In September 2018, my hometown Reutlingen hosted its first-ever GraveArt Festival. I had been thinking about organizing this festival for a long time before we actually started planning it.
The idea behind the festival was to address the changes in the rock and metal scene in Reutlingen. Over the years, the local scene had become less active, and people seemed less interested in attending concerts. We wanted to prove that there was still life in the metal community and encourage people to come out and enjoy live music.
In Reutlingen and the surrounding area, there were numerous small underground concerts happening regularly, but they seemed to draw the same crowd month after month. People had gotten used to the idea that the bands would play again somewhere else soon, so they didn't feel the need to leave their comfort zones. We wanted to challenge this mindset with the festival.
That's why we aimed to make the GraveArt Festival a bold statement. We invited headlining acts that were not commonly seen in the area, offering a chance for the audience to experience something different. These acts had a lot of experience and stage presence, providing a compelling reason for people to step out of their usual routines and enjoy a concert.
We wanted to create an atmosphere that was unlike other concerts where people would stand around waiting for it to end. Instead, we aimed to bring people together and reignite their passion for live music.
As part of the festival, we even held a band contest to select the opener for the event. The band called Loss of Charity emerged as the winners and got the opportunity to perform.
The lineup of the festival was well-received due to its diverse range of genres. The grand finale featured the rising stars from Moldova, "Infected Rain," who left no metalhead unsatisfied.
Even today, years after the festival, people still inquire about when the next one will take place. Unfortunately, given the current difficult times, I can't provide an answer to that question. However, the demand for a continuation of the festival shows that it had a lasting impact and left attendees eager for more.