I went to Resurrection Fest in July, a small(ish) rock festival in Northern Spain. The festival focuses predominately on extreme rock – heavy metal, black metal, punk and HXC (hardcore punk), and has previously featured the likes of Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Megadeth and Slayer. It’s basically as far-removed from a mainstream festival as you could get, so it ticked all the boxes for me; you won’t catch me at Glastonbury, Reading et al.
Although I went to a few festivals in my teens and early twenties, I only started going with any regularity a few years ago and I left a massive gap in between where I went to none. Just to be clear, for me, “doing a festival” means attending the full weekend and should probably include camping. One-dayer jobbies do not count as far as I’m concerned – so Lovebox, Madstock, On Blackheath etcetera are not festivals.
Since I turned 30 I have been to Primavera in Barcelona, Secret Garden Party (twice) and ATP’s Nightmare Before Xmas (both of which are UK-based). I enjoyed these experiences massively, but had sort of resigned myself to the fact that I’m far too old for any more of that malarkey now and would not be visiting any more.
But then I saw the lineup for Resurrection Fest and had to go. Featuring 3 of the bands I have always wanted to see (mentioned here) – Rammstein, Rancid and Mayhem – plus loads of other great bands such as Sepultura, Taake, Anthrax and Napalm Death; this was a once-in-a-lifetime dream lineup for me and could not be missed.
The festival ran for 4 days between 5-8th July and was held in Viveiro, a small town that is fairly remote and in a region that is almost completely non-English speaking (including all food menus and signs). There was a national bus strike on the day I arrived as well, which added to the sense of adventure/chaos by making the journey from the airport to the final destination somewhat tricky. And I was also carrying a tent.
What I would normally do under these circumstances and in a situation such as this, would be to select a likely group of people who look like they might be on the way to the festival, and follow them at a discreet distance until I get there. Unfortunately this was not really an option here, as the average young Spanish person looks very much like they might be on to rock festival (so everyone on the street looks like they might be on their way).
Due to these reasons it took about 16 hours of to get there, which is longer than it took me to get to Vietnam! This also meant that I had to pitch a tent in the dark, and sadly missed two of the bands I had most wanted to see, Sepultura and Pentagram.
In true Dunkirk spirit, however, I did not let this dampen my enthusiasm and had a really good time throughout, with good music and friends, decent weather and plenty of beer. Needless to say, Rammstein and Rancid put on amazing shows and were everything I had hoped they would be.
I spotted this quote by the late great Lemmy (of Motorhead) which pretty much sums everything up. It simply reads, “If you think you are too old to rock ‘n roll… then you are“. I’m not in focus in the photo (as is usually the case when I attempt to pose for a picture) but you get the gist:
So possibly there are a few more festivals left in me after all…
Here’s a quick rundown of the bands I managed to see. In addition to Rammstein and Rancid, other highlights included Anthrax, Taake, Mayhem, Noctem and Morpheum, but generally everything was good. The only bands I saw that I wasn’t keen on were Architects and Suicidal Tendencies.
Day One – Thursday
Devil Wears Prada
The Black Dahlia Murders
Day Two – Friday
Legacy of Brutality
Wisdom in Chains
Day Three – Saturday
Lords of Black
(And there was also a warm up day on the Wednesday that I managed to completey miss due to transport woes as previously mentioned…)