woensdag 14 augustus 2013

Review: Ieper Hardcore Fest Summer edition 2013

Ieperfest oh Ieperfest, tell me about passion, activism, spreading ideas, green policy and all the rest.

In 1992 the collectives of Vort’n Vis and Genet Records united to set up a first edition of Ieperfest.
Now 21 years later, Ieperfest grew out to be an important event in the hardcore scene on a pretty big scale. Tickets were sold until far beyond Belgian borders.

The festival is known for its delicious vegan food served by Ferm & Fameus, the high standard green policy, the More Than Music (MTM) tent where everything that goes beyond the music is discussed. From sharing and discussing political ideas & systems, activism and animal rights.

Books to buy going from the beloved multi skilled critic and linguist Chomsky to politics, sociology, music and vegan cookbooks. There is a beautiful zine collection, which is surrounded by sofas to make yourself feel like home while expanding your brains. The (at first sight misplaced, but yet comfortable) church chairs where you can sit during spoken word performances, watching documentaries on a big screen or just enjoy your bio cola while chitchatting around.

Ferm & Fameus took care of all vegan meals

   Fuck hunger!

Day one: Friday 9th August
The Homeless is a Belgian band with loads of ambition in their heads and pockets. The boys were scheduled to play the marquee on Friday morning and were honoured to open the hardcore festival. During the soundcheck it wasn’t sure if so many people would join The Homeless in the marquee, but by the time the set really started, a good amount of people showed up to support the guys for their very first Ieperfest performance.

Full of Hell, the energetic band that filled the marquee with some hardcore punk music at noon, were on tour with Code Orange Kids. The Kids played a show without caring about any mainstream attitudes on stage. They told us after the show that the reason they don’t communicate to the crowd is because there is simply nothing to add to their set. The young Americans (most of them are younger than 20) play their show on the main stage and even prefer their set just to be just a little bit shorter than planned to make people yearn for more. ‘We don’t want people to beg to buy our merch and there is simply nothing to add to our set’.

First Blood seems to be visiting the festival every two years lately. The politically involved band likes to fragmentize the world we live in and rethink everything before judging or believing anything. 
Frontman Carl Schwarz insists on turning off your tv and to think for yourself. And of course, to not believe the lies that are aggressively stuffed into our throats by governments and media. ‘Lies’, ‘Silence Is Betrayal’ and ‘Occupation’ are just a few songs out of their awesome setlist. 

The award for most admirable person performing this year’s edition goes out to Carl. Wisdom after wisdom rolls out of his mouth, on stage and off stage. Also a live interview with Carl took place in the More Than Music tent that day.

Time for some LA hardcore! Downset brought a mixture of rapcore and hardcore punk topped with political messages. They ended
 their performance with ‘Anger’ to keep everyone going for one last time. 

The guys from Face To Face brought us some real punkrock from back in the 90s. It was their very first Ieperfest performance last weekend, which went flawlessly.   

Horse the band certainly is one of a kind and stood their ground on Europe’s beloved hardcore festival. All set long parodies were made on all speeches we heard from other bands that day. No offense of course, this is Horse The Band for god's sake. To give you an idea, this is a quote: ‘We are Horse The Band, we have no souls and we understand that vegans are ruining the earth’. Take that, vegans. Our na├»ve souls still feel a bit polluted by their words, yet they made everybody laugh their ass off during the set. Robberies took place on stage by Mr. Nathan himself. Anyone who dared to set foot on stage to go for a dive risked to have lost a wallet, lighter, phone, sunglasses or anything else that were taken out of pockets by the vocalist. Some of the stolen stuff ended up being thrown into the crowd. Only the brave returned to the stage to take back what once was theirs. Insanity is the best word to describe what happened in the marquee between 22h20 and 23h10. 

"Take off those sunglasses, you fashion whore!", 
says Nathan to a random victim who was crowdsurfing at that time.
Horse The Band <3
Day Two: Saturday 10th August
Lots of South American hardcore on our plates on Saturday. Mostomalta warmed up the P.A. at the main stage with their strong Argentinian metalcore. After that, mics were tossed to the Brazilian people from Clearview. They got their fans going nuts with songs like ‘No Turning Back’ and ‘Payback'.

Around 3 in the afternoon, the hardest hardcore from Antwerp was smashed into our poor faces by The Setup. The guys just released a new album ‘This Things Of Ours’ and brought us some harsh and solid new songs to hear. The crowd seemed to prefer old song as they were not familiar yet with newer material that was released earlier this year.

By the time Ninebar was ready to start playing the main stage at 1h, the best spots in front of the stage were already taken by the London fans and crew. LBU, bitches! This set was basically a small ode to all London bands and LBU in general.

In the big center of photographical attention today was Death Before Dishonor.  The atmosphere meter reached climax so far on Saturday. Dust filled the air in front of the stage, so no more need for smoking machines if you just let the crowd do their thing while hearing those blasting songs like 'Peace And Quiet' and 'Boys In Blue'. Of course an ode to their hometown was brought by those Boston scene guys with 'Boston Belongs To Me'. Death Before Dishonor announced that a new album will be see the light in 2014. No title has been announced so far. Bets are on (send your bet to brutalitymagazine@live.be and win an oldskool red brick with a tattooed moustache on its ass).

Around 8 Culture breaks in with their 90s hardcore. This was an exclusive show in Europe, so it got pretty crowded on stage and in front of the stage.

The one exclusive after after another took place at Ieperfest. Cro-Mags came all the way from New York only to play the 21st Ieperfest edition. This was something a lot of people were looking forward to already for a while, mainly because Cro Mags were planned some editions ago but unfortunately had to cancel those shows. In a few minutes, Cro Mags would set foot on stage for the very first time in Ieper. Before the band even entered the stage, some fans were already stagediving. 'You will need therapy after you see me', yells John Joseph wearing his Sea Shepherd shirt.

Day Three: Sunday 11th August
People are getting exhausted from being non-stop drunk for three days in a row and in all confusion they crap on top of toilets or next to them. Thanks for lining people up at the chemical toilets. If we catch you, we will TP your mother's house. 
I decide to check out the other toilets where no one is standing in line. After some investigations it seemed that whoever drops whatever organic waste here, this is being reused to fertilize Flanders Fields. Imagine being six years old again when entering a pet shop and you walk straight to the hamsters, mice and guinea pigs. That sweet smell of sawdust is exactly what these toilets smell like. Heavenly, isn’t it?

As WolfxDown enters the mainstage, raindrops make place for some cosy sunshine. It is still quite early, but whole bunch of fans showed up to see the female fronted German hardcore band. A participating crowd supports the young Germans heavily during the show.

In the mean time, O Inimigo is waiting in the marquee to give you some Brazil punkrock.  It is remarkable how many Brazil bands are playing Ieperfest this year. Questions, sharing roots with O Inimigo, has a Brazil crew in front of them when performing. It is known that they are supported by Max Cavalera and we can only confirm that this band blows your mind. 

We lost track of time as we joined Greg Bennick’s spoken words right after our vegan lunch. Greg spoke about random people wanting to pinch his ass while being on tour, what straight edge meant back in the days and the preciousness of time and how to use it fully.
After Greg’s speech, a discussion was started where everyone shared ideas mainly about the hardcore scene and the limitation we all have regarding time. Hardcore was seen by some as a bubble that didn’t pull in enough new people and therefore could lead to stigmatization of our very own scene. Our brains ended up going in overdrive and Greg decided to let the spoken words melt into chitchatting around with each other about all ideas that were discussed, leaving the microphones aside.

No Turning Back had a full marquee waiting for them. The band from the Netherlands released an outstanding new album this year and therefore invited all people to sing with them. ‘If you know the words, grab the microphone!’. Our objective eye captures stagedivers pulling theirselves up and jump off the stage with high frequency. ‘Stronger’ and ‘Your Downfall’ created a nice atmosphere of pulling microphones, pulling strings and being one big hardcore family throwing a party together.

No time to breathe, because as No Turning Back thanks everyone for coming out, the metalcore kings I Killed The Prom Queen are strapping on their guitars. The band has been out of the game for quite some time and plays an exclusive show at Ieperfest. Currently the Australian IKTPQ is recording their new album in Sweden and they drove 14 hours to introduce their old songs and one brand new one 

to the interested people in Ieper.

Hardcore godfathers Madball had the honour to headline the festival on Sunday. The entire festival went nuts, on stage, off stage, everyone is jumping up and down to ‘Set It Off’. 
'From the streets... to the stage', yells Cricien. 

Looking forward to 2014

Ieperfest is a festival that truly sticks to certain values that go hand in hand with hardcore. This unique event is the beating heart of the H8000 scene and is a must for every hardcore fan.

The line-up was awesome, the burgers, icecream and cupcakes were delicious, the spoken words were more than just interesting and so were the live interviews. We can't wait to sit in Flanders Fields again with all the cup holders flying over our heads while music is playing and straw is thrown into the air.

We hope you all had a blast at Ieperfest, just like we had. 

Thanks for reading!