Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Not much Love at Love Family Park

Last Sunday saw the 15th anniversary of the hugely popular Love Family Park Festival in Hanau, close to Frankfurt. For 38,55€, I thought I was in for a treat for relatively small money : 12 hours, 3 stages, 15 DJs and live acts and a guesstimated 20.000 happy loved-up ravers. Transport and afterhour club included.Sounds like fun, no? That's what I thought, too...
So here's what happened.
The festival started at 10 a.m., but none of my friends could really be asked to get there before 1 p.m.. The weather was absolutely brilliant, bright sunshine and a light breeze - what more could you want? Usually the entrance is a bit of a hurdle, but we hardly had to queue at all, and our bags were not taken apart and searched but rather quickly scanned by a bored security girl. Call me strange but I find it a little rude when security people scrutinize every last item in your purse, including tampons...
But obviously they have a point, especially at a festival that caters to a scene that has a bad reputation for loving their drugs. The same reasoning probably inspired the presence of truckloads of cops. Really, THEY WERE EVERYWHERE!
Apart from the security guys who watched the entrance, there were at least one police team in full combat gear (with guns!), uniformed and armed policemen patrolling the place, two or three of them constantly watching the place from above and an unknown number of undercover cops. How do you tell if somebody is a cop without a uniform?

They wear closed-toe shoes for their own security and in case they have to run. They bring expensive shades - most people won't, because they intend to get drunk and chances are you lose/sit on your fancy sunglasses when intoxicated :) They have some sort of bag, bum bag or massive pockets and most of them won't take off their shirts even in the most excruciating heat.
And of course, if somebody just stands around for hours, watching people from an elevated spot and regularly talking into an earpiece, that's a dead give-away. From our little tent I had a good view of one of those guys. He might as well have written POLICE on his forhead. I had nothing illegal to hide but it still made me feel uneasy to know that everybody was being observed.

But the most annoying part is yet to come.
Maybe this procedure is totally normal at Love Family Park, but I found it to be a massive nuissance. So instead of just going to a bar and buying your (overpriced) drinks, you first had to buy tickets worth 10€ each, with which you could go to the bar. There, they would tick off the money used for your drinks and deposit. The crux was, that even the cheapest drinks would cost you 6€ (including 2€ deposit for the cup or bottle), so for getting the next drink you would return to the bar, get your deposit (in cash), take it to the ticket box, buy another drink ticket, and start from the top.
As if that wouldn't be enough of a hassle, the bar staff would sometimes forget, sometimes refuse to give you deposit vouchers, meaning you could bring back your empty cups and bottles, but you wouldn't get your money back. Awesome. I'm sure the bars made a good extra income like that.
By the way, the food stand (yes, there was only one) didn't accept the tickets, just cash. And they handed out different deposit vouchers for their plates, just to make sure you get seriously confused with all those little slips of colorful paper in your wallet.

It wasn't all bad though :)
To give the festival some credit, there were a couple of cool things going on as well; the decorations were nicely done (nothing compared to Fusion Festival, but they tried), they had a massive outdoor shower for cooling yourself down, an Alice truck and obviously some really loud music by really famous DJs.

Also people took pictures of my friends and me as if glittery facepaint and poi would go out of fashion, which of course they won't as long as I'm still around :) If anybody sees one of those pics, please let me know because I didn't take a camera (because intoxicated people tend to lose/sit on those, too :) )


Alright, so in that last little part of this post I'm just trying to make myself feel better about the fact that the lion and I spent more than 200€ on a mediocre festival. Darn.

To make it short: I won't go again. It's definitely not worth the money, I could've had a lot more fun hanging out with friends in a park, with beer and a stereo.

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