I love open air festivals, but I love them small. After attending the medium-sized Dockville Festival two years in a row, I thought I knew that bigger festivals weren’t for me. But then a friend convinced me to go to Highfield this year, which is one of the biggest indie rock music festivals in Germany. I was a little uneasy about attending an event with 25.000 people, as I’d witnessed the Love Parade desaster last year. However, a look at the promising line up (Foo Fighters, anyone? Interpol?) and the idea of hanging out with good friends that weekend made me pack my camera, tent and rubber boots and go. And what did I find out – Highfield actually rocks.

Situated at Störmthaler See, the Festival was a fun weekend full of sunshine, hanging out by the lake, seeing some of my favourite bands without any feeling of being overcrowded or annoying.

My highlights were Norwegian newcomer Kakkmaddafakka, The Kooks, German dancehall combo Seeed, the White Lies and an absolutely amazing show by my future husbands 30 Seconds to Mars. I totally forgot how damn hot Mr Leto is…

Just like the Øyafestivalen, Highfield is one of the greener Festivals. There is a Green Camp here and Viva Con Agua is strolling around the whole venue to collect pledged cups to spend the money on their drinking water initiative. When the band Seeed played, one  of the guys actually stagedived with a rubber boat to get people to throw their cups into the boat.

After a tiny rain shower on friday the sun came out and brightened the venue with beautiful golden light.

Besides the typical festival merchandise and food stands, I really liked the Tape TV kiosk, where you could get candy in exchange of a festival tweet. Needless to say I tweeted a whole lot that weekend.

When I wasn’t watching bands, or drinking beer or taking photos or tweeting or eating candy, I spent a short lifetime sitting there watching people bungee jump from a crane spacer car. Insanity?!?

When Panic at the Disco entered the stage, girls went wild! Well, who would blame them for cheering on Brendon Urie? I certainly won’t. GO BRENDON!

The 30 Seconds to Mars show easily was my highlight. They had it all: balloons, fireworks, moshpits, glitter and a pathetically handsome Jared who got people pulled on stage every now and then so they could dive it right after. I actually lost my voice from screaming like a 16-year-old (and I am hard-pressed not to fill the rest of this sentence with silly hearts).

I really enjoyed the weekend, even through I couldn’t stay long enough to see the Foo Fighters (who played last! Who let’s the Foo Fighters play last?) and will definately consider going to big festivals again. With Berlin Festival around the corner, that might be quite soon….


This post was written by Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, who has a funny name even for Germans; she is a wicked go-getter and creative freelance designer, photographer and blogger.

She has an eye for beauty and even finds it in ugly apartment blogs. Her weekly photo chronicle “My week in pictures” has already become a classic among urban Berliners. Find out more at smaracuja.de.