Lollapalooza, Berlin

What a weekend I have had. I write this whilst listening to Bear’s Den, a new band I discovered at the Lollapalooza festival in Berlin (“Above the clouds of Pompeii” is a lovely song). I’m just going to go ahead and tell you all about my first ever festival experience, trying not to make you jealous. Because honestly, it was one of my best weekends yet!

I met Donata on Saturday morning at Poznan central train station. We had decided to pack extremely light for our trip and so it was just me, my bum bag full of essentials and the clothes on my back. It wasn’t a camping festival so there was no need for a tent. We got a train at Poznan and off we headed to Berlin. I mean, how cool is that for a start? A train from one country to the next. Just a casual Saturday morning here in Europe. After a few hours we arrived at Berlin and I instantly loved Germany. Berlin is a buzzing city, full of people of all styles. I must say, I felt quite out of place with my wavy brown hair and short height, the go-to look is straight blonde hair with legs as high as my shoulders!!! Anyway, off of the train and onto the tram, we headed to the festival location along with hundreds of other Lollapalooza goers. Most girls were adorned with glitter and the guys armed with a bottle of beer. Yep, we were definitely heading the right way. By the end of the line the S-Bahn was packed, the doors opened at Hoppergarten and we followed the signs for the festival.

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We were quite early so the queues weren’t that big and we soon got in. There was colour everywhere, from giant flower statues, to a flashing ferris wheel, yep, this weekend would be fun. We had a wander around and made our way to main stage one where some amazingly energetic caribbean music was blaring. We checked the timetable and it was Bomba Estereo. The stage was alive and it was a brilliant way to start the festival, already a new band I’ll happily listen to again. After the Caribbean party we headed to main stage 2 to discover yet another new band, Bear’s Den. A group of lads from England, their music is beautiful and relaxing and a welcome addition to my music bank.

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Now for the first act we’d actually planned to see, George Ezra. We got right at the front row and could barely contain our excitement. I had some crazy idea he might gaze into my eyes whilst singing one of his tunes and fall madly in love with me and we could just travel the world with his guitar. That didn’t quite happen, but wow was it amazing to see him live. After his show we went and got something to eat before the next show. The food options were amazing with choices from all around the globe. Being in Germany we opted for a bratwurst, it was wonderful, they have a spice to them I really didn’t expect! Refuelled and ready for more music we headed back to main stage one for Mumford and sons. I was so excited. This band reminds me of road trips with my Dad back when I was scouting potential Uni’s. There we would be, donuts in hand, singing to their folk style songs, playing our air banjos. To see them live was such a treat for me. The crowd was huge but it just added to the atmosphere. We even got a surprise performance from Baaba Maal, a south african singer they collaborated with last year. This was a treat for me because I love South African music. An amazing two hour show and then we finished the night with another favourite band of mine, Two Door Cinema Club. One of there songs, “sun”, reminds me of my trip to Kenya. Hearing it live was breathtaking. I just looked up to the star filled sky with a huge smile, the noise from the bass shaking my body and making me feel electric. Nothing quite like it.

Getting to our guest house was a small nightmare. The festival organisers hadn’t quite thought through the mass of people that would need to get the s-bahn back to Berlin centre. It was chaos. To cut a very long story (that isn’t all that interesting) short, 2 and a half hours after leaving, we finally got to our beds!

 

Morning of day 2 and we were pretty tired from dancing and our late night but we were so excited for another day full of music. The guest house we were staying at was quite strange. I went to the loo before leaving to find a lady using the facilities with the door wide open. You meet alsorts on travels. Anyway… we set off and were embraced by warm sunshine and blue sky, a welcome change from the rain yesterday. We ate breakfast en-route to the festival and grabbed a caffeine boost from some much needed coffee. Sigrid was the first act of the day for us. We got right at the front again, we were getting pretty good at this festival thing now! She appeared on stage in a flowing, silver skirt, multi-coloured top and pink denim jacket. She’s a titchy, Norwegian singer and her presence on stage is delightful. Full of fun and smiles. Her singing style is really quirky and I challenge anyone not to want to dance to her music. What a way to start our second day.

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Lunch was amazing. I had frozen acai smoothie with an array of superfood toppings. I was recharged and ready for more dancing. We went to see Anne- Marie on main stage one. She said her songs were mainly about bad ex-boyfriends, they’ve not gotten the better of her though, she was full of smiles. Straight from there we went to another stage to see Rudimental. The crowd was fantastic. I don’t think I stopped moving for the entire set.

We needed a refuel and so grabbed some food and a sit down on the grass. London Grammar were next, and I have to say, the singers voice is a thing of beauty. It was nice to just stand and sway and appreciate the talent of the three people on stage. If you don’t know London Grammar I would listen to “Metal & Dust” or “Hey Now” off of there first album. I can’t think of anything better to listen to to just unwind with a cup of tea after a busy day.

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We rushed to the main stage after London Grammar just in time for the Foo Fighters. What an amazing night. The talent of that band is just ridiculous. I’ve never seen a band perform that were so absorbed by music. It was almost superhuman. They were so in sync with each other. I was completely lost in the music, I didn’t care what I looked like, how ridiculous my dancing was, I just wanted to go for it. Even as I write this my throat is sore and my ears are ringing. A reminder of the buzz of it all.

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We left the festival and got ahead of the crowd so our journey wasn’t as long as the previous day. We had to get back to Poznan and so we had arranged a pick up with a man called Paul through Blabla car. Unfortunately he was delayed by 2 hours and so we loitered at Berlin Airport (our pick up spot) until 2:30am. Many coffees later, we finally began our trip back to Poznan. Paul got us back safe and sound for about 5:30. Seeing no point in sleeping, I got a shower and headed to work. I lasted a few hours before admitting defeat and headed home for 40 winks.

 

This weekend was incredible. I am completely smitten by live music again. It has been a while, but now I feel like something has ignited inside me. Seriously, what is more amazing than hearing amazing talent and feeling the sound waves rush through you. It’s electric. Sorry if this was slightly long winded for what is essentially just a bog standard music festival. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. What am I going to do next? Get myself a record player and get my own vinyl collection going. Maybe my blog can become a place for nature and music and travel? A mash up of alsorts. For now, I’m going to go with the beat of life and probably catch some much needed sleep.

If you read this, why don’t you go and find your favourite song or album or artist and just sit and listen. Or dance. Just take a few minutes and smile.

There is nothing better.

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