So, you have checked off every single place proposed to you on this blog, and cannot seem to find anything else to do, but sit at the harbor?
There is something different that the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern offers: Its number of festivals!
As festivals struggle with noise complaints from neighboring villages, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is perfectly suited for festival season. Hardly populated and mostly forest or fields, the tiny villages are usually miles apart from each other.
This results in a large offer of genres you can find festivals for in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, mostly Electronic music, Indie music, or Hip Hop.
As are its locations: you can dance the night away in the Baltic Sea, camp in the mysterious forests, or party under the twinkling eyes of the stars, on a field in the middle of nowhere. A popular local journal called Katapult, that’s known for its infographics, even designed a map for all the festivals there are. (You can find the infographic here.)
By train or by car you can easily get to Immergut in under two hours, where you can use the nearby parking lots or use their shuttle train. It is on the smaller side (usually up to five thousand visitors) and you can camp there in a tent or get a special ticket if you have a van to sleep in. Similar to other festivals in Northern Germany, the ticket price is around 120 Euros. But as always, the earlier you get them, the cheaper they are.
If that feels like breaking the bank (like it does for me), there is one shortcut: you could work there! For the past two years, I have worked at Immergut in the parking team, for nine hours over three days.
My job was ordering people around in the parking lots, usually telling them that they in fact needed to park their car closer to the neighboring cars. As it is the end of May, the weather might fluctuate between pouring rain and plenty of sunshine, resulting in an unexpected sunburn ever so often.
Now you might ask why on Earth I would want to work at a festival, especially with weather like this (apart from the free entry). Well, in difference to the common folk – wink wink – the volunteers get to sleep nearby in the backstage area, which includes a private toilet wagon. Considering the usual state of festival toilets, this is absolutely luxurious. Additionally, we get a wide selection of options at the breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet and every beverage at the backstage bar for free. And if your shift is over, you can delightfully enjoy the alcoholic drinks, as long as you are up and sober for your next shift.
As a person without a budget and an astonishingly large unwillingness when it comes to carrying packages of drinks and snacks from the car to the tent, I find this quite brilliant.
In both this and last year, I spent quite some time in the lovingly decorated backstage area, especially on one of their comfortable vintage couches, meeting the other volunteers and catching glimpses of musicians and roadies alike. Another great thing is, that in the case of rain, you can stealthily move yourself to the backstage area of the concert stage and watch your favorite acts without getting soaking wet. On the other hand, you can also dance in the rain, get a nice mud package in the mosh pit, and head to the backstage showers, if that’s rather to your liking.
This year the main acts were Danger Dan, Juse Ju, and Mine. But do not just chill on the camping grounds until the main acts are on stage, the other acts are just as awe-inspiring. A friend of mine is now going to the sixth gig of a punk band he discovered there. Also, there are three stages, but only one stage is used at a time, so you can see every single act!
Often, I can be found in the back of the audience, sitting in my camping chair, whilst enjoying the music with a vegan doner in my hands. Especially after a long day of dancing. My friends are usually dancing their feet off, right in the middle of the crowd, and stay up until six a.m. They end up going to the ‘indie-disco’, where the best of alternative music plays. I am usually in bed by then, with ear plugs and a sleeping mask.
I get up quite early, at ten a.m. to get freshly made scrambled eggs and hot coffee and head out to check out one of the interesting readings from young authors such as Ilona Hartmann or an interview of the CEO of Katapult Magazin. However, if you need a break from stages and performances, you can also participate in a yoga workshop. I would like to have participated but the number of bloodthirsty mosquitos made me afraid of breaking a sweat in shorts.
Do not forget to bring your anti-mosquito spray, it will save you and your friends from their itchy bites.
Sadly, if the festival fever has now gotten into you, you do have to wait until the next year, for Immergut.
I, for sure, will be found next May ordering people around on the parking lot.