Nova Rock – Sunny Pop and Rock

Nova Rock – Sunny Pop and Rock

Nickelsdorf – The Nova Rock festival displayed two distinct faces on its penultimate third day. On Friday, the Blue Stage featured a pop-heavy lineup with acts like Sportfreunde Stiller, Avril Lavigne, and headliner Måneskin, while the Red Stage leaned more towards rock and metal with performances by P.O.D., Steel Panther, Body Count featuring Ice-T, and rock legend Alice Cooper. The sun blazed down during the first half of the day, and organizers used social media to warn of potential rain showers later in the night.

“Our weather service predicts rain around midnight,” the announcement read. The exact amount of rainfall was uncertain, but attendees were advised to prepare. For the time being, sunscreen and hats were essential. Måneskin’s performance seemed to attract additional crowds, noticeable by the increased foot traffic towards the venue. Alice Cooper remarked on his performance: “The snake and the guillotine are here.”

Sportfreunde Stiller are regular favorites at the Pannonia Fields. Drummer Florian “Flo” Weber tried to recall how many times they’ve performed at the festival, estimating around four times, with one occasion when the second stage was far off. “But we’re not part of the furniture!” bassist Rüdiger “Rüde” Linhof asserted. “We love coming here; the wind always feels strong, the wine is always great, and the audience is always ready to party,” Weber added, explaining why they keep returning.

The band from Upper Bavaria has been enjoying a “totally great time” since their comeback after a break. They are in high spirits and are making future plans, according to the musicians, who also follow the Euro football tournament closely. “If David Alaba and Alexander Schlager were playing, I would definitely say Austria in the semifinals,” the drummer predicted. Linhof jokingly added, “Hans Krankl is the best goalkeeper in the world.”

Local band Granada gave a preview of their upcoming album, set to release in the fall. “We got up early and started early. It’s very special to play here today, as we’ve never been here before,” said Alexander Christof. “This might be our biggest concert. I’m incredibly excited and a bit nervous. It’s thrilling!” Granada’s music is catchy pop, crafted with attention to detail. Their new songs “Feiawerk” and “Wimper” demonstrate their positive energy and melodic hooks.

Nova Rock has broadened its musical horizons in recent years, now featuring pop artists like Avril Lavigne and delivering energetic indie performances like those from Blond. “We talked about this today. The festival used to be heavily focused on punk, metal, and hardcore,” noted singer Thomas Petritsch. “But it’s become more diverse. We feel very comfortable now, even seeing the other bands. I think we fit in well.” Summery tunes under a bright sun? It seems like a winning combination.

The Red Bull Stage also saw great reception on the third day, creating an almost club-like atmosphere outdoors. Backstage, Future Palace, a Berlin trio led by singer Maria Lessing, awaited their afternoon debut. Their music blends post-hardcore rock and metal with influences as diverse as Mike Oldfield. “We’ve performed in Austria six times, but never here. It’s huge here. There’s bungee jumping, tattooing, crazy bands – everything. It’s like a city of its own,” they marveled. They plan to return to Austria in the fall with a new album featuring fresh influences.

So far, the festival has been peaceful for emergency services. “Everything is fine,” a police spokesperson reported on Saturday. The Red Cross also had a manageable number of cases. Around 175 people were treated on Friday, mostly for ankle injuries or sprains. In total, 1,020 people have been treated on-site, with 213 transports and 35 people taken to the hospital for further treatment. The crisis intervention team was activated six times.

The ÖAMTC noted that attendees were well-prepared, with only occasional calls for help with locked-in keys or flat tires during unloading. The traffic club expects most of the assistance calls to come during the departures on Sunday evening and Monday morning.


Photo: Thomas Ranner

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