Festival Season 2011 (3): MS Dockville, Hamburg (DE)

So, how do I begin to explain Dockville Festival? It takes place in the district of Wilhelmsburg, which happens to lie on an island in river Elbe. It is a conglomerate of music, art, poetry, performance and has its own art festival and children’s festival attached. It has been happening annually since 2007, growing steadily, and this year, it drowned. It had already drowned before it even started, so 1/3 of Friday’s bands were cancelled because the ground could not be trod on. I tried to set up a tent, due to Dockville’s funny policy of not allowing any drinks to be taken on the festival site, with the exception that campers, who pay 10€ extra and get a special wristband, are allowed to carry liquids on end from the camping ground to the festival area, as long as it’s in a plastic cup. This year, there was also the new rule that campers held the exclusive right of washing their hands. Unfortunately, the few spots of the campsite that did not consist in 50-cm-deep mud had been taken by Thursday night already, leading me to camp somewhere in the bushes, as many other people did. As ticket prices had risen to a new all-time high of 84€ (with camping), while the line-up was a joke compared to the year before, I had opted for working two days in setting up the ‘Kunstcamp’ and the festival floor ‘Butterland’, making food for the local kids who took part in the workshops etc., before the three-day festival even started, and got my wristband ‘for free’ in return.

In case you expect another stage-hopping marathon report from me, there will be no such thing. I have decided to let the pictures do the talking, because as so often at Dockville Festival, it’s not so much the musicians who are the actual stars. It’s always the small world that is created on that island, and what follows is merely a tiny snapshot of it.

And we trudged through the mud …
… and in it, we were free
"doch wir sehen gut dabei aus, ja was wir tun, das hat Stil …”
… but not as much style as whatever instrument The Black Atlantic's middle member is playing here.
Everyone else was enjoying The Pollywogs more than me.
So I passed the time taking generic festival crowd pictures.
The light show thrown against the storehouses at the other shore was too good for my camera.
We came to see Glasser. We got Peggy Sue. It's Dockville, baby.
My heart is crawling in the mud, mud, mud (and so are my feet, pictured right)
Fuck Art, Let's Dance. (Not some witty quote this time, but the name of the band.)
And fuck art they did.
Whereas they fucked the mud, and went back to the roots, I mean, trees.
Is Tropical, and mindfucks you with nasty beats.
While little of the art survived the storms, I think that white thing in the back might be part of it.
Another of the festival's brighter moments: Fenech-Soler's performance
It was called "Nest".
And this was called "Horn".
Nothing like a good light show, brought to you by Italy's finest, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77.
They played on Sunday, and there was sun, sun, sun. Noah and the Whale, undeniably the highlight of the weekend.
Whereas these two won "best hair".

And it would be mean not to mention Dennis Dirksen’s Portrait Movie, which clearly captures the nicer festival moments way better than my old camera can. (Although it does not at all reflect my own personal experience, but it’s a great image film. 😀 Plus it features the amazing track “Little Numbers” by Boy.)

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