Against Magazine

WITH FULL FORCE: festival preview (Article)


When I start with a new employer I always tell them in the beginning I can’t work around the first weekend of July, because I have to go to a music festival. They usually think I’m joking. I am not.

I’ll openly admit it: When it comes to the With Full Force Festival I might be biased a little.  And with „might be“ I mean „definitely“.  And with „maybe a little“ I mean „as fuck“!

This is my hometown Festival; it takes me about a 30 minute drive to get there. I’ve been there for the last 12 years. I missed it only one time because I happened to be on another bloody continent when it took place. One of my biggest regrets to date is missing one day of it by choosing my high school prom night over it. In retrospect I blame peer pressure on that one.

To put things in perspective: The With Full Force Festival is your favorite icecream without brainfreeze. It is publich transportation without other people. The way I see it the WFF is Neverland without Capt. Hook.

Hell, there’s a video of me being pulled up on stage by Max Cavalera from Soulfly (one of my all-time favorites) when they were headlining one night. My mother saw that video once and said the last time she remembered me looking that happy I was 4 years old and we were in Disneyland for fucks sake. It might be safe to say I kinda enjoy the place.

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The With Full Force Festival has been around for 21 years now, bringing metal, hard-core and punk music to three generations of visitors every summer. Nowadays you can expect about 30,000 folks showing up, which is a nice size in my opinion. The whole thing has really neat structure to it, meaning it is like several smaller festivals within a bigger one. Obviously you get the Main Stage with all the big more metall-ish attractions, but there is also the Tent-Stage, where the „Hardbowl“ is happening, which is much more Hardcore/Metalcore-oriented. If you prefer to hail Satan „Knüppelnacht“ on Friday Night would be your thing. You wanna rock out and dance? How about „Saturday Night Fever“? And if after all three days you’re still standing and are looking for more „The Last Supper“ on Sundays is your place to go.

Of course the whole camping thing makes the experience special in itself. It is pretty hard to walk from your tend to a stage without making friends along the way (if you want to or not). I know a few people that come there just for this very atmosphere. They don’t care about the music, they just want to camp and get shitfaced with some nice folks. Me personally I am very much more focused on the music happening.




Over the years the WWF has been surprisingly consistent in its lineup while keeping the internal variety. Meaning: You know how some festivals tend to go softer and more mainstream over the years? They don’t. Sick Of It All have been a headliner on the very first WFF. Guess who still shows up every other year including this one? Damn right, the inventors of the wall of death themselves… Among many others, visitors, that decide to enter the fields on 3rd to 5th of July can look forward to enjoying Heaven Shall Burn, Parkway Drive, In Flames, Lamb of God, Kreator and Carcass. I personally am very much looking forward to Terror and Red Fang and my inner childhood wants to see Fear Factory.

So, what’s more to do except packing the gear, printing the running order and looking forward to one of the best weekends of the year…

PS: Even though this sounds like I am being paid to write this; I can assure you I am not. Which makes me question my career choices…

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