MetalDays 2017

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MetalDays is a festival in Slovenia that lasts for a week and is situated next to a shiny blue glacier river between the mountains. A river with metalheads on inflated crocodiles, dolphins and flamingos, an awesome line-up and non-stop metal parties (at the beach), metal-karaoke, fire- and striptease shows, cheap food and drinks, great cocktails, amazing weather,… MetalDays really is a metal holiday that everybody has to experience. The festival will present you a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, with only 12 000 festivalgoers, perfect to forget about all worries and enjoy your most likely best holiday ever!

Read our full MetalDays general overview here.

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Our journey started in Ghent, where we got on a bus to finally go to MetalDays, the festival we’d all been looking forward to. We had a really pleasant bus trip with Festival Explorers, with a beautiful ending of the trip via some small mountain passes because of a traffic jam on the normal route. The road towards MetalDays lead us through the beautiful Alps and the MetalDays area is also part of the Julijske Alpe National Parks. So before we arrived we already could feast our eyes with the exquisite views and needless to say we already were super excited when we got to Tolmin.


After being on the road for around 18 hours, we finally drove into the beautiful village of Tolmin. The festival is located at Sotocje, which lies inbetween the two mountain rivers called Tolminka and Soča. Therefore the festival offers us two “festival-owned” beaches, to cool down and chill throughout the day (and to party at night!). The river Soča is one of the cleanest in Europe.


Upon arrival we got our wristbands at the office desks. Here we needed to pay our early arrival fee, and then we got our paycards and garbage bags. First we needed to put money on the paycard. From the paycard they extract the mandatory garbage deposit and paycard system fee. The Garbage Deposit money (€10) was given back on returning a full garbage bag during the festival.

!! At the front desks we could only pay cash. To get cash: there are ATM’s at the supermarkets in Tolmin.

We set up our camp and had a little preparty!


The food at MetalDays is really nice and there’s a great variety of stands. There are vegan and gluten free dishes so everyone can enjoy the festival food without worries. The pricing of the food is very fair, Slovenia still is a lot cheaper than the festivals in Belgium or in our neighborhood. There is free drinking water on different places of the festival area. There are no plastic bottles allowed, so you have to buy a bottle at the bar first, that you can refill all the time and as often as you want at the water points. The drinks are good (but obviously don’t expect Belgian beer) and reasonably priced and there is a special Beer bar somewhere along the campsite road. And at the beach bar you can enjoy some fresh cocktails!

To buy your own food: there are some supermarket in Tolmin, on about a 5-10 minute walk from the campsite. We’re sure you can find almost anything you would need, so it’s not really necessary to bring your own food from home (maybe just some good quality beers). You can also buy ice cubes there, to keep your food/drinks cold.


The camping is included in the ticketprice, parking tickets can be bought either in the MH SHOP or at the festival upon arrival. When you arrive early there’s always an early arrival fee (1 day early: €15, 2 days: €25) to use the campsite. There is a part of the camping area that’s camping only, where cars are prohibited (close to the mainstage and in between the trees). The rest of the camping area is camping plus parking, so you can park your cars close to your tent. We from GRIMM provided a group camping for the people who joined our Belgian Invasion!

There are several “Hell’s Kitchens” on the campsite, where it’s possible to buy breakfast, coffee, food, drinks and ice cubes. The beer cans (0.5L) are only €1!


There are dixi-toilets and showers for free on the campsite. There are dixi-toilets on several places on the festival area too. From now on, the hot showers are free too, but the capacity is limited so you might have to wait in line. Clean running water for drinking is provided all over the festival area free of charge.


The festival is basically divided in three area’s: the mainstage area, the second stage area and the beach bar area.

When going from the camping area towards the festival area, you come across a security checkpoint. From there, the mainstage area is right in front of you. If, however, you go to the right, you can follow the path leading to the second stage. The road leading to the second stage is also where you can find merchandise stands.

Keep following the road past the second stage, all the way down towards the Soča river and you’ll soon reach the beach bar area. There you can find metalheads floating down the Soča river on their inflatable unicorns, inflatable lounge chairs, and many other crazy inflatables, while enjoying a delicious cocktail or a cold beer.

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The first main act of MetalDays 2017 was Iced Earth. No matter how many times you’ve seen them before (and please tell me you have!), their shows are not to be missed. With some of the all-time fan favorites like “I Died For You”, “Burning Times” and “Pure Evil” in the set, combined with songs like “Great Heathen Army” and “Seven Headed Whore” from their latest album “Incorruptible”, the set was already close to perfect.

The last song however, finished it all off perfectly, as they brought us yet another amazing song with “Watching Over Me”. With thrashing songs that got us moshing and headbanging, as well as slower and rather emotional songs, saying this show was a success would be an understatement.


Marilyn Manson is one of those bands that just keeps going and has a sort of cult status. Even though their popularity seems to have decreased over the years, there was a pretty huge crowd. These people were probably there for the same reason as me.. to hear some of the songs we grew up with. It was great to hear songs like this is the new shit, mOBSCENE, the dope show, sweet dreams, the beautiful people and coma white. Despite the nostalgic setlist, the band’s performance was very low. Probably because there wasn’t all too much interaction from the crowd which was almost certainly because of the bad show. Marilyn Manson decided to end the show half an hour earlier than planned which didn’t seem to bother a great deal of the public.

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Headliner for the second day was Amon Amarth. Despite having various great bands play on this day, these guys were the ones that got the most attention. The popularity their blend of melodic death and Norse themes has seems to know no borders. Naturally, the crowd erupted at the first chords of the pursuit of Vikings. The mosh pits didn’t wait long to get formed and the kicked-up dust added an extra touch of the festival feeling. Of course, besides the classics, they played songs from their latest album Jomsviking too. Tracks such as First kill, the way of the Vikings, at dawn’s first light and their newest crowd pleaser Raise your horns, were accepted with open arms and showed that Eastern Europe is also ready for the Viking invasion. I did however expect to have them play A dream that cannon be. Especially at a festival with Doro, it seemed obvious. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.

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A band like Grave Digger shouldn’t need an introduction anymore. This heavy/power metal band from Germany has been around since the early 80’s, yet still perform as if they were a band of youngsters in their prime. The thing with vocalist Chris Boltendahl’s vocals is, well, you either hate them or love them. Nevertheless, that doesn’t say anything about the quality of his vocals. After all those years he can still blast you away with his powerful vocals. We can’t however forget to mention the rest of the band, who are also still as energetic and enthousiastic as ever. Sadly, the crowd didn’t seem to have as much energy as the band at first. However, when they started playing “Rebellion”, a fan favourite, the crowd started headbanging like crazy and most of the crowd shouted along with the song. They ended their show with their all-time classic “Heavy Metal Breakdown“.


Metal queen Doro gave a fantastic show, getting the whole terrain going from the start with her infamous raise your fist in the air. Great show with lots of interaction towards the public, superb choreography and a setlist anybody would enjoy. As per usual, most songs played were Warlock covers. However, it was something different to hear Judas Priest’s breaking the law suddenly blaring out of the speakers. Everybody joined in and a feeling of unity was created.

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First show I saw on Thursday was that of Andorran band Persefone. Despite not really knowing them, it was a great opener. Getting early festival goers going is not an easy task for any band but having a Star Wars compilation in your arsenal is a very big help apparently. There was a lot of energy emitted and it was nice to see a band give it all to a crowd that’s still half asleep and still sobering up.


If there’s one show I still think about from the whole of 2017, it has to be the one Icelandic band Sólstafir put on. These guys weren’t headliner but it really was a show worthy of it. The second stage, where they played, was in a small square surrounded by trees. This gave an extra dimension to the whole experience the band already sets. No mosh pits or singing along but closed eyes and pure bliss. When the band played Necrologue, nobody made a sound. It was the first time I ever experienced that and honestly, something I’ll never forget. To be able to create such an atmosphere with your music is a serious gift.

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With a band like Equilibrium on stage, you know you’re in for a party. The band once again did one hell of a job at entertaining the crowd, but when they played fan favorites like Blut im Auge and Unbesiegt, the crowd really went all out. Moshpits, headbanging, jumping, a wall of death … this show had it all!


The band to close of the evening was none other than the Bay Area thrashers of Death Angel. As we were already nearing the end of the festival, our bodies were worn out…but with a band like Death Angel on stage, you just can’t stop partying and headbanging! The band was as energetic and enthousiastic as ever, and the crowd clearly loved it, as it didn’t take long for the first moshpit to start.

With a setlist that featured songs from the very first album “The Ultra-Violence” all the way to songs from their latest album “The Evil Divide”, they made sure they catered to old and new fans alike. Their performance was a real treat to finish off the day, but they probably would have fit even better a timeslot or two earlier.

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During the morning and beginning of the day there are several fun activities at the beach. There’s topless badminton for women, volleyball in thongs for men, metalyoga and metal karaoke. But it’s also great to just chill out in the cold water.

In the evenings there are beach parties with a great amount of cocktails to drink. This year the DJs weren’t that great, but we’re sure it will be better next year!


Tolmin Gorges:

Tolmin Castle Ruins:

Floating down the river:

Next to the things we did as a group, there are lots of fun outdoor activities to check out in the Tolmin area, like rafting, canyoning, kayaking, hiking, paragliding,…



JOIN US! Order your tickets at the Festival Explorers website.

Metaldays 2018 takes place from the 22rd till 28th of July 2018 in Tolmin, Slovenia.
For more information check out their website and Facebook page.
Join the official Facebook event and the event of GRIMM’s own Belgian Invasion.