Burg Herzberg Festival 2014

Thursday July 31st

7:30 I picked up the van at 22 last night and we are waiting for the Swedes to arrive and then we will load up my stuff, the merch and their stuff and go pick up Nick, Birk and Mogens at Mogen’s place. This is a great van and we will have plenty of space. These Mercedes vans are great. We pay 98€ a day with 400 free KM a day.

8:45 We are packing the van at Mogen’s place now and the weather is beautiful today. I have programmed the GPS for Sabine’s place so hopefully we will get there without getting lost. Says we should arrive at 12:15! I highly doubt that.

11:10 We are in the cue for the ferry now. We just missed one by a few mins so we have to wait 30m more mins. Not that big a cue and we had no problem buying a ticket, since we had not booked one in advance. 113€ one way though... We heard Afrobeat Nirvana, Black Sabbath- Born Again, Pothead- Desiccated soup on the way to the ferry.

12:00 We are just about to leave the ferry now. We got cokes, had our schnitzel and have Siena Root- Root jam cranked up on the stereo.

14:15 We finally made it after some hassle since one of the roads to Sabine’s was closed and we had to figure out how to go a different way... This part of Hamburg is so tricky… Anyway, mats will drive now. Sabine greeted us all with a cup of fruit, which was really nice and refreshing as it is a hot day. We are now hearing Antibalas- Who is this America? Great album.

15:30 So much highway work. A1 was closed so we have to take A7 now. Says we have 344 km to Burg Herzberg. I am glad that I am not driving with this crazy two lanes stuff. The van is so wide it is a bit nerve racking on these small lanes. You get really close to the other cars and trucks. Now we hear some Kenyan Jazz from Mogens CD collection. Some cool stuff but a bit mellow for driving. I would fall asleep...

16:41 We just had a break at a gas station… We still have 211km to go on this highway and it says about 2½ hrs left. we will see. We are listening to Frank Zappa- Joe’s garage Parts 1-3. This is a pretty rude record for the two ladies in the van but I think I was the only one who thought of that.

17:30 Look to be about 1½ hrs away and we have to get gas for the first time soon...

19:15 We arrived to the Freak Stage area but the guy there had no band listed for Øresund Space Collective and he had to call some people to confirm we were playing and allow us into the site. This all took some time and he is sending us to another place now. Pretty unorganized. Sabine was a great help as she could talk to them in German!

20:30 We are finally at the tents now and have driven the van through the festival site. Some places are very muddy. The guys said it rained like hell the week before the festival and was just drying up now. Lots of moisture in the air. We have no sleep mattress yet but they will come. Our contact at the Freak Stage is Freddy. She seems very cool. The Moroccan food place was great. It is one of 4 places we can use our food coupons.

24:00 I am very tired. We only managed to see MOE, a US jam band and not really anyone else this night... Off to bed…

Friday Aug 1st

9:00 It was a bit chaotic last night and we were promised food and drink for the entire festival, tents with sleep mattress (the pump did not work properly and we were all tired)….. and we did get this (1 meal ticket and 5 drink tickets for three days) for the most part in the end but it was a lot of talking back and forth. Freddy was very cool though but it still was not what we should have since some of our members are quite poor and unemployed, etc… I gave 20€ to Birk, Nick and mats to help them out with the food costs. We are sleeping about 10m from the Freak stage and about the same distance to the toilets, so it is hardly a good location but we will manage. I think the band finished around 2 last night but the reggae café seem to go til 6 in the morning before it was quiet! There are no sources of water to wash your hands anywhere around here, which is terrible. The showers are like 1km away and the source of fresh water 500m. we get free bottled water and apple juice in the backstage but nothing else. We will manage.

The sun is shining on the tent and I feel like I hardly slept last night. It is hot and sticky during the day and damp at night. MOE was really good. Lots of long jams and cool interaction between the two guitar players and vibraphone-percussionist.

Last night we met Uli, one of the folks from the Zappanle festival in Northern Germany., he has been so kind to allow us to set up our merch where he is selling records and cds.. Super nice man.. He is a good friend of Sabine's and she and I brought the merch over and she mostly set it up.

11:30 Mike from Space Invaders came and visited us at our camp and invited us to play at 17 up at their camp site, where they have a stage set up. They have a full PA and backline. This will be fun and cool… The first bands start at 13:30, which is cool. Not too early. The distances between the three stages (Main, Freak and Mental) are not so far.

12:00 Sue and I found a good place for lunch, where they make fresh pizzas. The ham and feta was good. It is hot but there is a nice breeze and some clouds now and then. We also had some nice cold mint tea at another café place.

I am too blasted today so I have just popped around and seen a few minutes of each of the bands playing. Rogues from County Hell, a German Irish folk rock band are playing on the Freak stage. They have a very good sound man here but a dB limit of 98 so none of the bands are that loud.. Octa logue, who played two years ago on the Freak stage but now are on the main stage were interesting. Hard to describe. Some gypsy ska party band called Rosaria Smowing, is on the freak stage. We saw a few songs of the acoustic Moe set. I liked the electric set better. Nice to see so many people taping a lot of the shows at each stage.

19:45 We just had a really fun concert for like 90mins at the Space Invaders camp. Mike from Space Invaders played guitar on a couple of jams, their drummer took over from Birk and another drummer named Simon played on the last jam. Mats played guitar first and also bass later. I guess around 60 people were checking this show out. It was quite fun. It was recorded and most of it videotaped as well. I think we played some pretty cool stuff before Mike joined on the guitar. My feeling at the time was he did not fit that well with us but I need to hear the recording. It is a pity we could not promote this show more. There were a few tapers and Sabine video taped a lot of the show. I saw another guy with a video camera as well.

All photos by Sabine