As one of the main party-capitals in Europe, Berlin has many possibilities for everybody who wants to party for several days in a row. In our monthly party-calendar you can read about many great events with solid line-ups and extreme opening-hours. But as an alternative for clubbing in a city, you could also visit one of the German weekend-festivals. Not much in this world is better than a couple of days of nice people, music, camping and some drinks. Last weekend we attended the 22nd edition of the Melt Festival. In this review we want to share our photos, highlights and tips with you.
The location: Ferropolis
It was in 1997 that the very first Melt Festival was organised. Except for the first two editions, all 22 Melt Festivals have been organised at the Ferropolis in the small town of Gräfenhainichen. The Ferropolis used to be a coal surface mine and therefore it is one of the coolest festival-locations in Germany. The large machines give the location a very unique touch. The Ferropolis is also surrounded by water so you can take a refreshing dive. But there is not a lot of space to lay on the beach like you can at festivals like Feel Festival or Helene Beach.
Seven different stages
The acts at Melt Festival 2019 were divided over seven different stages. All stages represented different music-styles and they were all located in walking distance from each other. Some of the talented DJs were playing on the Big Wheel Stage and most of the bands could be enjoyed at the so called Main Stage. Then there was the Sleepless Floor, which was located outside of the festival-terrain of the Melt Festival. The name already gives you the right impression: On the Sleepless Floor you could party day and night. A big advantage of this floor was, that you could bring your own drinks because it was was located before the entrance of the festival-terrain.
Bodzin, Bon Iver, Solomun and more
The Melt Festival 2019 was officially opened on thursday night. The Pre-Party started with Sally-C at 20.00 at the Sleepless Floor. Because you needed an extra ticket for this Pre-Party most people probably just enjoyed their time on the campsite and wanted to be fit for a full day of partying on Friday. On Friday one of the big highlights was Stephan Bodzin at the Big Wheel Stage. The weather was great and the people were all in a great mood because the festival just started! Besides this the Melt Festival offered a great range of artists in a lot of different music-styles: With names like Solomun, Modeselektor, Bilderbuch, HVOB, Charlotte de Witte and many others. If you like solid DJs, Melt Festival is definitely a festival you will enjoy.
More than just music
Any festival in 2019 should offer more than just music. Obviously you can have a lot of fun with your friends on the campsite but besides that there were many Melt-Specials. A few examples:
- Yoga & Workshops
- Book-Readings and Discussions
- Mr. Bingo and other activities
- Beer crafting area
- Fashion presentations (Nike + Zalando)
- Secret Garden of Porn (see below)
- Many more…
The secret garden of Porn
If you have been partying in Berlin you know that the city also offers plenty of erotic places to have a good time. Melt 2019 also offered one of these places and it was called The secret garden of Porn. In this magic garden artists, musicians and poets (a.k.a. Creatures which are not from this world) will perform the whole night for you. Responsible for this abstruse paradise is “Pornceptual”, a party concept from Berlin. We personally really enjoyed the colourful Drag-Show at PANSY’s Playhouse and the other eye-opening performances. If you are looking for a sexual adventure their is even a dark-room (or better called dark-tent) which will fulfil your dreams.
Food and Drinks
On and around the campsite you can find enough places to buy your food and drinks. When you are sober enough during the day, you can decide to make a short drive to the nearest supermarket but also on the festival-terrain you can buy a great range of products. Obviously the prices at Melt are a bit higher than in Berlin, but in my opinion everything is still very reasonable. A beer costs 4 euro (0,4 liter) and food can be bought for a prices between 4 and 9 euro. Some examples:
- Burrito’s 7€
- Falafel 5€
- Noodles 6€
- Langos 4,5€
Tips for an even better Melt Festival
If you are planning to visit Melt Festival 2020, the following tips might be useful to make your festival even better.
- Campsite: Try to find a spot on Campsite Camp2gether or Camp3some. Your tent will be further from your car but the trip to the festivalterrain will be about 1km shorter than from campsite 3. You will walk to the stages every day at least 2 times.
- Don´t take more than you need: Especially when you visit a weekendfestival for the first time you will probably take way too much luggage. As mentioned above, there are supermarkets on a reasonable distance and when you visit Melt with a group you are able to share a lot of things.
- Car-Pass: If you do want to take a lot of things, it might be worth buying a car-pass for 35€. With 4 people in a car it might be worth it after all. Keep in mind that these camping-spots are a bit further away from the stages.
- Pavillion: On the campsites of Melt Festival you will not find any trees. In the summer it can get really hot and sunny. To make sure you have some shade you should bring a pavillion.
- Watch out for thieves: Unfortunately there are rotten apples everywhere in the world and also at the Melt Festival. So I would not recommend taking your 500€ camera or any other valuables to the Melt Festival (or any other festival).
- Have fun with your neighbours: You might be able to prevent theft on the campsite when you become friends with your neighbours. Besides this example it is just a great addition to every festival to get to know new people.
- Silent Camping: Silent camping can be great if you want to get your rest during the night. A 3-4 day festival can be hard work.
- Disposable Camera: It is awesome to bring a 5€ disposable camera to any festival and get the photos developed when you get back home. No risks and a lot of fun when you get back home.
- Bring juice: It is allowed to take juice and other drinks in 1,5 liter packages to the stages. Use this in your advantage.
Here is some practical information if you are planning to visit the Melt-Festival:
The campsite opens on Thursday and there is plenty of space for everybody. This means you do not have to fight for a spot or share your tent with a stranger. From the campsite it will take you about half an hour to walk to the festivalterrain of Melt but if you are not in the mood to walk you can also decide to take the free shuttlebus.
The tickets started at 124€ in the early-bird phase and went up to 144€ in the last phase of the ticket-sales. In these prices 5€ garbage deposit is included so you can get that money back if you hand in a bag of garbage at the end of the festival. The price of Melt 2019 is a bit higher than most other German festivals but the amount of great artists makes up for most of it. Keep in mind that a concert of Bon Iver or Bilderbuch would already cost you 30-50€ by itself.
Additional costs (optional)
If you like to park your car next to the tent you need to buy a Car Camping Pass for 35 € per Person. The advantage: no exhausting luggage carrying and the ability to sleep when you would like to sleep. Besides the car-ticket it makes sense to buy Shuttle Ticket for the weekend for 5 € since the way to the festival area is quite long. A last optional booking would be a ticket for the pre-party on Thursday which costs 15€.
How to get to the Melt Festival
You can reach the Melt Festival by car in about 1,5 hours. There are plenty of people who are willing to take other people along if you pay a bit of fuel money. There are also Melt-Buses which you can read more about here. By train you have to go to one of the following stations Gräfenhainichen, Dessau oder Wittenberg. You then can take one of the Festival-Shuttles to reach the festival itself.
Summary of Melt Festival 2019
It became a long review so it might be useful to summarise some things for you as a reader.
- Great Artists
- Very friendly staff (better than most other festivals)
- Lovely location
- Reasonable prices for food and drinks
- Sleepless Floor with 24 hours of music
- Many other things to do than just music
- Responsible behaviour surrounding the storm
- Far walking to the stages (no “quickly grab something from the tent”)
- High ticket prices (including pre-party and shuttle more than 150€)
- No Shade on the campsite