Hultsfred festival – first day with rain and jumping on Royal Republic
text: Helena Torstensson
photo’s: Martina Törnemyr, M.Nilhorn
Last year´s festival should have been the twenty-five anniversary of the Hultsfred festival, but it got cancelled due too less sold tickets. The first day of the Swedish festival begins full force with an exciting line-up; a good promise for the whole weekend!
When I am summing up this year’s festival, there is no doubt about that changes of owner has affected pretty much everything. I can honestly say that I didn’t dare to have too high hopes before I actually was on the festival grounds. Of course it was such a relief that the festival finally happened, but this edition has a very unfortunate start.
Because on Thursday the 14th of July the rain were pretty much pouring all day and causes a very dampening effect. I am certain that I was not the only one that was extremely grateful that the parking area was five minutes walk away, and not located 6 km from the festival grounds like two years ago.
The festival group had managed to get allowed to serve alcohol all over the festival grounds and had solved the age problem with everyone that was older than 18 years old got a pink bracelet at the check in. That meant that you could walk over the festival ground with your drink in plastic glasses, and got money back from when you returned them. It was disturbing to find that you could only buy drinks in some places and food in other places and no get everything at one place.
The third day,Saturday the 16th of July, came with better weather, what comes with a better mood: people showed more energy. There were more people on the festival grounds. Although I hardly can believe hat 10.500 sold tickets were sold: it never felt that much! You could tell that people enjoyed the better weather and were in a brighter mode this day.
I would think that there were like a couple of thousands in front of the festivals largest stage during Hurts and White Lies. Some things didn’t work that smoothly during the festival; the security did not feel that well organized at the stages, (luckily the crowd in front of the stages kept extremely calm) and there were no medical persons present there. On previous festivals people from the Red Cross have been present, all the time walking around and making sure that everyone were doing fine. This time no nurses or medical trained people walked on the festival ground.
During the press conference Folkert Koopmans the organizer remarks that he had noticed some of the problems. Also he has spoken spoken with many visitors; asking their opinion and thoughts about the festival. This year’s festival is pretty much like a test festival. Changes are planned for next year!
Katharina Nuttall is scheduled at the unfortunate time of 3 pm and the weather outside isn’t helpful to get people in the right mood. The audience was rather thin when the concert started. Luckily more people joined the crowd during the show. The set begun with “Take Me through To You Side”, it´s one of my favorite songs from Katharina´s newest album “Turn Me On” and it was very special to hear it live.
What amazes me all through the whole set is that Katharina has such a strong voice! Also she has such a presence on stage, what makes the performance very special. She really delivered her songs and music in a perfect way. After the fourth song she asks the audience to come a little closer and they luckily did.
A more cosy atmosphere is created by her. The concert has the air and atmosphere of intimacy and I really enjoyed it. I really like the songs “Paper Plane” and Place of Hope,” hearing them live was a very good experience on this festival.
Royal Republic kicks-off their concert with a lot of energy, that soon makes the crowd dance and jump along to the music. Even when the rain doesn’t stop during the show. The band had a very good interaction with the crowd and got them into the spirit of the music.
The singer Adam charmed the audience and makes them sing, clapping their hands and even let them sit down. It was good to hear “All Because Of You” live and “Tommy-gun” really got the crowd going. What surprises me, is that the band sounded as good live as on the album. In the case of “Tommy-gun” even better!
The audience enjoyed songs like “Out Of My Mind” what became a hit and also live it kept interesting, “Space Machine” and “Underwear” are making the party complete on this first Hultsfreds day! Despite the rain, the good atmosphere is there.