Am Hawerkamp, Münster, Germany
26th June 2010
Vainstream Rockfest 2010: NoFX, As I Lay Dying, Ska-P, Danko Jones, K.I.Z, Broilers, Hot Water Music, Madball, A Day To Remember, Atreyu, Agnostic Front, 36 Crazyfists, Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, Neaera, Alexisonfire, Skindred, Raised Fist, Smoke Blow, Unearth, Sondaschule, Job For A Cowboy, Skarhead, Bleeding Through, Between The Buries & Me, Deadlock, The Faceless, We Butter The Bread With Butter
After driving through the night and foggy haze of the upcoming day for over 5 hours I finally arrived at the scene of this year’s Vainstream-Festival in Münster, Germany. This small festival is already in its fifth year and still growing. For this year’s anniversary, a bold rooster of artists was announced and we were eager to begin the day with THE FACELESS. What was completely new to us was the refreshing news that I wouldn't have to park in mud and soil, because of its central location in downtown Münster I instead chose to get to a parking lot. A mixture of uninformed and young security personnel caused me an hour long search for the press-point to get my ticket.
Job for a Cowboy
It was not less of a problem for the common festival attendee to get his wristband with a questionable system of linked shipping containers as check points. People had to wait between 30 minutes and 2 hours, just to get on the festival grounds, because everyone waited at the first crate and instead of routing everyone to the other crates no one thought of any action.
Then it finally was time for me to enter the area in front of the stages. Already a large crowd awaited me and I made my way looking around the infrastructure checking food and toilet facilities. What I didn't notice at first, but which became a problem later on: Places in the shadow and trash cans were lying few and far apart. There was no deposit whatsoever on drinks and bottles and instead of searching for trash cans; people disposed of them on the ground. What at first seemed like no big deal became a pile of empty water bottles from the large amounts of water; people consumed because of the really hot weather and just threw away afterwards. At 6 PM it was hardly possible anymore to walk the area without hitting bottles - a safety hazard for sure.
Back to the line-up! The first band I witnessed was BLEEDING TROUGH. An energetic and great start into the day seeing the lead singer Brendan “Sheep” Schieppati screaming his lungs out! When ATREYU hit the stage, I was gathering opinions from other attendees. Everyone shared my impressions, long waiting times and the ticket counter, the price of water (priced the same like beer) too high, not enough signposting to easily find the way one should take.
The next one up was 36 CRAZYFISTS. Great show and what I immediately noticed was that the voice of Brock Lindow wasn't laden with effects and filters.
The Canadians from DANKO JONES were first surprised and then got happy about the high percentage of females in the crowd, so this festival wouldn't become a "sausage party". Danko himself again managed to show everyone what an exceptional guitarist he is.
To this point the sun has been shining all day at its brightest and on the festival area itself the only spots lying in shadows were the Dixi toilets. Everything was heated up and water was for sure the most bought drink that day. Because of no pawn on the bottles, soon everything was littered with plastic cups and bottles and the later it got the harder it was to even walk around the slipping hazard that these bottles represented.
Anyway, for the hardcore audience, MADBALL from NY appeared as next band! Nice mosh pit, but could have been a little bigger. They rushed through their set, just in time to watch the football game at the VIP tent. The performance following afterwards was the one of K.I.Z., a Berlin based Hip Hop band, not fitting to the other bands but the audience still went crazy.
It got hot again with A DAY TO REMEMBER. At this point, the area was close to being completely packed. You literally had to search for a spot to stand. The lads around Jeremy McKinnon had the people stuck to their lips. They had great mosh parts and breakdowns. That’s the ADTR we love. That was acknowledged by the fans with hard moshing and great atmosphere.
A Day to Remember
For the old-school fans HOT WATER MUSIC performed a horrific set, with other bands that already had their performance watching from the site. To stay on schedule, the organizers decided to let BROILERS start their show before HOT WATER MUSIC performed the last song.
Hot Water Music
With the Spanish band SKA-P coming up on the second stage; we were in for a fun ride rarely to be seen. Gorillas in police suits, the pope and many other characters were brought on stage to criticize the government in ska-style.
AS I LAY DYING tried to absolutely wreck the festival and they succeeded with songs from the new album ‘A Powerless Rise’ and hits like ‘Forever’ and ‘Nothing Left’.
As I lay Dying
The headliner NOFX showed the audience that even after 30 years they’re still on and rocking. Those who attended a concert of them before know that Fat Mike and the other members like to talk quite a lot. Fat Mike even told a story about the band manager coming up and telling the guys to please play more than two songs. Luckily for us, they did perform more than two songs and helped bringing back lost memories of past times.
As a final word, Vainstream has the potential to become one of the better independent festivals of Germany. But there are still issues to be solved like deposits on beverages and more space for the people. Thank you Vainstream, we had a great time and would like to come back next year for more great bands, kicking some ass!
All pictures by Jan-Philipp Stehli