Festival Crew Hits Melting Point

The mini heat wave that’s scorched some eastern and central European countries reached far enough into Germany to stop the crew’s production break down of the appropriately named Melt Festival.

"They had to give up because nobody could work in that heat," festival booker Stefan Lehmkuhl told Pollstar after the thermometer had nudged past the 40 degree Celsius mark.

"They left the stages and the towers and then came back and took them down the next day," he said.

The weather certainly helped bring people out as 16,000 per day turned up to the Ferropolis site at Gräfenhainichen over the July 13-15 weekend.

The former open-air coal mine that sits on the shores of the Gremminer See, a lake created during redevelopment of the site, won the 2006 German Live Entertainment Award for "Best Venue."

Its most distinguishing features are the huge 60-metre-high digger cranes – or "The Ferropolis" – that once dragged coal from the earth, which are now museum pieces that are lit up when Melt is running.

"We were worried because it had rained hard in the leadup to the festival but soon after we’d arrived on the site, the sun came out and left a beautiful rainbow arcing over us," Lehmkuhl said.

He says the crowd, which was 3,000 up on last year’s record-breaking 13,000, was as much as the festival can handle with its present configuration and it’s now a case of capping the numbers or redesigning the layout.

The acts helping to turn up the heat included Dizzee Rascal, Kelis, Kettcar, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Puppetmastaz, Mouse On Mars, Shout Out Louds, Goose and Richie Hawtin.