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e-tropolis SJO8596Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
2nd March 2024
E-tropolis Festival 2024 with Nitzer Ebb, Covenant, Suicide Commando, Nachtmahr, [:SITD:], Kite, Frozen Plasma, Sono, Sturm Café, Potochkine, NNHMN, Rroyce, Accessory, Oberer Totpunkt

Right on time for the meteorological beginning of spring, E-tropolis opens the festival weekend with the pre-party on 1st March 2024. After the festival was postponed to autumn during the pandemic, it’s back to spring for the 12th festival edition.

Since it starts on Saturday already in the early afternoon, I’ll embark on the approximately 450-kilometer journey on Friday. So, to make it to the pre-party, I’ll take the afternoon off and set off shortly before one o’clock. I’m making pretty good progress, but get stuck in a traffic jam near Kassel. Even after it finally clears, I’m moving slower than planned. It takes me almost five and a half hours, and I arrive just before half-past six. Though there’s still plenty of time, somehow, we can´t motivate ourselves for the party around ten. We prefer to spend the evening on the couch and recharge for tomorrow. After all, we have a long and tiring day ahead, and we naturally want to miss as little as possible. So, better go to bed early and be at the door at one sharp. We can expect a diverse range of electronic music for about 11 hours.

e-tropolis 2024 impressions byAileenRitter05

Well-rested and fortified with a hearty breakfast, we arrive punctually for the entrance at the Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen. There’s already a long line of festival-goers waiting for entry. The festival crew seems excellently organized, and the line moves forward quickly. After a few minutes, it’s our turn, and we enter the “holy halls”. Before diving into the action, we first acquire value vouchers, as the food and drinks offered by the Turbinenhalle are sold through a voucher system. The keys for the 3,000 lockers, which serve as cloakrooms, are also obtained with these vouchers. I find the lockers quite practical. You have access to your clothes throughout the entire event, and there’s plenty of room to store the purchases made during the event.

e-tropolis 2024 impressions byAileenRitter02

The shopping opportunities are diverse. In the entrance area opposite the voucher sales, you’ll find the official merchandise area. Here, besides festival merch, you can also find merchandise from the performing artists. Various stalls can be found on the merchant mile. There’s jewellery, clothing, music, and all sorts of more or less useful knick-knacks to purchase. Additionally, the mead-stand and some of the food stalls are also located here. The food selection is well sorted, and the price-performance ratio is good. I’m particularly happy about the vegan stall, where you can get burgers, hot dogs, hunter potatoes, and cake. Everything is super delicious, by the way. We all know what goes in must eventually come out. There are plenty of toilets available, and they’re clean as well. And most importantly, since it’s a music event, the sound is fine, and the lighting is well done during the several performances.

e-tropolis 2024 impressions byAileenRitter09

From my perspective, there is room for improvement primarily on the beverage front. Firstly, there is no non-alcoholic drink that is cheaper than beer. At least, I haven’t found one. Water costs just as much as beer, and the non-alcoholic beer costs even more than the alcoholic option. For the same amount of money, you actually get less in the cup. However, my biggest criticism at this point is the disposable cups, which produce vast amounts of waste. That can be done better!

e-tropolis 2024 impressions byAileenRitter72

But let’s finally turn our attention to the music. That’s why we’re here, after all. After jackets and the first purchases are stowed away in the locker and we’ve stocked up on drinks, it’s time to head to the bigger Turbinenhalle 1 and to the main stage. There, moderator Jens Domgörgen opens the festival shortly after two o’clock and welcomes the already numerous spectators to “electronic highlights in two halls”. The following words, posted by Vasi Vallis on his Facebook page on Friday could stand for the whole festival: “Our motto for the weekend ‘all we have is now’ is not political. It’s human... All we have is now. We don’t have more. Let’s celebrate it.” In the end, there will be over 3,500 people who have visited the festival and who have celebrated music and themselves. But first things first, but not necessarily in that order.

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Starting off are STURM CAFÉ, who immediately set the mood for excellent atmosphere “with EBM from Sweden” and German lyrics. ‘Staatsapparat’, ‘Scheissnormal’, ‘Koka Kola Freiheit’, ‘Stiefelfabrik’ - in front of the stage and on the balconies, things really kick off. There’s clapping, lively dancing, and in front of the stage, a small mosh pit forms where people mosh without inhibition. The Swedes are really fun. The audience celebrates to ‘Pathologische Altruisten’, ‘Discolied’ and ‘Hymne der Ewigkeit’ and sings loudly along with many songs, such as ‘Europa’. After 40 minutes, STURM CAFÉ bid farewell to a thoroughly cheerful audience with ‘Der Löwe ist zurück’. To conclude, drumsticks are thrown into the audience, and the trio is led off the stage with thunderous applause. A successful start to the festival day.

Sturm Cafe SJO7960

While the program on the 2nd stage in the smaller Turbinenhalle 2 won’t start for another hour, RROYCE will continue here in just 20 minutes. So, we’ll stay where we are and “defend” our spot in the second row. “When the guy with the funny accent comes on stage, it means it’s going to continue.” At point three the moderator from Cologne gives the stage to the trio from Dortmund. With five out of nine songs, RROYCE has focused on their latest album ‘Rroarr’. But the energetic set kicks off with ‘The Principles of Grace’, ‘Parallel Worlds’ and ‘Who Needs’. RROYCE captivates the audience from the start with their enthusiasm and energy. It seems like the entire fan base is present. People dance, jump, clap along, and celebrate. Every song is sung along loudly, and the usual choreography for ‘Parallel Worlds’ is, of course, included. And soon enough, Al flicks the first pick into the crowd. The workout to ‘Run Run Run’ is skipped today. Unfortunately, the song is not in the set. However, Casi takes the opportunity to make a few trips to the photo pit and gets cosy with fans in the front row. The atmosphere remains fantastic during the following block from the album ‘Rroarr’. ‘I Look Nicer With You’, ‘Answers & Questions’, ‘Rebuilt. Reborn’, ‘Whipping Boy’ and especially ‘Paranoiac SL’ are sung as loudly as the usual closing song ‘I Like it, When You Lie’ from the 2016 album ‘Karoshi’. One more show-off selfie, and then RROYCE bid farewell to a cheering and beaming audience.

Rroyce SJO8079

During the 25-minute break until SONO takes over the main stage, I use the opportunity for a short bathroom break. The rest of our small group stays behind while I take the chance to briefly stop by Turbinenhalle 2, where OBERER TOTPUNKT is already in full swing. It’s crowded here too, and the audience is enthusiastically engaged. Today’s setlist includes ‘Blutmond’, ‘Langfristig’, ‘Rattenfänger’, ‘Dia de los Muertos’, ‘Alltag macht tot’, ‘Hamburg’, ‘(Das ist nicht) meine Welt’, ‘Die Krieger’ and ‘Paul ist tot’. However, I only stay briefly to listen to the dark soundscapes paired with massive beats, while frontwoman Bettina Bormann recites her apocalyptic lyrics. After just two songs, I make my way back to the main stage, replenish our drinks and join my friends who are still holding their spot in the second row. OBERER TOTPUNKT will perform as support for PROJECT PITCHFORK in Magdeburg in August, where I´ll be able to examine the project more closely.

Oberer Totpunkt SJO8156

Right around four, we hit up “this band where I’m like, they never disappoint”, so Jens, the host, says. I’m totally on board with that. The trio has been a fixture in electronic dance music for many years and is indispensable from both the Dance and Pop scenes. Their performances are incredibly enjoyable, and the performance by the Hamburg-based trio is one of my today’s highlights. There’s a great atmosphere right from the start. ‘New Kid in Town’, ‘Never Die’, and ‘Cupid’ are already being sung along to and cheered loudly. Lennart dances exuberantly on stage. The crowd in front of the stage follows suit, providing an excellent background chorus. ‘Flames Get Higher’, ‘Together’, ‘All Those City Lights’, ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Perfect Harmony’ bring cheerful smiles to the delighted audience’s faces. And Lennart looks extremely pleased as well. With ‘Better’ and ‘Keep Control’ the set reaches its radiant climax. “It’s been fun playing today” and it’s been incredibly fun to watch and celebrate along. SONO always delivers!

Sono SJO8208

On the 2nd Stage, ACCESSORY is currently performing. It’s quarter to five now, and we haven’t eaten anything since breakfast. Plus, we could really use a short breather. We decide to head the merchant mile for now. Supplied with vegan hotdogs, we find ourselves a seat. Eating while sitting down is just better and we can gather new energy for the rest of the evening. Unfortunately, we miss out on what’s happening in front of the 2nd Stage. It’s already too late for the Chemnitz Electro duo after we finish eating. So, back towards the main stage, where we just manage to make it in time for joining the ‘Richtfest’. The big hall is packed, and [:SITD:] are really heating up the place. We’ve missed the live premiere of their latest single ‘Brieselang’ unfortunately. [:SITD:] are already bidding farewell with ‘Snuff Machinery’ and leave the stage under the cheers and heavy applause from the audience.


So back to the 2nd Stage, where NNHMN is currently up. The small hall is pretty packed too, although there’s still space towards the back. We find a spot on the balcony and watch from there what’s happening on the smaller stage. The Berlin-based Dark-Electro duo mesmerizes the audience with songs like ‘Soldier of Beauty’ and ‘Lush Longing’. The hypnotic synth lines, pulsating rhythmic grooves, and the haunting vocals of singer Lee Margot captivate the crowd. People are dancing and cheering in front of the stage. Even up here on the balcony, many are swaying to the beat and letting the music carry them away.


We turn our attention back to the main stage, where KITE is about to create a dark wonderland of booming synthesizers, pulsating beats, majestic melodies, and a unique light installation just before half past six. The intro to ‘Remember Me’ already captivates the audience. The Swedish duo effortlessly enthrals their audience with songs like ‘Changing’, ‘I Can’t Stand’, ‘Don’t Take the Light Away’ and anthems like ‘Dance Again’ or ‘Johnny Boy’. The atmosphere among the audience is incredible. There’s clapping, singing along, and dancing. KITE paints dark dreamscapes with ‘Glassy Eyes’, ‘Hand Out the Drugs’ or ‘True Colours’ which hardly anyone in the room can resist. With a heavy heart, we bid farewell after ‘Panic Music’ just before the end of the show and head back to the smaller hall.

Kite SJO8550

On the way, we make a quick stop for some shopping, stowing our newly acquired treasure in the locker before turning our attention to POTOCHKINE on the 2nd stage. The duo from Marseille weaves together EBM, Techno, Synth-Punk, and Cold-Wave sounds into a unique musical blend. The expressive performance of singer Polly had already impressed me at the NCN Festival last September. And today, the French woman continues to impress me with her boundless energy. ‘Possédée’, ‘Les Chevaux’, ‘Destruction’, ‘Quand Les Autres Nous Effraient’ - she delivers the songs with such emotion and expressiveness that it’s a joy to watch the performance. She also seeks closeness to the audience, diving into the photo pit and climbing the barrier to be as close to the fans as possible. They respond with loud cheers, applause, and an excess of dancing. With ‘Pogo’, ‘Je déteste attendre’ and ‘La Fête de Narcisse’ the duo bids farewell to the stage just before eight, leaving a lasting impression on many visitors once again.

Potochkine SJO8571

We stay in the smaller Turbinenhalle 2 and find ourselves a place in front of stage, while SUICIDE COMMANDO is tearing it up on the main stage. Classics like ‘God is in the Rain’, ‘Dein Herz, Meine Gier’ or ‘Hellraiser’ must have had the hall rocking. We use this short break to refill our drinks, chat a bit with friends, and give our tired bones a bit of a rest. During the soundcheck for the upcoming performance by FROZEN PLASMA, heart-shaped balloons and confetti cannons are distributed. The audience takes advantage of the short soundcheck to warm up their voices as well. Just after half past eight, it seems like everyone is ready for the next party, and host Jens welcomes his “favourite ‘Gyros-Heinz’ and his Swabian fitness model”.

Suicide Commando SJO8642

“All we have is now” is written on the screen as Vasi and Felix take the stage. The band logo is flanked by a red heart on one side and a peace symbol on the other. Already during ‘Warmongers’ and ‘Condense’, there is loud singing along. Hands are in the air and there’s clapping along. Even FROZEN PLASMA couldn’t wish for a better background choir tonight. Especially during ‘Gefühlsmaschine’, Felix repeatedly holds the microphone out to the audience, who sings the chorus loudly. After ‘Maniac’, it’s time for balloons, confetti, and lots of love. FROZEN PLASMA ‘Let it Rain Love’ and thousands of small paper hearts swirl through the hall. What a sight, what a message. ‘Crazy’ and ‘Living on Video’ follow, and then “It’s time, hands in the air” and the whole hall “joins in on this wave”, which fills the room from the first to the last row until the end of ‘Irony’. It just looks fantastic. ‘Safe.Dead.Harm’, ‘Tanz die Revolution’, ‘Murderous Trap’ - with that, the one-hour set is already over, and Felix and Vasi bid farewell to their cheering fans.

Frozen Plasma SJO8749

We switch back to the main stage, where COVENANT has been heating up the audience for a quarter of an hour already. The hall is packed to the brim, and we find ourselves a spot in the back. From ‘Leviatan’, ‘Dead stars’, ‘Dynamo Clock’ to ‘Edge of Dawn’, the crowd dances and celebrates all the way to the last row. Then comes ‘The Beauty and The Grace’ by Daniel Myer, ‘All That Is Solid Melts into The Air’, ‘20 hz’ and ‘Last Dance’. It always surprises me how diverse COVENANT makes their performances and which songs Eskil and his bandmates choose. No setlist is like the other. After ‘ritual noise’ and ‘Wir Sind die Nacht’, it’s time for Daniel Myer, who steps forward and takes over the mic for ‘Lightbringer’, while Eskil jumps up and down behind the synthesizer. Big finale: with ‘Call the Ships to Port’, the trio amps it up one last time and bids farewell to the stage with a classic and a real banger.

Covenant SJO8773

The last 10 hours have taken a toll on us, and we’re feeling hungry. While NACHTMAHR is already winding down the evening on the 2nd stage, we decide to grab some food and take a few minutes to sit down. Strengthened and refreshed, we find a spot on the balcony of the main hall and wait for the last act of the evening. “So, finale!” announces moderator Jens, introducing tonight’s headliner NITZER EBB. However, the moderator brings some unfortunate news. Singer Douglas McCarthy cannot perform due to health reasons. The band considered cancelling the performance without the singer but decided to go on anyway. Bon Harris, who supported MORPHOSE with his “Songs from the Lemon Tree” at the Kulttempel Oberhausen in November and is responsible for the distinctive NITZER EBB sound, will take over the microphone. Additionally, Daniel Myer has agreed to step in and provide keyboard support. Jens wishes Douglas to get well soon. Unfortunately, Douglas’s health condition prevents him from performing at the Fixmer/McCarthy show scheduled for next week as part of the E-Only Festival in Leipzig. Instead, Terence Fixmer will now perform a solo set there. At this point, we also wish Douglas all the best and a speedy recovery.

Nitzer Ebb SJO8842

But back to E-tropolis, where Jens asks the fans to give it their all despite the situation. Shock and concern for the singer are palpable in the room. However, when Bon Harrys takes the stage, he is warmly welcomed with frenzied cheers and celebration. ‘Control I’m Here’, ‘Hearts and Minds’, ‘Blood Money’, ‘For Fun’ and many other songs are sung along loudly. There’s dancing, clapping, and jumping. The floor vibrates from the bass and trembles from the movement of dancing and jumping by hundreds of feet. As the finale approaches, there’s a surge of energy in the venue, and for those who haven’t had enough, after NITZER EBB leaves the stage, they can dance until the early hours at the after-show party.

e-tropolis 2024 impressions byAileenRitter90

If you want to share your opinions, wishes, or suggestions about E-tropolis, you can do so in the visitor survey at There, you can also express your band preferences for the 13th E-tropolis, which will take place on 22nd March 2025. With HOCICO, CHROM, and ALIENARE already confirmed as the first bands, mark your calendars for the event.

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All Pictures by Silke Jochum (band pictures) and Aileen Ritter (impressions gallery)

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