Amon Amarth, Black Sabbath, Blues Pills, Bolt Thrower, Children of Bodom, Come To The Sabbath, Elin Larsson, Headliner, Hellfueled, Jörg Litges, Judas Priest, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Ozzy Osbourne, Painkiller, Queen Of Spades Photography, Rock Am Ring, Rock Hard Festival, Rock Hard Megazine, Sodom, The Devil's Blood, Yorck Segatz
One morning in June some twenty years ago, I was…15 and this is a totally different story. It was the end of May actually some 14 years ago when it all started, my personal Rock Hard history. After the very first and supposed one-off event, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Rock Hard Megazine, the second coming came and would be my initial visit to what became an institution not just among the international Metal madness, but in my life as well. It was the third festival I would ever visit, back then at the tender age of 21 – back in the days we didn’t have fucking facebook to keep up with what’s going on. Getting to know new people demanded to go to places and meet in person – it was a wild time and I loved it! The first two times as a more or less regular visitor and some time in between, attending Rock am Rind in 2006, being your typical broke student and a sick interlude, 2009 I finally had turned into one of those annoying media folks, attending RHF for ten consecutive years!
It was that very year, 2009, that I immortalized myself as part of the Rock Hard history, performing on the main stage as a winner of the karaoke contest that took place the first few festival editions. And I hadn’t had it any other way than screaming my lungs out with the Judas Priest classic “Painkiller” – not to mention I would have needed some painkillers afterwards to sooth my sore throat from performing in front of a 6000 plus audience, let alone at an open air event! What a time to be alive. Just like the magazine, the festival itself has always been dedicated to a wide range of genres and as a support of the underground. We saw bands working their way up from tiny club shows to entering the charts on the pole position. Yes, this is the story of Blues Pills – a band I’ve always loved and that will have a special place in my heart forever and ever. I will spear your all the personal anecdotes for now.
Gone all pro taking pictures with my phone in the photo-pit
Within the course of 14 years I had some of the best times ever, crowd surfing while Children Of Bodom played, banning my head hard for Amon Amarth and having my boobs signed by the Swedish sons of Ozzy Osbourne, Hellfueled, all in 2005. After a short absence in 2006, I also caught up with Bolt Thrower at their second time at RHF in 2012. And who could forget King Diamond‘s theatrical act in 2013, still gives me chills. But most memorable for me will be The Devil’s Blood, headlining in 2010, since no one wanted the stage after their blood-ridden ritual. Besides all these great bands, Rock Hard has always been a festival for families and friends and it really is and has been for me. Some folks I would just see once a year during the pentecoast weekend.
Gone REALLY pro on stage singing ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest
You’ve come a long way within the past 15 years, dear Rock Hard Festival and for the past ten years I couldn’t even imagine being anywhere else around this time of year, but now I feel that it’s time to move on. So much has changed and not all of it for the better. But I will always treasure my memories, specially of spending time with some of my best friends at the annual festivities. Most of all teaming up with my friend Susan at Queen Of Spades Photography in 2015 after the untimely demise of Jörg Litges, my former partner in crime of two years. And 2018 will always be a very special one to look back at as my former band mate Sonja joined in the fierce fun and my bestie Yorck made his debut as a real Rockstar and latest addition to Thrash legend Sodom. It might have been the last time for me for now, but it was one heck of a ride! Thanks.