Elf Fantasy Fair, Arcen
17 en 18 September 2011
Photography: Michael Oosterink
Year after year a successful fair in Haarzuilens, it’s already the third time Arcen also. A festival which is on my list for years, but there are always circumstances forcing me to alter my plans. I put on my kilt and cape and it’s time to leave. After some strange looks in the train, and getting annoyed by the public transport, we finally arrive in Venlo, to ask ourselves: ‘when is the shuttle bus coming’. After a while it arrives and we and all the other ‘weirdo’s’ get in. After a drive of half an hour, we pass the Dutch border and get to Elfia. This year the theme is ‘Vampires & Zombies’. We go inside and instantly we’re asked to taste some mead: this is gonna be a nice day.For the pure metalhead who visit our website only for the metal part, you can’t imagine what’s this event about. So I’ll try to help you. Elfia is a complete empire, there’s also music, but mainly there are many stands with merchandise form a dragon for on you shoulder to a warrior’s axe and from a beautiful dress to a hunk of meat. There are fantasy narrators, workshops, re-enactment, larp, horse-shows, a a huge dressed up crowd. The Elf organisation is very proud 75% of the visitors visits the event in style.
And on top of this there’s of course music, this year Versengold, Sandsacks and Saltatio Mortis
The first band I’ve got to see, is one I’ve seen before, and I like them, I’m talking about Versengold of course. The five Medieval drunks from Germany create with their alcohol loaded and merry music a very nice atmosphere. Since I same them last time, almost the whole line-up has changed, and in the absence of a female singer some songs can’t be played any more. Despite of this the best songs like ‘Einerley’ and ‘Voll wie mein Krug’ are played. It was of the up-most importance when Versengold asked ‘Wie’, everybody answered with ‘UNS!’ Which ended at the end of the show in a complete mix-up of words.
Another music-act which is worth mentioning is the Sandsacks, A German folkrock band from Berlin. They play a mix of own songs and old common pieces. Exciting dance music which manages to move young and old. The people watching are very enthusiastic but what’s striking is the fact there are only a few people present, the most of them walk by, look for a while and walk on through Elfia.
Hours later there’s another nice act on stage, Saltatio Mortis! These Germans are of course known by everybody, but I will explain how they were at their visit at the empire with a lot of ‘Vampires and Zombies’ Elfia. The audience isn’t really in for a moshpit but they show they can clap and jump. Saltatio of course is very capable of creating a perfect sound, and despite of the large number of instrument they manage to play a show without any errors and perfectly tuned in to each other. In my opinion this singer is a little bit too hyperactive, I know a lot of people disagree. But he knows how to drag the audience along, when they also get to play ‘Prometheus’, the roof gets of, although there isn’t really a roof on ‘Elfia’. Finally there’s a polonaise, led by singer Alea himself. Unfortunately we have to go immediately after this to be on time for the train home. In this way we miss out on the last 15 minutes of the band.
But we can say for sure, this was a fabulous performance by a band which has already proves itself for a very long time,