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Felsziget Peninsula 2012 - good, bu not quite great | FESTIVALPHOTO

Felsziget Peninsula 2012 - good, bu not quite great



Perhaps our expectations were too high - Peninsula was, for many years, our favorite Romanian festival. Perhaps a comparison with Sziget is unjust, although it can't be avoided - but this year we were somewhat disappointed by Felsziget.

The festival was not bad or poorly organized. The line up consisted of smaller bands, but nothing here to complain about. It's just that something was not right, thought it's hard to put your finge on it.

For starters, we didn't like the the way the festival perimeter was reorganized (they moved Main Stage somewhere in the middle of a field, along with the food court and a smaller stage). The space in front of the Main Stage was tiny - but then again, the Main Stage was about half the size we were used to.

There were few people, some of the headliners performed for crowds of two, maybe three thousand people. There were delays in the schedule. ATB, one of the headliners, was cancelled just one day prior to the concert, apparently because of some disagreements with the organizing team.

But some of the good things remained the same as in the previous years: clean showers and toilets, good and not too expensive food, all the activities that gave Felsziget its rightful reputation as a festival where you can never get bored: the bungee platform, paragliding, GoKarts, the swimming pool.

In terms of music, aside from the many Romanian acts, here are the highlights: NOHA, an interesting band whose origins ar hard to pinpoint: the lead singer is from Brazil, the sax player, the bass player and the drummer are Czech, and the MC is American. But their music is a cool combination of funk, hip hop, rock, with many other influences, and they're very energetic on stage.

We also liked Babylon Circus, a French collective with a very theatrical performance, who managed to gather a respectable crowd, even with Children of Bodom playing right on the next stage.

Though come to think of it, we expected more from Children of Bodom and New Model Army, although they sounded fairly well. Perhaps some more interaction with the audience wouldn't have hurt (although Alexi Laiho kept asking us about how the fuck we're doing, which, if you ask me, hardly counts as real communication). On the other hand, New Model Army had a small crowd to perform to, so perhaps they were disappointed about that. Who knows.

But I have to admit one thing: in spite of a smaller budget and a new festival philosophy - as it seems - there's one thing we have to appreciate about the organizers: they still had impeccable sound, on every stage, even the smaller ones. A festival with no sound issues is a festival I respect.

And yet, the best performance came from a Romanian electro band called Suie Paparude. Though their music is not really my cup of tea, and I admit that, they rocked the crowd. I haven't seen so many people dancing like that for a long time. It reminded me of the days when Peninsula had names such as Prodigy to make people dance. Suie Paparude have been delivering fine gigs for a long time at this festival, they're there every year, so perhaps there was some nostalgia at work there, but still. The show was amazing.

Bottom line, I was a little disappointed with this year's Peninsula. I feel like it's lost some of its soul. As if the organizers tried to recapture the festival's glory, as it was in 2009 and 2010, when both the line-ups and the way it was organized were exemplary, and did their best, but they just lost something along the way. And the magic didn't quite happen.


Writer: Dan Durbaca Patranoiu
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