Review M’era Luna Festival 2016

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M’era Luna Festival is one of the biggest dark music festivals of the world. For the sixteenth time they invited people to an amazing weekend full of musical acts, fashion shows and of course late night parties in the Disco Hangar. This all took place at the grounds of the regional airport Hildesheim Drispenstedt (a former British Army base), near Hannover.

About 25 000 vistitors returned to Hildesheim for the M’era Luna festival, making the festival sold-out again. We left at 5 o’clock in the morning in Ghent and arrived around half past 11 at the festival in Hildesheim. Every year the festival provides extra entertainment for visitors: this year there were gigantic dinosaurs walking around at te festival and an illuminated lake turned the whole area into a fairy wonderland, especially at night. The new conceptual orientation of the festival grounds led to a better arranged infield and more space for all visitors with a nearly perfect view onto the mainstage from all angles. The amount of seats was doubled and the medieval market was well-visited. The festival also welcomed a new jewelry collection and the radio station “M’era Luna FM”.

Once again, there was an impressive range of food on offer which includes the traditional festival burger and chips as well as traditional German Bratwurst and Currywurst, Brötchen (bread-roll sandwiches), Handbrot (a kind of freshly baked roll containing cheese and meat or mushrooms topped with sour cream and chives), oriental stir fried noodles, pasta, freshly baked pizza, falafel etc.

The first names have been confirmed for 2017. Visitors can look forward to ASP, Subway To Sally, Schandmaul, MONO INC., Faderhead, Feurschwanz, Darkhaus, Versengold and Unzucht. Many more names will follow in the coming months. Next year’s M’era Luna will take place on 12th and 13th August 2017. Tickets are already available at, or by phone via +49 (0)1806-853 653. Caravans need an extra tickets which can be bought for 10 euros.

The line-up this year 2016

Within Temptation, The Sisters Of Mercy, In Extremo, VNV Nation, Lacrimosa, Eisbrecher, Apocalyptica, The Lord Of The Lost Ensemble, Faun, Diary Of Dreams, Oomph!, Combichrist, IAMX, Hocico, Die Krupps, Suicide Commando, Lacrimas Profundere, Letzte Instanz, [:SITD:], Zeromancer, Diorama, S.P.O.C.K., Gothminister, Stahlmann, Cassandra Complex, Beborn Beton, Noisuf-X, Centhron, Rabia Sorda, Hämatom, Agent Side Grinder, Heldmaschine, A Life Divided, Chrom, Me The Tiger, Aeverium, Erdling, Vlad In Tears, Essence of Mind.

Day 1

Gothminister is an industrial metal band from Norway, formed in 1999. They have released five albums over the past 17 years and have had success mostly  in Germany. They kicked off their show with the song Someone Is After Me.  The band around singer Bjørn Alexander Brem managed to delight not just the hardcore fans with their terrific mix of old hits and new songs, but they gave us an amusing monster show as well. Their even was a fight with a zombie on the stage.

Setlist: 1 Someone Is After Me, 2 Stonehenge, 3 Beauty After Midnight, 4 Dusk Till Dawn, 5 Up (within German Refrain), 6 Liar, 7 Monsters, 8 Darkside, 9 Utopia

The discovery of the day: Stahlmann. The bandmembers looked like quicksilver elfs or monsters. With deep and dark vocals, crushing guitars and forceful drums the band opened their set list with the song Feindflug (transl. Combat Flight) which was followed by the song Stahlmann. Stahlmann is a German band that formed in 2008 in Göttingen, Germany. In 2009, their debut EP Herzschlag got to the top twenty in German alternative charts and settled there for four weeks. Thanks to this, other groups noticed them and invited them to tour with bands such as Doro, In Extremo, Saltatio Mortis and Eisbrecher.

Setlist: 1 Feindflug, 2 Stahlmann, 3 Schwarz, 4 Engel der Dunkelheit, 5 Der Schmied, 6 Plasma, 7 Spring nicht, 8 Süchtig

Oomph! is a German band formed in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1989. The band is considered to be the pioneer of the German Neue Deutsche Härte movement. They incorporates many styles of music such as metal, industrial, alternative rock, electronica and gothic to create their sound. They is also the source of inspiration for the formation of Rammstein. How crazy is that! The fans were partying hard the entire time and front man Dero took a jump into the crowd to meet them face to face, even though it was actually forbidden for the visitors.

Setlist: 1 Intro, 2 Labyrinth, 3 Träumst Du, 4 Niemand, 5 Sandmann, 6 Der neue Gott, 7 Gekreuzigt, 8 Jetzt oder nie, 9 Gott ist ein Popstar, 10 Augen auf!

Diary Of Dreams  is a German Darkwave band. The lead singer and founding member Adrian Hates has produced most of the albums by himself or with minimal help from others. He rarely uses a full band, except when on tour. They opened with a moody intro Schwarz and impressed the M’era Luna audience with insanely intense songs. They let their sweeping music speak for itself and they easily took the listeners to someplace else.

Setlist: 1 Schwarz, 2  Sinferno, 3 Malum, 4 Butterfly:Dance!, 5 Soul Stripper,  6 Grau im Licht,  7 Endless Nights, 8 Undividable and 9 Kindrom

We looked forward to seeing Apocalyptica again. We’ve seen them in juni at the Graspop festival (Friday). But their show en setlist was a bit disappointing then. The show they brought here at M’era Luna was diverse and spectacular! They have been around since 1993 and celebrated that with the fans at M’era Luna. They also played a few song of their eighth studio album Shadowmaker, with Franky Perez singing all vocal tracks.

Setlist: 1 Reign of Fear, 2 Grace, 3  I’m Not Jesus, 4 House of Chains, 5 Master of Puppets (Metallica cover), 6 Inquisition Symphony (Sepultura cover), 7 Bittersweet, 8 Shadowmaker, 9  I Don’t Care, 10 Seek & Destroy (Metallica cover) and 11 In the Hall of the Mountain King (Edvard Grieg cover)

Lacrimosa is a gothic duo led by German Tilo Wolff and Finn Anne Nurmi. They are currently based in Switzerland, but originally from Germany. Their current musical style mixes gothic rock and heavy metal along with violin, trumpet and more classical instruments, although their musical development throughout the years has also led to changes in instrumentation. Lacrimosa brought an enchanted musical puppet show at M’era Luna.

Setlist: 1 Intro: Lacrimosa Theme, 2 Ich bin der brennende Komet, 3 Lichtgestalt, 4 Schakal, 5 Stolzes Herz, 6 Apart, 7 Der Morgen danach, 8  Feuer and 9 Irgendein Arsch ist immer unterwegs

We have seen VNV Nation a few times no and they never disappoint. VNV Nation is an English/Irish electronic music band originally from Dublin and Essex, but now their based in Hamburg. One of the highlights was the dark and beautiful ballad Nova. During this song the audience put up their cellphones and flashlights. It was a very beautiful moment!

Setlist: 1 Intro, 2 pace & Time, 3 Tomorrow Never Comes, 4 Legion, 5 Primary, 6 Illusion, 7 Epicentre; 8 Standing, 9 Everything, 10 The Farthest Star, 11 Control, 12 Nova (Shine a Light on Me), 13 Resolution and 14 Electronaut

We looked forward to this show the entire day: The Sisters of Mercy. The fans have been waiting for new material for over 20 years. Frontman Andrew Eldritch joked a while ago that when Donald Trump actually does become President of Amerika, that will be the reason for making a new album. We will see… Unsurprisingly, there was a ton of fog on the stage and  Andrew showed up wearing his usual yellow neon shirt and sunglasses. They brought a good show and the fans enjoyed it immensely!

Setlist: 1 More, 2 Ribbons, 3 Doctor Jeep / Detonation Boulevard , 4 Amphetamine Logic, 5 Body Electric, 6 Alice, 7 Marian, 8 Crash and Burn, 9 Arms, 10 Dominion/Mother Russia, 11 Summer, 12 First and Last and Always, 13 Jihad (The Sisterhood cover), 14 Flood II, 15 Roadrunner (The Modern Lovers cover), 16 Lucretia My Reflection, 17 Vision Thing, 18 Temple of Love and 19 This Corrosion

After The Sisters of Mercy, the crowd gathered for another party at the Hangar Disco. Martin Engler of MONO INC. and Sven Enzelmann of KIR/MARTHALLE were responsible for the playlist that night. They played traditional Goth Rock to contemporary Dark Rock, and from Cello Metal or NDH over to Synth Pop, Dark Wave, and Industrial. And whether you were dancing or getting some rest, this much was certain: the first day was a blast.

Day 2

Combichrist is an American aggrotech band formed in 2003 by Andy LaPlegua from Norway, who also founded the bands Icon of CoilPanzer AGScandinavian Cock and Scandy. Combichrist is based in Atlanta, Georgia. On the t-shirt of drummer Joe Letz we could read the words ‘Party Time’ and that was exactly what they gave us, a big party!

Setlist: 1 Intro, 2  Slakt, 3 Skullcrusher, 4 Can’t Control, 5 Throat Full of Glass, 6 No Redemption, 7 Get Your Body Beat, 8 Blut Royale, 9 My Life My Rules and 10 Maggots at the Party

The Pagan Folk formation Faun brought us back into the Middle Ages. Unlike any other band they managed to create a magical atmosphere with their numerous instruments, polyphonic singing, and amazing light show. Bagpipe, harp, and wheel fiddle sounds came together with the beats of ultra-large drums. The band gave us a magical Nordic Folk show.

Setlist: 1 Wind und Geige, 2 Alba II, 3 Walpurgisnacht, 4 Blaue Stunde, 5 Rhiannon and 6 Wenn wir uns wiedersehen

Lord of the Lost Ensemble and their chamber orchestra played an acoustic show in the vein of the ‘A Night to Remember Tour 2015’ and their acoustic album Swan Songs. This made their show very special for all their fans. One of the highlights was the musical version of the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. This was particularly interesting to those familiar with the exceptional poet, and since we were at a Goth fest, there should have been a lot of fans who enjoy Poe’s Dark Romantic work.

Setlist: 1 Six Feet Underground, 2 Dry the Rain, 3 Go to Hell, 4 See You Soon, 5 Prison, 6 Annabel Lee, 7 Lost in a Heartbeat and 8 Credo

We really looked forward to seeing Eisbrecher play live. The good humored frontman Alexx Wesselsky gave his tie as a present to one of the ladies in the front row.  They took some time allowing the fans and press to take funny pictures of them. Afterwards Alexx asked that everybody would put their cellphones and camera’s away so they all could dance en enjoy their a killer show.

Setlist: 1 Verrückt, 2 Willkommen im Nichts, 3 Fehler machen Leute, 4 Leider, 5 Vergissmeinnicht, 6 Prototyp, 7 Himmel, Arsch und Zwirn, 8 1000 Narben , 9 This Is Deutsch and 10 Miststück / Rock Me Amadeus

In Extremo is a German medieval metal band originating from Berlin. The band’s musical style combines metal with medieval traditional songs. Versions of well-known medieval ballads make up the main part of their repertoire, but the band has written also some original material. Most of the visitors on Sunday also came especially for this band.

Setlist: 1. Rasend Herz , 2. Feuertaufe, 3. Zigeunerskat, 4. Vollmond, 5. Störtebeker, 6. Nur ihr allein, 7. Quid pro Quo, 8. Sternhagelvoll, 9. Sängerkrieg, 10. Frei zu sein, 11. Küss mich, 12. Spielmannsfluch, 13. Liam, 14. Moonshiner

The Dutch Symphonic Metal band Within Temptation closed the festival on Sunday at a high note with a wonderful stage setting and spectacular show. They celebrated their 20th jubilee this year and so they didn’t leave out a single hit. The highlight was a fantastic Black Sabbath cover of the beloved song Black Sabbath and that night’s surprise was Tarja Turunen who entered the stage during Paradise (What About Us?) to sing a wonderful duet with Sharon.

Setlist: 1 Ice Queen, 2 Caged, 3 Faster, 4  In the Middle of the Night, 5 Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath cover), 6 The Heart of Everything, 7 Sinéad, 8 Candles (with Robert Westerholt), 9 Stand My Ground, 10 Paradise (What About Us?) with Tarja Turunen, 11 Mother Earth. Encore: 12 What Have You Done / Proceeded by “Wir gehen noch nicht nach Hause” chant by Robert Westerholt

M’era Luna festival gave their visitors a thrilling and amazing party and they brought an very entertaining program this year: The exciting and witty readings with Luci van Org, Christian Aster and Markus Heitz; the extravagant fashion show presenting incredible outfits by Tourniquet Costume Art, Ponycouture, Lucardis Feist and Isabeau Ouvert; the popular shopping market and Gothic Fashion Town; the authentic Medieval Market including the blacksmith’s workshop, a public bath, an impressive fire show, the popular band Pestilenzia, and where one had the chance to try out archery or temporarily marry someone; all this and the festival’s familial atmosphere made this year’s M’era Luna a memorable event!



Official Aftermovie M’era Luna 2016