Ieperfest is a DIY (do it yourself) festival that happens every year - in the last 18 years - at the Belgium city of Ieper. Three days of hardcore music, vegan food and interviews. The festival is getting bigger and bringing a lot of popular (and big) bands. When I say "big" please consider the hardcore scene. In this edition, classic bands as Madball, Agnostic Front, 7 Seconds and Converge had bands. And also bands of the new generation, like Cruel Hand, Trash Talk, Bitter End and Grave Maker. Around 20 bands play each day in two stages (a bigger one, open, and a smaller one, in a tend). This is not a post about the music, though.
Purification: Matteo's band played the first day of this edition
One of the most important things about this festival, to me, is that it's something more than music. For a lot of people that go there nowadays, it's just the music, but this is not everything and the collective that organize the festival wants more than that. There's a tend called "More tan Music" where interviews, spoken words, debates and films screens happen during the three days. Inside the tend it's possible to find tables with a lot of information about animal rights and human rights. Unfortunately, it's hard to compete with the shows, but there are always people inside, interested in what's going on. I have to say that I spent a lot of time there with my friends and could be part of a lot of great moments.
Live interview with Confronto, from Brazil, that played the second day of this edition
The second highlight of the festival is the food and the concern about the environment that the organization have. All the food at Ieperfest is vegan. This year we could choose between three pita options, three hot plate options, french fries and dessert options. This is a great way to show to the people that go there every year (and there are more and more people going for each edition) that vegan food is a good option. Inside the "More than Music" tend there was also more alternatives to eat vegan: organic soda, chocolate and pies (salty and sweet). There were options for everybody, for every taste. And the most important: without using animals as object. Also, there were recycling bins everywhere and for every plate returned to the food tend, they gave you one extra food "token" back. Check more about Ieperfest garbage politics clicking here (check the "garbage" section, please).
I won't say that everything in the festival is perfect, there are some things that bother me a lot, for example, people smoking inside the tents (and there is a huge open space there!), but Ieperfest is still the biggest and the best hardcore independent festival and they have all my support. Plus, it is a great opportunity to meet friends that I don't see too often and that share the same passion and some of the most important values that I have in my life.
A local newspaper covered the festival, so you can check some great pictures here, here and here!
Support the DIY collectives. Support hardcore.