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08.06.2010. METALFEST AUSTRIA and METALFEST TOULOUSE

 

Confusing? Yes. The first Metalfest is an event organized all over the more 'metal' parts of Europe, being Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Switzerland and Metalfest Toulouse is an event organized completely independantly on a 'less metal' part of the world to say the least: the South of France.

 

 

Alestorm, MetalFest Austria

 

 

I was hired by a number of bands on the Metalfest Austria to come over and shoot some promotional and endorsement shots, mainly for the likes of long time partners and friends FINNTROLL, ELUVEITIE, ALESTORM and TYR but also for SIX FEET UNDER.

 

Shining,  MetalFest Austria

 

Metalfest Austria, formerly known as Summer Nights Festival, has been taking place right across the river Inn on the Austrian German  border and exists since 2007. Its increasing popularity took it from being a small time one-stage even in the court of Castle Fraunstein to a massive 3 stage (2 outdoor and one tent stage) event on a larger location. I've been coming to Metalfest Austria since 2008, and it's attractive to me for two main reasons. First, it's only two hours away from my home studio. Second, it also has an amazing line up. This year, most of the bands I work for and enjoy watching most were featured there. Even if I had a job to do in Munich where I missed all the bands on the Friday I was still able to catch all the excitement on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Notable moments were the lady-teasing show of SHINING on the Thursday, along with my destruction of Alestorm's 'Keelhauled', as every time, and of course the Pagan Alliance between FINNTROLL and ELUVEITIE. Indeed, the two heavyweights of the Pagan Metal scene literally joined forces on stage on the Metalfest saturday and played a two hour set mixing members of both bands and playing songs from both band's wide repertoire. As I've shot both aforementioned bands about one hundred times each, I figured I'd try something new. Since I'd been asked by Terrorizer to go ahead and interview a few bands, I had just finished a 'bar rant' feature of Mark Jansen from EPICA when FINNTROLL-ELUVEITIE were about to start with their pagan marathon, so I didn't give Mister Jansen any other choice but to joing me and take my spare body into the photopit where I instructed him on who and how to shoot, just for kicks.

 

Finntroll,  MetalFest Austria

 

Altogether, it was quite a nice kickoff to the festival season, if it weren't for the massive pourdowns and seas of mud, and I know for sure that I'll be covering this festival again next year.

 

 

Six Feet Under,  MetalFest Austria

 

A of couple week ends  later, my festival-o-meter beginning to run low, I was sitting around waiting for action to happen. I even took on cycling as a new challenge and signed up to a cycling competition near the Munich airport. Sitting at home is really not good for me, so the second the CYNIC tour manager asked me to come out and shoot the band on a festival in the South of France, I seized the occasion and hopped on the first plane. For me it was actually a double win since the whole Dujardin clan resides in the area, and my grandmother being seriously sick, I figured 'hey, I'll just go out to the hot, sunny South of France, stay in the pool at my uncle's place and go shoot some metal at the Toulouse Metalfest'. As spontaneous as I am, I didn't really bother looking up any background information on the festival but if my (dodgy) memory serves me well, I believe it's the first time such an event is organized in the area.

 

Epica,  MetalFest Toulouse

 

The line up was fairly decent, but alone it wouldn't have made me buy a ticket to fly two hours down. The lovely weather and the fact I got to go swimming, shopping, riding a big Japanese motorcycle and a small dirtbike in the hills, visit my uncle's pig and chickens on top of the chance to finally eat delicious French food, drink French wine, and on top shoot a metal gig was a much better motivation. 

 

Epica enjoying the summer, MetalFest Toulouse

 

Nevertheless, the festival wasn't as small as I originally expected. The venue was brand new, indoors, two stages, with a capacity of 3000 and was maybe 2/3 full. I ended up enjoying the weather more than the gigs and only shot CYNIC and EPICA. I closed the day being pulled into a muddy, mosquito ridden river behind the venue, to cool off after being out in the well over 30 degrees Celcius and coming home with mosquito bites the size of two Euro coins all over my body. Altogether, I guess it's simply funny to underline the fact that within the same month, I shot two 'Metalfests', one in the cold, wet mud of Austria and the other in the sizzling heat of the South of France. Both times, however, I travelled home with a satisfied smile over my face, making me look forward to the rest of the summer, that will be spent at HELLFEST, TUSKA, RUISROCK and WACKEN to mention only a couple. My advice? Don't be boring and stay home. Festival season is on, and I'm sure as hell gonna be there.

 

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