Meltdown At Ferropolis

Melt organiser Stefan Lehmkuhl is sending an official apology to fans who got soaked trying to get on the site because the German festival’s ticket-checking system couldn’t deal with the traffic.

"We increased the capacity and had 4,000 more people than usual, all wanting to get in quickly because of the torrential rain," he told Pollstar after the July 18-20 event smashed its attendance record.

"We were full at 20,000 on the first two days and on the third day, when we dropped down to two stages, we had another 12,000 for Bjork," he said, explaining how the event pulled 20,000 more than last year’s sold-out, two-day bash.

"The third day was separate in a way because we didn’t want to increase the ticket price from euro 60 to euro 80," he said. "So, we kept the same price for a two-day ticket and added a third day at euro 20 to allow the fans to make their own choice about it."

Lehmkuhl said the heavy rain showed the advantages of using the Ferropolis site at Graefenhainichen, a former open-face coal mine on the shore of the Gremminer Sea. Its asphalt surface prevented a big mess.

"I think a normal grass site would have turned into a mudbath, but at least we don’t have that problem," he said.

The most distinguishing feature of the site, which won "best live music location" at the 2006 German Live Entertainment Awards, are the 60-metre-high digger cranes – or "the ferropolis" – that once dragged coal from the earth.

Acts included Franz Ferdinand, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Editors, dEUS, Blackmail, Blood Red Shoes, Boys Noize, Does it Offend You, Yeah? Hot Chip, Kate Nash, Robyn and Roisín Murphy.