Summer Breeze is a venerable institution of the European festival scene, having been running for just over 20 years now. Like many of the great heavy and alternative festivals, it’s held in Germany; specifically, in the town of Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria. With so many Metal festivals to choose from on the calendar, let’s have a look at why you might need to add Summer Breeze to your bucket list.
1. The line-up
It’s a no-brainer, but of course we have to talk about the line-up. With about 40,000 people in attendance, Summer Breeze know they have to put on one hell of a show, and likewise, so do the bands on the bill. The 2018 line-up includes the likes of both Bloodbath and Paradise Lost, who share frontman Nick Holmes; Metal Allegiance, the supergroup featuring members of Dream Theater, Megadeth, Testament and more; and Ross the Boss, the former Manowar frontman who is currently performing full sets of Manowar classics. There are bands who push the envelope of the genre with Alestorm; old schools favourites like At the Gates; and modern pioneers of the latest in heavy music like Northlane. If you can’t find a reason to go, you’re not looking hard enough!
2. The location
Dinkelsbühl couldn’t be more appropriate as the site of a Heavy Metal festival. Dinkelsbühl was the former Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire, giving it a historical presence that resonates strongly with many of the stories told in Metal. Dinkelsbühl is an historic town, still appearing as it did between the 15th and 17th centuries. Beautiful architecture is all around, from the Gothic masterpiece St. George’s Minster, to the 19th century far late Roman style of St. Paul’s, the rococo chapel of the Castle of the Teutonic Order. Speaking of architecture, Dinkelsbühl also happens to be the home of Death Metal band Architect of Dissonance. A shuttle bus runs from the festival to Dinkelsbühl, so you’re always able to check out the restaurants, cafes and bars, and even the Woernitz river beach!
The Summer Breeze Festival runs over four days, a period of time long enough that you’ll want to be living on site! Thankfully the festival grounds accommodate 30,000 campers year after year, and at the tail end of the German Summer, it’s a lovely time to be there. Camping or not, attendees are well looked after, with plenty of food stalls including vegan and vegetarian options. But if you don’t want to buy your refreshments on site, fear not, as the festival allows you to bring in unlimited food and drink! The only real restriction is no glass bottles, but who wants to deal with that anyway? The festival even has its own supermarket, if you want to “home cook” your meals!
Even if you’re not much of a camper, the festival have you covered. You can rent tents, chairs and everything else you’ll need from Zeltheld, and they’ll even make sure it’s all been constructed for you by the time you can arrive! And you can even park your car right next to your tent.
4. Club 666
Love Summer Breeze festival so much that you just want to keep coming back again, and again, and again? Then the festival has made it very easy with Club 666! Simply join the club to get a three-year ticket for the festival, with a flat rate price for each year – no price increases! Plus for one of those years, you’ll get a VIP upgrade at no extra cost! And for all years, you’ll be able to skip the merch queues, and you’ll receive heaps of exclusive merch. What’s not to like?!
5. It’s the last big European Metal festival for 2018!
Yes, all good things must come to an end, and Summer Breeze is one of the last big Metal festivals on the European calendar, wrapping up on August 18. So it’s your last chance for a huge Metal party! But why not make it part of a festival trip? In August alone, you can also hit Germany’s mighty Wacken Open Air, and the Gothic and Industrial delights of M’era Luna. Surely that’s more than enough heaviness for you, not to mention enough to justify the trip to Germany!