When I was 15, I asked my mom whether she would allow me to go to Rock am Ring. I actually don’t remember what she said, but I do know that I could never move any of my friends at the time to join me at one of Germany’s biggest rock festivals. So when last month, I got an unexpected call by BLONDE magazine to join them as their festival photographer, I saw all my teenage dreams come true. I got to photograph some of the performing artists, such as The Naked and Famous, Bonaparte and Pete Yorn and sometimes I even got to hang out backstage in dangerous proximity to my pop crushes HURTS, Coldplay or Kings of Leon.

Now, I have to admit, my festival experience was not quite the most authentic kind. Thanks to an invitation from Diesel, we got to see shows from a tribune, sleep in hotels, drink free cocktails and eat free food. But maybe when you’re 29, that’s almost a condition to attending festivals, if you ask me. Anyone who’s ever slept in a tent in the pouring rain during a festival, will know what I’m talking about.

Blonde editor Turid right before our first interview appointment

Now what have I learned, as a relative newbie to festivals? First and foremost, I’ve been confirmed in what I’ve always assumed – festivals are amazing. A band that really knows how to rock the audience, can give you some of the best moments of your life – when everyone is totally into it, headbanging, jumping and singing along. Truly an incredible feeling. Even if you’re not much a fan of the band.

We Are Scientists playling live on the central stage

The biggest surprise to me was not only how bad Kings of Leon played (and boy, do i love me some Kings), it was how fabulously German band Beatsteaks rocked the crowd. Imagine 80.000 people jumping – an incredible sight to see.

cheering crowds at Beatsteaks show

A personal highlight for me was meeting Pete Yorn, as the Blonde editors had scheduled an interview with him. You know those records you used to listen to up and down and they remind you of that time in your life? Well Pete Yorn wrote such a record and it will forever remind me of the wonderful times I had living in San Francisco, back when I was 18. Turns out Pete is a nice guy with lots of introspection. He even gave me a quick photography lesson while I was actually supposed to get a good portrait shot of him for Blonde.

All sorts of people attend these festivals. But instead of analyzing who they all are, I prefer to leave you with a few more visuals so you can make up your own stories on who everyone is. I certainly have.

And as if all those photos were not enough, I made a short video of the festival to give you a notion of what it’s like.

Happy travels,