2012 marks the 15th anniversary of the Summer Breeze Open Air, which can now look back on a history almost unparalleled in Germany and Europe.
Everything began in 1997 in the Swabian town of Abtsgmünd, where promoter Achim Ostertag was then desperately searching for a chance to play with his band of the time, Voodoo Kiss. "Why not just organize a festival ourselves?" thought the group, who had only just outgrown their teen years. The result was the first Summer Breeze, held – in a tent at that time – on the Abtsgmünd fairground, the same place that hosted the festival until 2005 (with the exception of 1998, the only year that went without a Summer Breeze festival).
The second Summer Breeze 1999 was held in a tent again, and there were already bands that would often return in later years, such as End Of Green and 99 headliners Night In Gales, with the latter on the bill once again this year.
Article continues below...
A year later, Summer Breeze became an open air festival and was held over the course of three days for the first time.
Summer Breeze Open Air kept constantly growing, which led to the location reaching its full capacity in 2005. No wonder, considering the international greats who had graced Abtsgmünd with their presence until then: In Flames, Nightwish, Dimmu Borgir, Amon Amarth, Paradise Lost, Kreator, In Extremo, Subway To Sally, Lacuna Coil, and many more.
After a frenetic search, a new location was found in neighbouring Bavaria, which was more than apt to accomodate the festival's increased requirements and also flexible enough to allow more changes in the future. The wonderful medieval town of Dinkelsbühl, one of the last three German cities that keep their surrounding walls intact, became the new home of Summer Breeze Open Air.
The rapid increase in attendance, from 11,000 people in 2006 to 33,000 in 2011, clearly proves that the change in location met the fans' approval. However, despite its enormous size, which makes it the second biggest all-Metal festival in Germany with three open air stages and one tent stage, Summer Breeze has never lost any of its familiar character and its friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
From the very beginning, the promoters always had the well-being of their patrons in mind, a fact that becomes evident once again this year. 85.- Euros for a three-day ticket (including an exclusive warm-up show the day before) with 100 bands playing is synonimous with real value for money, the kind you don't find very often these days.
Nevertheless, the organizing team are not cutting corners or resting on their laurels. Year in and year out they work diligently to improve the logistical planning, including the general hygiene situation, in order to guarantee all festivalgoers the best possible service.
For example, at Summer Breeze open Air 2012 it is possible for the first time to reserve larger camping areas in advance for groups of 20 people and more. At the same time, popular features such as the free bus shuttle between the town of Dinkelsbühl and the festival site on Sinbronn airfield are being kept and expanded.
Musically speaking, the Summer Breeze Open Air anniversary sees an impressive bill featuring the best of the festival history. Many bands that have brought the audience near boiling point in the last years will be on hand again to heat up the festival atmosphere. Let us just mention a few names such as Amon Amarth, Within Temptation, Subway To Sally, Immortal, Behemoth, Sick Of It All, Six Feet Under or Sepultura.
But in 2012 there's obviously also room for new, up-and-coming bands and hot insider tips, for which Summer Breeze has always had a good nose (think of a band like Volbeat, who made it from opener to headliner in just a few years!). Australia's Be'lakor, who will be playing in Dinkelsbühl for the second time after their 2010 appearance, or Finland's masters of melancholy Ghost Brigade should be enough to bring our point across.
The Summer Breeze bill is open to all stylistical variations, as everyone has come to expect from a festival that is well-known for its open-mindedness. Medieval bands such as Corvus Corax compete for the crowd's favor with electro deathcore (We Butter The Bread With Butter), traditional Metal (In Solitude, Iced Earth), female fronted Metal (Within Temptation, Epica), danceable gothic electronica (ASP), all kinds of death Metal, be it old-school, modern or technical (Unleashed, Behemoth, Six Feet Under, Nile, Vallenfyre, Asphyx), party-compatible thrash (Tankard, Municipal Waste), modern Metalcore (Unearth, Architects), grim black Metal (Immortal, Shining), experimental sounds (Glorior Belli, Tanzwut) and the most brutal the scene has to offer (Cattle Decapitation, AnaalNathrakh). Variation is spelled with a capital V, as there is something for everyone! If you don't have a good time, it's your own fault!
In this spirit we cordially invite everyone who has the slightest inclination towards heavy or dark music to celebrate the Metal party of the year from August 16th to 18th, 2012 in Dinkelsbühl, Bavaria at the anniversary edition of Summer Breeze Open Air!
Sign up here for your free MetalTalk Newsletter...