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Haldern Pop Festival

Listed under Festivals in Bocholt, Germany.

  • Photo of Haldern Pop Festival
  • Photo of Haldern Pop Festival
Photo of Haldern Pop Festival
Photo by Lucinda Day
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Roll up, roll up to Hadern pop festival; it’s by far the coolest and most carefree show on the indie calendar. Set in the gorgeously understated Rhineland, amongst rolling yellow meadows, wandering cows and tiny German villages, it really is the perfect little place to spend a summer’s afternoon; and that’s before the festival has even started.

For three days in early August, the residents of German village Haldern, whip out their dancing shoes, bicycles, and bottles of local beer before heading to an exciting indie pop party that takes place annually in their local back garden. This is no typical local festival, however. While it may have the appearance of some sort of local weekender – there is merely one dainty main stage – do not be deceived. The line up always witnesses the most talented and respected, new and aged, indie rockers pull in the crowds; Flaming Lips, Ed Harcourt, Loney Dear, We Are Scientists, and Editors are to name but a mere few.

Of course, these are all acts that could be caught on a regular basis in Britain, the USA or Europe; yet you won’t witness them in such close, and chilled out proximity as you would here. The crowds are charming, and fairly local, as is the local beer; making Haldern stand out as a particularly refreshing experience for the indie music fan.

Haldern has a secret gem to explore after the main-stage too. The famous tent stage, lent to the festival from Glastonbury, is an elderly circus tent with a limited capacity, and exciting alternative line up that continues into the early hours. Here, you can watch the most intimate of gigs, in what feels like the most surreal surrounding. Last year, I discovered the delights of Patrick Watson Band in here when their equipment broke, and a small tent of merry festival people came to their rescue with the most epic of cosy sing-a-longs.

There are even more cosy sing-a-longs, and camp fires, going down back in the campsite once you’re finally chucked out though, and unlike British festivals these are guaranteed to be full of ecstatically happy music lovers, rather than lairy drunk teenagers that never seem to make it to the gig (and manage to wreck your tent!). And in the morning, when it’s time to pack up for the weekend, don’t worry about rushing because there is a somewhat chilled out approach to putting on a party in Germany. Hurrah for Haldern! Just beware of the cows.

Written by  Lucinda Day.

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