Masters of Rock 2009, July 9 - 12, Czech Republic

by Wintertale

image - see following caption
Photo: Wintertale / StudioRock

The most popular festival in Czech Republic due the number of visitors in the past years is Masters of Rock. This year the festival took place between 9th and 12th July on the premises of the R. Jelínek company that is producing alcoholic liqueurs in Vizovice. Everything was arranged between concrete buildings on an extended surface exactly near the railway. Camping was possible on the nearby hills and almost on every green space found. For the ones who wanted the car and tent together the parking was a small problem. The only possibility was the field near the city from where you had to run a considerable distance on a small road or on a path between bushes. A trial version of some plastic toilets on that hill also existed – three at number, not being washed or cleaned in the four days of festival (after the second day everything around was a big public toilet).

The access to the stages and to the festival area was assured by two entrances. The main stage, a little bit too small and cramped on a concrete surface managed to cope well. Except the sound that was closed like in a box. Two screens were giving images from the stage and in the back and on one side were tribunes for the tired ones. The merchandise area was extended and diversified and food and drinks could be found a lot for all tastes. Two huge tents and other smaller ones existed with tables and benches where you could take a break and enjoy your beer or chosen food. In front of the main tent a third screen was installed from where you could see what is happening on the stage.

For the ones without tickets, these - for a cheaper price - could be found at the entrance at the official stand but also at people that bought too many or changed their mind. The organizers were very proud with the number of visitors this year so that's why probably it still was not made public. But for sure it was over all the records from previous years. The general impression about Masters of Rock and the ones that organized it- making all possible to sell as much as possible without being interested in the consequences (a ticket holder did not receive anything more than the ticket itself and the necessary bracelet- for the festival program you had to pay separately and the used English was kind of poor). The effects were clear- the most crowded place and festival ever seen. You had nowhere to move, stay nor to step. All was like a huge public toilet (considering that only few toilets from the main road were emptied in all the four festival days) with characteristic smells that were mixing with the ones of beer and food. At every step you could see a naked guy honoring Mother Nature without any shyness.

Mainly the bands were local and in the heavy metal area with small exceptions. In Extremo made a nice show, Nightwish were not in their shape this time (many people were asking themselves if the singer is the same or they changed her again), Rage made the atmosphere more relaxed and Edguy and Deathstars had the same show. Keep of Kalessin had 40 minutes in plain day being followed by a local band Kreyson. Death Angel and Kataklysm were in good shape as well as Korpiklaani where the crowd gathered curiously. Dragonforce were not so enthusiasts this time- they looked tired and exhausted. The public in majority amateur was delighted in the third day by Legion Of The Damned, The Sorrow, Axxis, Crucified Barbara, Evergrey, Stratovarius, Blind Guardian and Tiamat with the new line-up and compositions inspired by the greek breeze. Eluveitie and the germans from Schandmaul induced wonderful and relaxed moments being followed by the brutal Heaven Shall Burn. The last bands from the festival play list were Die Happy, Voivod, Arch Enemy with a memorable and full of energy show and the legendary Europe maintaining themselves in shape with their famous songs sung by the crowd.

The access was allowed with photo cameras (including the professional ones) but not with video ones. A certain courage dose was needed to make some pictures considering the “wonderful” habit to let some beer fingers in the glass and after to throw it in the crowd. The Czech crowd temperament let a lot of missing parts to wish for. For the ones that passed childhood Masters of Rock is not the ideal festival. Cheap but crowded, bad organised and full of kids wanting to expose their outfits, to remark themselves all the time forgetting about good manners and respect to themselves and to others.