Rock Am Ring 2019 took its place in Nürburgring, Germany 7-9 June. It was not my first festival experience and I was fortunate to visit a couple more later the same month. These are the reasons I why liked RAR the most.
The Way Staff Do The Job
The very first thing that you can notice about the staff as a visitor is that they do their job with good faith. Each staff member communicates politely and with zero “bad cop” or even a “half-bad cop” attitude. Furthermore, about half of Rock Am Ring workers were even friendly! Whenever you pass through check in point, 1/3 people will welcome you with a smile, warm and sincere greeting and wishes to have a great time.
Surmountable Language Barrier
A certain percentage of people (including me) were foreigners and were not able to speak German as fluently as native language. Nevertheless, it was not a problem for anyone. Whenever me and staff representative failed to understand each other and exchange the information properly, there would always be an English speaking worker nearby who would always help out.
Personal is not looking for every possible way to make it the best day of your entire life. But they are willing to do a little things within their competence to make it better. For instance, if you are a passionate fanatic of the band you may develop special feelings toward the workers of the stage. I’ve made this conclusion based on a situation I witnessed right after a Bad Flower concert. A good looking, passionate, fanatic type of girl asked a staff member if he could give her the guitar pick that guitarist dropped at the end of the set. That gentleman climbed up on the stage. According to girl’s instructions he found that piece of plastic and handed it over to that screaming, grateful fan. This little gesture exemplifies that RAR workers include people who can make a visitor’s day by doing a good job beyond their formal contract obligations.
The Way Audience Reacts to Artists and Music
RAR visitors are definitely the most loudest and melodious group of people I’ve ever been a part of. It did not matter what band was playing and whether people knew the lyrics or not – at least half of the people were singing. Usually during the shows a vocalist tells people to start to shout something like “hey” in rhythm of the song. However, RAR audience needed no instructions to start these choir shouting or clapping, as they were initiating these sounds by themselves. And the amount of active audience and its intensity would only increase when artists asked to keep doing that.
Communication, Safety and Integrity
The same as staff members, visitors would not cringe if you ask them whether they can continue a conversation in English when it was necessary. There were no room for offenses for not knowing the language perfectly, and I saw a certain level of respect when I tried my best to talk in German. To my surprise almost everyone was able to communicate in English freely.
Crowd surfing was very common. Although not everyone would decide lay above the crowd and cruise to the stage security, everyone would contribute to holding and forwarding these bodies in front. I would tap someone on the shoulder to get the person’s attention and to point on the upcomming “surfers”. It would prevent them from unexpected body slam on their heads. As I noticed later, people would inform each other the same way when needed and as a result work better as a team.
Safety and Integrity
In 2014, one of the concert visitors stole 19 mobile phones during a Limp Bizkit show in Manchester. After I heard about this news back in the day I began to pay more attention to my pockets any time I go to a band live. Rock Am Ring was not an exception for my set of rules. Although, the thing that I noticed on the 3 rd and the final day of the festival made me believe that I’m the part of the audience with minimum theft tolerance. During the soundcheck I heard someone yell out word “Hadny”, which means “cell-phone” in German. Right after I turned my head to the source of the sound I saw a hand holding a cell-phone above. In less than two seconds I’ve heard like 7 other people repeating the same word in every direction. And sure enough, the owner was found quickly.
Another example of people’s great willingness to help each other took its place during Tenacious D concert. In the break between the songs the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass started to have a big argument (as a part of the act). As the intensity of the conflict kept on growing, people next to me began to yell out word “Sani” and repetitively show a “time out” gesture. According to my assumption the audience asked band mates to stop fighting and get along. However, I noticed that people next to me started to become more and more serious. At last it came to my mind that “Sani” stands for “Sanitäter” (paramedic). People divided in two human walls widly enough for a motorcycle to drive through. However, a person who needed a doctor was actually couple meters behind my back. People would step aside at that part of the crowd as well and the patient walked out with his friend. It was not a serious accident, but there indeed was a serious attitude of everyone to make sure that who needs help will receive it.
Slipknot were headliners of the last day of festival and it was about to get really hot. The amount of audience per meter was so high that it was difficult to even walk out of the crowd. For that reason, staff would bring a tanks of water (evidently) so that people could restore their water balance without wasting their energy and without causing extra lines in drinking water areas. People would pass their empty cups and transparent water bags in front and receive them back filled with water. Me and the company I was at would drink as much water as we could with only 2 “traveling” plastic RAR glasses. People of different ages would talk, crack jokes and simply have a good time despite being exhausted after 3 days of active music celebration.
All in All
Although it looks like everything was perfect, at the end of the day nothing is. Of course 1/1000 person will try to cut you in line. Some idiot can take a sit to tie a shoelace in a mosh pit. He also may have a knucklehead girlfriend who instead of helping him to stand on one leg will “protectively” (provokingly) push jumping people nearby. Other than these type of common little things, vast majority of the people were good. The same person who hit you with a shoulder will help you to get up if you fall a minute later.
In 2020 Rock Am Ring will have a 35th anniversary. Throughout the years of gathering numerous bands from different parts of the world and taking care of its diverse audience RAR community continues to remain one of the world’s biggest rock festivals. After experiencing it live I know for sure that its reputation is justified.
About the Author: Zack Hargrove is an editor at writing services . Most of his topics are dedicated music industry and unusual ways of strengthening your scientific curiosity. He always looks forward to write about the world of rock scene and to provide statistics help whenever someone struggles with it. Do hesitate to follow him on Twitter