Intrepid indieberliner Hayley Pearce heads to the Melt Festival, discovers a new cocktail, fails to get backstage and celebrates her birthday. There were also bands there.

 Melt! Festival by Hayley Pearce

Everyone knows a festival weekend is full of wild times and new experiences. And Melt! is no exception; in fact it’s probably the leader, in my eyes. Something about it (that venue, that line-up, that sunshine?) attracts a crazy and friendly bunch, and the whole three days was nothing short of ‘off the hook’.

I’m sure every single one of the 25,000 Melt! attendees has an abundance of stories to tell from the weekend’s adventures. These anecdotes are what will form my memories of Melt! for years to come.

The Songs We Kept Singing

We love Local Natives, don’t get us wrong. But when we heard ‘Colombia’ live it inspired us to create a new tongue-in-cheek version of the song, in which each of us took it in turns to sing the lines, ‘Every night I ask myself, am I [insert word here] enough?’, which, needless to say, produced some humorous results. My favorite replacement words were the suitably ridiculous ‘snorting’, ‘drinking’, ‘jerking’ and ‘ugly’. Do try at home, if you have the stupidest sense of humor ever.

Other ‘theme songs’ for our festival experience were most of Lonely Island’s repertoire, including Like a Boss and Jizz in my Pants. What is it about festivals that make us revert back to childhood tendencies?

The Belgian Pet

In the very early hours of Saturday morning, we found ourselves wondering around the ‘Camping 2’ campsite where we hung out with some Swedes for a while before venturing on. We found the World’s Smallest Tent and remarked on it. Before long, it had been decided that one of the boys that was meant to be sleeping in it would come along with us and stay in our cosy two-man tent. So, for the remainder of the festival, we had a Belgian boy (who we decided to refer to as our pet) sleeping between us.

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The Drugs

On meeting a guy who worked for Vice magazine, he suggested one angle for an article: ‘To what extent is MDMA necessary to enjoy Melt! Festival?’

To cut this answer down to four words, the answer is not at all necessary. For the whole festival, apart from varying degrees of drunkness, we were very much high on life the whole time.

But there ARE free drugs on offer at the festival. Ok, we’re mainly talking about painkillers here, but with our sore legs, bad backs and broken toes, we managed to score quite the cocktail of pills. They even gave us insect repellant. Thanks guys.

The Boozy Breakfast BBQ

Melt! is a great place to meet people, because there’s so many of you but not too many, and everyone’s in this amazing mood and wants to have fun. I think, by some kind of weird coincidence and despite how many people travel to the festival from abroad, that most of the people we met were living in Berlin.

We met the Berlin Sessions (http://berlinsessions.tv/) people next to a bear and an ice cream van in the professionals area. It was there that they interviewed us and we later found out we’d pitched our tent near them. So off we trundled to their camp the next morning to say ‘Hi’. As we arrived, they were beginning their breakfast grilling session and they fed us delicious BBQ food, along with lots of those pre-mixed Jim Beam cans. The result: happily drunk by lunch-time.

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The Sleeper Train and the ‘Risky’

We jived at the small hut in the Playground area on Saturday night and as some French boys danced past us, we ended up heading on to watch the absolutely amazing Disclosure with them. We then lost each other as we decided to venture forwards but the next day, while chilling by the lake, we bumped into them. After a bit, they told us they had way too much alcohol back at their camp (the sleeper train in the VIP camping section) and we kindly offered to help them drink it. On meeting them there, we sat underneath the train in the cool shade on the railway tracks. We were offered a choice of ‘Rum or whisky?’ and another of the group added, ‘…Or a mix of the two, RISKY?’

Playing it safe, I stuck to a cocktail that would surely only ever be consumed at a festival: warm white rum and fizzy apple juice from the ‘Supermarkt’ in the campsite.

The Hippy Headbands

We made like 1969 and created garlands made from plants to tie round our heads. Yes they looked amazing and yes, a surprising amount of people tried to eat them.

The Birthday Surprise

At midnight on Sunday night into Monday morning, I turned a year older. And what better way to spend it than at Melt!? We’d watched the incredible Archive in the Intro Zelt, who played to an adoring and appreciate crowd in what I thought was the performance that stole the entire show at Melt!. It was steeped in energy, love and crazy dancing.

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After their show, we went to the Intro Zelt backstage and there we met up with some of the Archive boys and off we went to catch snippets of Atoms for Peace and James Murphy, all the while feeling blessed that these two performances were happening a stone’s throw away from each other. Next, after we tried to creep into the Main Stage’s backstage area with Darius, Danny, Mickey, Dave and Smiley plus their photographer Julian, and we failed, the guys came back out with drinks for us and many ‘happy birthday’ wishes. There were fireworks over us to mark the end of the festival but of course I liked to think they were for me.

Bring on Melt! 2014.

Article by Hayley Pearce

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