Although I have been to many German festivals before, this was the first time I sampled M’era Luna. Just a half hour from Hannover, this festival has been going since 2000 in its current incarnation (FKP Scorpio, the organsing body, previously ran this festival in conjunction with Zillo magazine, and decided to keep it on under the flag “M’era Luna” after the cooperation ended in 1999 – you can read my interview with the organisers here). Based at what appears to be a disused airport in Hildesheim, just a half hour from Hannover, it’s a relatively easy journey from the UK – although does
involve a train and bus from the Hannover airport. Another, slightly more fun option, would be to join the annual “Goths on a Bus” tour! Picking up from various spots around England and ferrying the black clad masses across the channel, ensures you’ll arrive ready for the party with your fellow goth horde. (see the facebook group to find out about next year’s trip)
I think the one thing that made me never really consider adding M’era Luna to my summer goth fest line-up was the camping aspect. Now I was your hardy South African child growing up in the bushveld but have since rather grown to enjoy my creature comforts. Luckily though this year they introduced a Glamping option! Their Phobos tents, come complete with proper beds (which were very comfortable actually!), an electricity point, wifi, wooden flooring, a light and deck chairs. So I bravely experienced my first camping trip (look, there was still no ensuite nor room service, so I’ll just gloss over the “glam” side of it and declare I camped! 😉 There are hotels in the vicinity but they vary from a 20 minute to 40 minute walk and depending on what you enjoy, leaving the festival ground can detract from the overall experience, but at least the option is there too.
The festival itself was a great deal of fun, it’s the third year in a row it was completely sold out which caused a real buzz around the festival ground but the great abundance of facilities never meant you had to queue for anything for too long. It’s always nice when everything is contained and yet there is enough to keep you interested from dawn to dusk (and long into the night). From a very well-orchestrated and spectacular fasion show, to spoken word and fire shows (by Pyrohex – a definite must-see, the stunning and multi-talented Shelley d’inferno and her sexy cohorts provide a thrilling and visually stunning show). Then of course the main attraction – the band line-up: headlining was one of my favourite bands ASP who were great to see again. Sadly they are not played much here in the UK and I’m not entirely sure why! Perhaps because most of their music is sung in German, but their English songs are among my favourite – if you don’t know them, check them out! Other bands we enjoyed were Rob Zombie (great to finally see Dragula live!), Phillip Boa and The Voodooclub, and Apoptygma Berzerk. But what was nice about the main stage was that even if you weren’t actually watching the band you could hear the music from almost everywhere in the festival grounds – and there’s a few bands I previously didn’t know that I now need to stalk on spotify!
Weather-wise is was pretty much perfect festival weather, sunny, hot and dry (apart from a brief shower on Saturday morning). However this is not entirely goth-friendly weather! Luckily I had enough foresight for forgo corsets and opt for diaphanous dresses but even with a parasol that never left my hand, I was a couple of degrees off melting point. I think it’s a secret German plot; having their festivals in the heat of summer, killing off the Victorian Goths in favour of the skimpy and studded outfits of the fetish and goth-metallers … they did seem to have the most appropriate attire! Perhaps next time I’ll dig out my bohemian dresses and just sit in the medieval village drinking mead (got to love mead!) or strip off and join the naked Germans in their hot-tub! (fyi. naked Germans are a prerequisite at any German festival, be warned ;
Shopping-wise, there was a great selection of wares on offer from the great retailers such as Attitude Holland to the original designers selling their wares direct. It’s always nice to be able to pop by and see my friend Bertoldini Giuliana and his fantastic venetian masks and intricate metal-work as well as catch up on the latest Europian Vampiric happenings with Father Sebastiaan while he initiated more people into his Sabretooth Clan, and of course the Alchemy Gothic stand was a huge attraction and was often so busy I could barely squeeze in
All in all, a great event which nicely sits between an extravagant dressy pull-out-all-the-stops occasion and a Wellington Boot, down-and-dirty outdoor festival experience. When bands already announced for 2016 include Fields Of The Nephilim, The Lord Of The Lost Ensemble, Die Krupps and Suicide Commando, best reserve your ticket now and take advantage of the presales price! http://www.meraluna.de/en/
Words by Lady Amaranth
Enjoy your festival mead from our range of Alchemy Drinking Vessels including The Freya Saga [AAT7] or the breathe taking Viking Horn [AAT25] with it’s pewter detailing and resin bone-styled handle. Make sure all of your belonging are packed in style with the leather Coffin Back Pack [LG32] with cross detailing, and adjustable leather straps making it perfect for day use. As for the outfits, be dressed in your festival best with She Walks In Beauty Choker [P640] with matching earrings [E315] or the Tears Of Grief Choker [P638] and matching bracelet [A98] with Swarovski crystals and tied with an elegant satin ribbon, it will dazzle and sparkle in the festival sunshine.