The Rhine in the direction of Koblenz, as viewed from the Lorelei.







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THE LORELEI PROG ROCK FESTIVAL, ST. GOARSHAUSEN, GERMANY - 2009 - [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]   




Unlike the previous year, which resulted in my attending the festival on my own and the hiring of a car which blew my trip budget through the roof, Chris Durcan was keen to avail himself of Lorelei 2009 and some decent progressive rock once again, having been in the Philippines for many months with his wife. I had booked the concert & flight many months earlier, whilst Chris, still jetlagged, having returned to the UK only a couple of days before, was relying on being able to buy a ticket at the event itself. Lorelei 2009 had reverted back to a two-day format from the three-day event it had been the previous year, scheduled for the Friday and Saturday. Chris was keen that we travel on the Thursday rather than rush it the next day.

I recorded the following in my diary: "Tomorrow I'm off To Germany for the two-day Night Of The Prog Festival at St Goarshausen on the Rhine, within spitting distance of the Lorelei. I'm so chuffed that a compact Vango tent I ordered off Amazon, which weighs only 2kg, arrived today, in time for the weekend, as my other tent weighs in at 4kg, so it gives me a greater margin at the Ryan Air check-in, who tend to be exceedingly strict with the 15kg limit for luggage in the hold. Also had to get another inflatable mattress, as my other one is leaking slightly. Heck, I'm really looking forward to the event and will be the third year running I'm attending. Leading the pack Saturday night is ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett and his band."


The Rhine in the direction of Oberwesel & Kaub, as viewed from the Lorelei.


Lets begin on the subject of Ryan Air. The thing about Ryan Air is that they have people by the short & curlies, basically because conveniently, they fly to destinations of choice and secondly, the flights are relatively competitive despite the hidden costs re. airport taxes, payment for luggage in the hold and so on; the trick is to stay within the rules else you get burnt big-time! Ryan Air have undoubtedly attracted criticism. Why, there's even a website for Ryan Air supporters (not!) at: and a "We HATE Ryanair" group on Facebook. So did this trip change my convictions in any way? I am convinced that Ryan Air executives probably gather round in a boardroom somewhere and rub their hands with glee as they scheme and devise new ways to piss customers off! Seriously! Okay, so I admit to being a bit of a wally for not having checked my e-mail notification beforehand (which ended up in my BT Yahoo spam folder anyway), informing me of the requirement for passengers to have to print out boarding passes in advance themselves. So the monetary penalty for this oversight in my case involved a £20 fee, whilst the psychological price I had to pay left me exhausted, anxious and stressed out, this after initially having arrived blissfully well chilled out at Stansted Airport. Upon arrival at the check-in desk after having queued, I was told to proceed to one of the available check-in consoles in the airport terminal and print out my boarding pass.

Following through the procedure on the console's screen, I was informed that I would be charged the £20 but after inserting my credit card, the transaction was declined. I returned to the check-in desk and was redirected to Ticket Purchases, where an even longer queue had formed. I saw not one but several people pushing in at the front of the queue, sweat pouring down their faces as if they had just run a marathon, desperately trying to make their flights before check-in had shut. Eventually, after reaching the desk and paying the required penalty, I lie not, I had to return to the console to print out the boarding pass and then only rejoin the check-in queue! By this time Chris, Ryan Air's biggest fan (I mean this tongue-in-cheek) had arrived and, wait for it, he didn't even have his booking form, poor sod. Furthermore, he showed up with a huge roll-up tent for the hold; he didn't know it then but he was going to be paying extra. My rucksack destined for the hold had to be taken to a special load zone (another queue) for it to be scanned first. As luck would have it, they wanted to carry out a random search, so they proceeded to unpack its entire contents. Lovely! The next queue is the one through customs, where you all but strip naked, before finally queuing to board the flight. By the time we were seated, Chris was livid and really mad at the clerk at the ticket desk who had been rude to him, so much so, that he refused to order any refreshments on board whatsoever. What had transpired was that, upon her being asked to rewrite the hand-written reference number, as Chris couldn't make out the number, the clerk wrote the reference number in large inch-size characters on a sheet of paper, handing it to him saying: "Is that large enough?" For the record, a tea on Ryan Air costs £3.


Barges on the Rhine at the Lorelei.

Upon arrival at the Lorelei after a truly relaxing drive through the beautiful Rhineland-Palatinate countryside, the campsite seemed deserted, which we put down to us being a day early and a weekday at that. After settling in we drove down to St Goarshausen and found a suitable though dated restaurant décor-wise, for a meal. The next morning we had more than enough time to shower (we had to wait until they unlocked them) and stock up on some groceries for later before ambling down to the venue, camera in hand. Gosh, you meet all sorts. We had struck up a friendship with our tent neighbour, David Gower, who had worked at Watford Football Club handling the order and delivery of alcohol at the ground and whom we were to offer a lift to Frankfurt (Hahn) on our departure, as he had got to Lorelei by bus and coach - the things fans do for prog! Sadly, he had recently lost his work. A widely travelled bloke he was, having been all over the Far East, including Laos, I think it was. On a musical level, he had been hoping to return to the Baja Progressive Rock Festival in Mexico but his plans had been scuppered by the outbreak of swine flu.

And so to the Lorelei festival line-up, distinctly more "prog" than the previous year's:




Friday 10. July 2009 (Doors Open ca. 16:00)

Also Eden 16.30 h

Arena 17.45 h

Agents of Mercy (feat. Roine Stolt of Flower Kings) 19 h

Riverside 21 h

Gazpacho 23 h

End 01 h

Saturday 11. July 2009
(Doors Open ca. 12:00)

Subsignal 12.30 h

Pineapple Thief 13.45 h

Lazuli 15.15 h

Pure Reason Revolution 17 h

Pendragon 18.15 h

Steve Hackett & Band 20.30 h

Marillions Script for a Jester´s TearShow by Mick Pointer & Friends 23 h

End 01 h



Crowds await the arrival of the next act at the Lorelei Amphitheatre.


The Lorelei Night Of The Prog takes all types......



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Other links:

[Also Eden Webpage]

[Also Eden MySpace]

[Arena Webpage]

[Arena MySpace]

[Agents Of Mercy Webpage]

[Agents Of Mercy MySpace]

[Riverside Webpage]

[Riverside MySpace]

[Gazpacho Webpage]

[Gazpacho MySpace]

[Subsignal Website & MySpace ]

[The Pineapple Thief Website]

[The Pineapple Thief MySpace]

[Lazuli Website]

[Lazuli MySpace]

[Pendragon Website & Nick Barrett's notes on Lorelei 2009]

[Pendragon MySpace]

[HackettSongs Website (official website) & Steve Hackett]

[Steve Hackett Myspace]

[Marillion's Script For A Jester's Tear - Mick Pointer & Friends - Website]

[Marillion's Script For A Jester's Tear - Mick Pointer & Friends - MySpace]