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MetalDays 2023: A Mixed Bag of Experiences | FESTIVALPHOTO

MetalDays 2023: A Mixed Bag of Experiences



Transitioning from its long-standing location in Tolmin, Slovenia to the picturesque Lake Velenje, Slovenia, MetalDays 2023 promised a fusion of heavy metal music and summer holiday vibes. With a sprawling camping ground and a lakeside location offering various recreational activities, the festival aimed to redefine the metal festival experience once more. However, despite its promising setup, the event fell short in several areas, leaving attendees with a bittersweet taste.

The festival, running from July 27th to August 5th 2023, boasted an impressive lineup featuring well-known acts like Carcass, Kreator, Helloween, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and Heaven Shall Burn. Unfortunately, inclement weather spoiled the final day's performances, forcing cancellations due to heavy flooding—a setback that highlighted the vulnerability of outdoor events.

One of the festival's highlights was undoubtedly its lakeside location, offering guests the opportunity to partake in various water-based activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, inflatable water parks and yoga with a lovely lake view. However, the lack of adequate shading in the camping area left attendees exposed to the scorching sun, detracting from the overall comfort.

While the onsite store offered a commendable assortment of goods at reasonable prices, the festival's organizational flaws tarnished the overall experience. Security lapses during concerts allowed unruly behavior, with audience members trespassing onto the stage, disrupting performances, and jeopardizing safety.

Furthermore, simultaneous performances on the Main Stages and Fusion Stage resulted in sound bleed, compromising the audio quality, and detracting from the enjoyment of performances. Additionally, attendees were annoyed by hidden fees and additional payments, including charges for trash bags and non-refundable cup deposits, which felt excessive and was poorly communicated.

Moreover, the promise of hot showers for a fee of 10€ proved to be a disappointment, with attendees facing cold water despite their investment—a frustration worsened by unhelpful staff responses. The festival's proximity to a power plant also led to unpleasant odors, dampening the atmosphere at times.

The evacuation process on the final day due to flooding, highlighted further organizational shortcomings, with inaccurate information regarding road closures causing unnecessary panic among attendees.

Despite these challenges, the festival's initial days exuded a vibrant atmosphere, maintained by the solidarity of fellow metalheads and the appeal of the lakeside setting. However, the pervasive issues with organization and additional costs overshadowed these positives, ultimately detracting from the overall experience.

In conclusion, while MetalDays 2023 offered moments of enjoyment and community, its organizational shortcomings and hidden fees weakened significantly from the overall experience. As such, while the festival may hold promise, improvements are necessary to warrant recommendation to prospective attendees.

And some band reviews...

Napalm Death (1 out of 5 stars)
Napalm Death's performance at MetalDays 2023 was a discordance of noise and chaos. Despite their legendary status, the relentless barrage of sound felt overwhelming, with the mix muddy and indistinct. The excessive volume left me struggling to discern individual instruments, overshadowing what could have been a memorable experience.

Carcass (5 out of 5 stars)
Carcass electrified MetalDays 2023 with an awe-inspiring display of energy and power. From the moment they took the stage, the band's relentless vigor captivated the audience, unleashing a rush of adrenaline-fueled riffs and rolling rhythms. Their performance was a testament to their enduring skills and an unforgettable highlight of the festival, leaving me exhilarated and craving more.

Russian Circles (5 out of 5 stars for the band’s performance // 2 out of 5 stars for the experience because of lack security during this concert)
Russian Circles mesmerized MetalDays 2023 with their fragile yet commanding presence, raising an atmosphere of captivating intensity. The band's immersive sonic landscapes enveloped the audience, transporting them to otherworldly realms. However, a moment of unease arose when an individual jumped on the stage to take a picture, due to lack of security at the festival. That disturbed the mesmerizing experience casting a shadow on the otherwise fascinating performance.

Stillbirth (5 out of 5 stars)
Stillbirth unleashed a tsunami of brutality at MetalDays 2023, channeling their unique blend of surf-infused death metal with vicious precision. The band's seamless contact with the audience inflamed an electrifying energy, culminating in the creation of epic mosh pits that vibrated with uncontrolled intensity. Their ability to command the crowd and foster a sense of unity amongst the chaos have cemented their status as one of the festival's standout acts.

Solstafir (5 out of 5 stars for the band’s performance // 1 out of 5 stars for the experience because of sound bleed from the Main Stage)
Solstafir radiated warmth and passion at MetalDays 2023, enveloping the audience in their amazing energy and captivating melodies. However, the band's transcendent performance was flawed by the overpowering sound bleed from a larger concert on the main stage, disrupting the otherwise immersive experience. Despite this setback, Solstafir's great musicianship and genuine delivery shone through, leaving a lasting impression on those who managed to tune out the distractions.


Writer: Karolina Pepel
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