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Superbloom Festival 2023 – Review

If Superbloom is tackling teething problems behind the scenes, it is hard to see, yet it would be perfectly legit to do so, as the culture extravaganza marks a successful year two.

It is early days. If Superbloom is tackling teething problems behind the scenes, it is hard to see, yet it would be perfectly legit to do so, as the culture extravaganza marks a successful year two.

Known for Oktoberfest, authentic beer halls, Munich also has mesmerising art galleries, sport – top tier football – science and technology. Music isn’t necessarily the first thing that springs to mind when the city’s name comes up in conversation, but that could be about to change.

Superbloom has a lot of offer. The Bavarian city, the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, is well-designed to host an outdoor music and culture occasion. Held in Munich’s breath taking Olympiapark, the site area is more than a striking location. With distinct architecture, the vast green space is open and welcoming, and can host 50,000 festival punters, no problem. To imagine a considerable event expansion in the future is not difficult, the site could handle it.

 

Mayberg | Super Stage at SUPERBLOOM Festival, 03.09.2023. (Julius Hatt for SUPERBLOOM Festival)
(c) Philipp Kratzer
Dermot Kennedy | Super Stage at SUPERBLOOM Festival, 02.09.2023. (Julius Hatt for SUPERBLOOM Festival)

 

A brisk tour rightly sets the bar high, and is one that remains unchanged over the course of the weekend. Bright, colourful and optimistic, the city’s new art and culture player is a vibrant alternative for young Germans and Europeans with crisp ideas about what a contemporary festival experience should comprise of. With tall, synthetic flower decor placed around site, the festival name is quickly demystified.

This year’s big focus on pop music represents a bold alternative to Germany’s past as an events’ organiser that specialises in more traditional genres, appealing to seasoned, mature rock audiences. But the neat blend of international headliners coupled with rising national talent only seems to confirm the validity of the festival’s implemented music booking strategy.

Being one in a million to supply an Olympic stadium as its main stage undoubtedly contributes an extra layer of excitement. It gives every punter the added benefit of attending large scale stadium live performances as part of the ticket. Fully integrated and part of schedule, the stadium sets appear to be evenly distributed across the running order.

 

Raye | Super Stage at SUPERBLOOM Festival, 03.09.2023. (Julius Hatt for SUPERBLOOM Festival)
Foto: Adam Haranghy // www.adamharanghy.com

 

The broad concoction of domestic and global artists makes for an enticing weekend. The first night reaches an undeniable climax when headliner Martin Garrix delivers a prime time slot with a slick, electrifying, adrenaline-fuelled set on the Olympic Stadium, as the Dutch DJ brings day one to a close in style. It has been a magnificent day, a day that also sees Manchester rapper Aitch give an energetic afternoon show, while and Irish singer songwriter Dermot Kennedy seduces the crowd with catchy, emotive songs. Elsewhere, much earlier in the day, native rapper Badmómzjay’s show is raw and edgy, cementing the artist as one to watch.

Music is far from the only activity on display, however. A broad, yet select palette of activities, ways to engage and be entertained, are on offer in the park. Distributed across the site, punters can literally walk straight from a music performance to an activity of choice. While the vast park area is entirely free, it has pockets that are more hidden away, and they work as secrets that aren’t so secret that you won’t discover them.

District 4 is one of such pockets. In close vicinity of Super Stage, its playful, immersive vibes are fun and relaxing in equal measure, and there is an ambition to educate as much as to entertain.
There are market stalls selling handmade accessories, along with a vegan food outlet, a cocktail bar and a labyrinth type challenge. Playful activities that focus on discovery and immersion are not just limited to this area, children are generally well catered for, with an area for young children and a special Family entrance.

 

Trettmann | Super Stage at SUPERBLOOM Festival, 02.09.2023. (Julius Hatt for SUPERBLOOM Festival)
(c) Philipp Kratzer

(c) Philipp Kratzer

 

Nevertheless, the amusement starts at the entrance to District 4, where a considerable length of a queue turns out to front the chance to sit on a large vibrator, the competitive element is measured in a person’s ability to stay seated for as long as possible. Its popularity doesn’t seem to fade nor diminish over the course of the weekend.

A British favourite, Sam Fender is scheduled to appear Sunday, but announces two days before the need to pull out citing vocal problems. While this is disappointing news, there is still enough to get absorbed in. Musically, day two offers an equally poptastic array of talent including English singer songwriter Raye, who gives an energising set, and the same counts for American singer Ava Max and Swedish pop sensation Zara Larsson. But Jason Derulo gets a large majority of the weekend’s screams, when the takes his top off during his performance, while Sunday headliner, pop rockers Imagine Dragons, give an epic, definitive stadium gig experience, a magnificent way to wrap things up.

 

Raye | Super Stage at SUPERBLOOM Festival, 03.09.2023. (Julius Hatt for SUPERBLOOM Festival)

 

A safe and clean festival, next to no pushing or aggression is felt, respect for others is an overriding emotion, and if the number of litter bins available on site may seem a tad on the sparse side, it makes no difference to the shared sense of care for the community. Having no litter left on the ground at the end of day one is achievable in the UK, but to match that on day two at close of play, after the main act wraps up the event, seems less duplicative, but here it appears to be the norm.

Using the early September weekend with care to clearly define what its ethos are, plenty of potential is demonstrated over the two days, and Superbloom deserves credit for what it delivers. A young contender in the making, the prospect of what is still to come is rousing and one to greatly anticipate. No doubt, exciting times are ahead.

 

For more info on Super Bloom Festival and tickets for 2024 visit www.superbloom.de

 

Words by Susan Hansen

 

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