Hard things always need some time to get realised properly. So it took some time to realise, that the ninth Ragnarök Festival ended on saturday afternoon. As I promised on wednesday I will share some impressions on the festival and some bands. One thing is clear though: The Ragnarök Festival is worth a visit.
This year’s Ragnarök Festival was held once more in the guildhall of Lichtenfels, a location many of the returning visitors of the festivals started to embossom. The hall is big enough for all of the visitors and dimmed enough to enjoy even the bands that play at lunchtime. The parking lot of a resident supermarket wasn’t available this year, which resulted in a compensational parking lot besides the guildhall (which belongs to the local soccer team). This was really positive for two reasons: At first, because one felt quite welcome as you didn’t block any spaces normal customers of the supermarket needed and secondly because this parking lot was directly besides the guildhall which resulted in shorter ways.
The festival ground provided everything one could need: Enough variation in food and drinks was offered, several merchants offered CD’s, T-Shirts and more and the sanitary installations were cleaned regularly. It was really positive, that nearly everyone respected the smoking ban inside the guildhall, which resulted in quite clear air to breathe, so one wouldn’t get sleepy because of lacking fresh air. Sadly, not everything was as good as this. Many bands were supported by quite flickering light shows, which could have resulted in headaches and/or nausea, at least for the more sensitive visitors. Of course every band/ the technician is free to create the lightshow they like, but it would have been quite nice to consider that there are visitors which might have problems with shows like that, so that everyone can enjoy the whole show of the band he or she likes. Another big flaw was the quite bad sound on the first day of the festivals, which affected most of the bands. It often happened that the guitars/the vocals and/or the keyboards were too loud or too silent and one could have problems recognizing the songs. The sound level was raised in the course of the day so that it was quite borderlining even with ear protection.
The first band that featured really good sound was Agalloch, which were one of the last bands playing on friday. This good sound was continued the whole saturday, which made things way more comfortable. But let’s start with the first band. As we arrived on friday forenoon in the hall, we wanted to listen to the show of Abinchova, but nothing happened for a while. As we heard later on, the show was cancelled because of illness but we waited 25 minutes for anything to happen as we didn’t notice the announcement. With the start of the festival in form of Imperious we noticed that the sound was, as mentioned before, quite bad and therefore we only listened to two to three songs for each band. Because of this there is not really much to say, at least until ~seven o’clock pm.
It was time for Waldgeflüster and we were quite excited about that. They had a really good place on the running order and they really deserved it, as the hall was quite full (and outscored some of the better known bands, which was quite impressive). The show was really energetic and you could feel the fun they had playing their music for the audience. Despite the quite bad sound, the audience enjoyed the show and the band got really good feedback for their show. They played a mixture of two older and three newer songs, one of them was Interludium II: Nacht and even this interlude could totally convince me, as it perfectly fitted into the show. Mistur tried their best to convince the audience that stayed in the hall, but it was really difficult due to the bad sound. This was quite sad as I was really looking forward to this show.
As I mentioned before, Agalloch was the first band with a really good sound and they used it well. They totally convinced the audience with their quite unique style and although the show was shaped by calmer sounds they managed to catch the attention of everyone in the hall. The first day ended with the show of Agalloch as nobody had to see the show of Varg.
The second day started with Thurs and it was quite clear that the sound is way better now. They could convince everyone listening to their show, which weren’t really many people as they played quite early (at least for festival estimates). Sycronimca played a solid show and they were the first band with a good sound of the keyboard. They had a little special element in their show, as they recorded a video for one of their new songs.
Nothing really worth mentioning happened from XIV Dark Centuries to Absu as every band played a solid show and the audiences were excited. My personal highlight of the day was the show of Einherjer which easily surpassed their show of 2009. The Norwegians were full of energy and really enjoyed playing their show, so that one had to follow in excitement. The vocals were too silent at the beginning of the show but the technician soon managed to balance this and so everyone could enjoy songs like Crimson Rain. Another personal highlight was the drumstick I catched! The last show we watched was the one of Moonsorrow, which started with a twenty minutes song. After finishing this, they made the statement of the festival: ” What we’re going to do next is playing the new album from the beginning to the end, whether you like it or not. Thank you!” and exactly this followed. As one would have expected they played a perfect show, but as it was quite late we left the festival before the show was over. What remains are tons of good memories and we sure will visit the following events every time it’s possible!