlights of the festival season in Europe for rock, metal and alternative music. Headliners this year included Muse, Gorillaz and Foo Fighters, besides which there were also some other renown names, such as A Perfect Circle, Shinedown, Avenged Sevenfold, Nothing More, Parkway drive, Kaleo, Black Stone Cherry, Merilyn Mason, Rise Against, Nothing but Thieves and more. With so many worthy performances, we were left exhausted, but satisfied attending all of our favourites. The organisation of the event was decent for a ~100 000 strong crowd, although there were some big delay with the tickets on the first day. There were also some notable experiences around the festival camp, such as being transported with a bus on the actual F1 track Nurburgring (sometimes even at somewhat high speed), shopping at the "Rock LIDL", that was set up for the event and the fondness of the German crowd for mosh pits, which were happening in the dozens, even at peaceful performances.
Graspop Metal Meeting
Graspop is one of the most popular events in the rock calendar. This year some of the headliners featured Guns'n'Roses, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbrourne, Avenged Sevenfold. The festival started with not-so-nice experience with poor setup at the entrance and more than 4-5 hours of waiting. Overall the organisation of the fest was below the expected level with insufficient camping space, complicated setup for payments and limited working time for both baths and shops. As for the stage performances, however, no complaints are possible. We went there especially to hear one of the very few performances of Ayreon history and we were mindblown with a perfect show. Other groups that we enjoyed really much include Arch Enemy, Powerwolf, Accept, Limp Bizkit, Tyr.
Plovdiv Hills of Rock
Hills of Rock is happening for just a second year, but the good organisation and lineup have already made it into one of our most favorite events. This year a good number of people attended and there were three days of quality music. We hope that the event will stick and grow even further. From musical perspective we enjoyed the performances of the headliners Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Sabaton, but also Tremonti and Crematory made good shows. One a bit annoying part were the mosquitoes, but when Sabaton began their pyro-show the problem was burned away, as if by the flame of a dragon.
Varna Mega Rock
The first and, as it turns out, only edition of this brand. Frankly, the venue was far from best fit for such event with overheated concrete endangering spectators of heatstroke. It felt like we were in the stomach of a dragon.
Additionally there was not a single poster of the festival, which is why the photo from this fest is with a ship on the background in an attempt to show we are at the sea side. Additionally,the sound setup was really poor, which only Glenn Hughes was able to overcome. We were with big expectations of the groups and they really gave the maximum they were capable of - Nightwish, Kamelot, Appocaliptica and Glenn Hughes all made the trip to the sea capital of Bulgaria worth it.
If you are planning on attending some of the rock festivals in 2019, you could drink a beer with us at Wacken, Nova Rock, Rock am Ring, Hills of Rock and perhaps even more.
PS: If you now started wondering - why all these dragons, let me give you a hint: Source Dragon is the code name for one of our first products.