Desertfest 2024,

Columbiahalle Berlin, 05-24 - 05-26-2024

This year's line-up was far more experimental than in previous years, which was obviously also the reason for the lower number of spectators than last year. If the usual suspects had been on the bill again, it would have been: "Again like Orange Goblin, Graveyard, etc." So the level of pre-Corona (over)saturation has apparently been reached again. The only difference is that transport and energy costs drove ticket and hotel prices to unprecedented levels. Added to this the German Cup final took place in Berlin with around 80-100,000 fans, so a lot of hotels were not available. The organizers solved this problem with the possibility for the spectators to sleep in the Columbia Theater.

The organizers are even more caught in a dilemma between economic profitability on the one hand and musical variety on the other. In addition to music and merchandise, we fans mainly take away stories and feelings and the organizers deserve a big thank you for that.

Despite all our gratitude for the festival, we asked ourselves during the festival why the stage lights in the Columbia Theater have to be either red or blue and why you can't see the band as a spectator or as a photographer? Did the bands want it that way, or were those in charge unwilling or unable to bring some visual movement into the mostly static music, or was it an educational measure to not use your smartphone so you can concentrate better on the music? But how is that supposed to work if you can see the bands and the audience and the bands can't interact with each other? In contrast, the bombastic light show in the Columbiahalle made more out of mostly trivial music.

It was interesting to see that Doom, which I find extremely depressive music, was so celebrated by the audience. It makes me think, because of the resonance between the audience, the music and the bands. Obviously, like attracts like, so acoustic meets personal auto-aggression. And the fact that the same people left the theater with shining eyes after Zerre, who gave the audience good, friendly violent fun, astonishes me even more.

In addition to the personal stories, quite contradictory facts also remain in the memory. So all in all, it was a remarkable trip and a remarkable festival for us country folk.

around the festival