If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that we want to provide a small platform for young, up-and-coming bands. When I look at some of the friendships that have developed in recent months, we have probably done something right with our modest means. But it’s not about us at all.
It’s about our music, it’s about our scene. I am of the opinion that the young bands of today do not have to hide in any way from the older ones in terms of quality. Whoever claims that there are no more great talents is either deaf or completely stubborn. On this level, despite my leftist beliefs, I am an advocate of the performance principle: artists who release strong records deserve to have their compositions presented in an appropriate setting. Bands that have created a potential album of the year belong on the biggest stages possible. They also deserve attractive slots so that they don’t get lost at the beginning of a festival day.
To make one thing clear: This refers to ALL festivals. Of course, for economic reasons alone, it is prudent to sign up big-name acts for headlining positions. But there’s nothing wrong with giving hungry up-and-coming artists a slot right in front of the giants of our scene. An underground festival like Hell over Hammaburg has proven in recent years with Night Demon and Visigoth that the new generation can bring a fantastic event to a worthy close.
I can remember that some fans strongly criticized this brave decision of the organizers in advance. And I was particularly annoyed about this. How can our music remain relevant in the coming decades if young artists are not promoted to the greatest possible extent? Is it perhaps because many fans live too much in the past and glorify it? If the answer is “yes“, the conservative attitude of many festival organizers is absolutely understandable.
So are we fans actually the problem? Of course, this cannot be generalized. But a little more criticism with regard to the veterans would be quite appropriate. Whoever denies young artists more or less across-the-board the charisma for headlining positions, but at the same time uncritically celebrates “big“ names on a billing, who haven’t recorded a relevant album for 20 or 30 years, makes himself quite incredible in my eyes. What is it all about? About names – or should I rather say nostalgia – or about the music? When it comes to the music, as a fan I want the current best and most exciting bands our genre has to offer. These can be established acts, of course, but also young artists.
By the way, you don’t have to slaughter sacred cows for that. Every festival has its right to exist. It’s perfectly legitimate to celebrate the past in particular. But one must be aware: If this happens PREVIOUSLY – no matter if in the underground or in the mainstream – in 10 years we won’t have any exciting bands left to watch at festivals. The majority of them will have thrown in the towel in resignation, because their art does not receive the appreciation it deserves.