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Preview: Rockharz Open Air

Saxon, Avantasia, Children of Bodom, Powerwolf, ASP, Gamma Ray, Saltation Mortis, Subway to Sally, Sonata Arctica, Satyricon, Ensiferum, Soilwork, Annihilator, Fintroll, Kärbholz, Knorkator, Hämatom, Glory Hammer, Enslaved, Spiritual Beggars, Primordial, & Various other bands
in Wednesday, 6 July 2016 at Ballenstedt
by Erika Kuenstler

Despite the slew of rain and bad weather this season, summer is finally upon us, bring with it the much anticipated Metal festival season, which is now in full-swing. As regular tourers of the European circuit will already know, Rockharz Open Air is one of the most beloved festivals in Germany, providing an unparalleled view to the scenic Blocksberg. In just under two weeks, this increasingly popular festival will open its gates to tens of thousands of fans, and will take place in Ballenstedt in Germany over the weekend from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July 2016. If the gaggling mass of people seen at the larger festivals is something you'd like to avoid, but you still want your star-studded line-up, then look no further than Rockharz Open Air!

Opening up the festivities for the weekend is the AFM Record Label night on Wednesday 6th July, headlined by none other than the pink pandemic that is J.B.O., who will be doing a special release party for their album “11”. Other big names to grace the stage will be modern Hardrock KISSIN' DYNAMITE as well as Finnish Melodic Death masters MORS PRINCIPUM EST. After such a debaucherous night, the party takes to two open air stages, featuring approximately 40 bands per day for three consecutive days.

Rockharz Open Air has always had a reputation for bringing out the big guns, and this year is no exception. Rockharz Open Air festival has organised a tantalising line-up that has something for everyone, regardless of your particular predilection. The 2016 Rockharz line-up in specific is one of the best festival line-ups in Germany this year (at least in my opinion), with bands  including the likes of SAXON, AVANTASIA, ASP, GAMMA RAY, SUBWAY TO SALLY, ENSLAVED,  and SOILWORK being confirmed, not to mention FINNTROLL, one of the best Folk Metal bands around. For those of you who'd like to catch CHILDREN OF BODOM live, then don't miss this opportunity! Rockharz Open Air will be the only live festival appearance of this great band this year, so grab your tickets while you still can. One of my personal highlights though is SATYRICON; not only does this band always deliver a phenomenal live performance, but after the health scares surrounding vocalist Satyr, this is another one of Metal's legendary stories about triumph over debilitating odds. PRIMORDIAL is also not a band to be missed: one of the most prominent bands in Ireland, they all to seldom come to Germany. For those of you who enjoy your Metal with a bit more humour, be sure to catch GLORY HAMMER, a witty Fantasy Metal band featuring Christopher Bowes of ALESTORM. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For a look at the full line-up, click here.

Other highlights include a beer garden where you can kick back with your friends and enjoy a spot of sun, and enjoying some food from the variety of stalls available. And for those of you who prefer your comforts a bit closer to home, the camping grounds will also have sales points where you can buy your breakfast each day. A supermarket is also available in close proximity, so you don't have to lug all your food and drinks from home. Be sure to collect your rubbish too: not only will presenting your garbage bag at the end of the festival earn you your garbage deposit back, but you'll also receive a special present for doing so, namely a festival poster featuring a photo taken on the Thursday. There will also be pre-set up tents available for rent (check out this site). If you can't stand the thought of the portaloos which are so ubiquitous at festivals, the good news is you can even rent your own portaloo too, making your festival experience that much more comfortable.

To make getting to the festival as easy as possible using public transport, Rockharz has arranged for shuttle services between the festival grounds and Quedlinburg, the nearest train station. The festival is also accessible through other forms of public transport, as well as obviously also being reachable by car. So no excuses! Metal Temple looks forward to seeing you there!

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