Donauinselfest [Danube Island Festival]Saturday, 30. July 2011
The Donauinselfest is an annual open-air festival in Vienna. They got music, food, sport stuff and almost 3 million visitors in the course of one weekend. (As far as I know it’s the biggest open-air festival in Europe and it’s free.)
I usually avoid it like the plague – it’s just too big and too crowded – and the first and up till now last time I actually went was in 2003. But this year I ended up going twice. On Saturday, I wanted to catch Attwenger and Russkaja and on Sunday The Beth Edges.
Saturday, unfortunately was not that much of a success. We got to the Attwengerconcert and there were so many people there that we were standing way back in the back, where the sound sucked and their usual so amazing energy on stage just didn’t translate. So instead of dancing, I just pretty much spend the whole concert talking to * and her boyfriend.
Afterwards we decided to head to the Russkaja concert (which of course happened on the other end of the island so it was about a 20 (or was it 30?) minute walk through one giant crowd). We were hoping to get some dancing done there.
When we arrived at their stage, the concert was already going strong. The crowd there was packed tight. And when I say it was packed tight, I mean that we squeezed very hard to get close enough to see one corner of the stage and then we couldn’t move any more. While the energy was good, it was impossible to stay there longer than a few minutes.
So after about 15 minutes (tops) we fought our way back out and decided to call it a day.
Despite this Saturday that only served to remind me why I usually don’t go to the Donauinselfest, I decided to brave the festival one more time on Sunday – and all to see The Beth Edges. Because I lovelovelovelove them and it’s their only show this year that I’m likely to catch.
And they were brilliant as usual. Seriously, people, I don’t know why they are not hyped as Austria’s next big band and played everywhere. This is probably the reason why they still seem extremely grateful that anybody showed up for their show at all. Which is endearing, but a bit more self-confidence would be nice, too.
[Let me just say, I'm pretty sure that's not me screaming in the background there. I'm not that far of a goner. I also don't travel after them when they're on tour. Not that the thought hasn't crossed my mind. ;)]
The stage they were playing at was rather small, and I’m guessing that there were about 50 people listening, maybe 70, so the atmosphere was really familar and very relaxed. Perfect for a Sunday evening and wonderful enough that I might consider going to the festival again – just avoiding the big stages. [I'm sure the festival will be overjoyed to hear that.]