There was one band we really wanted to see, Lyriel, who only seemed to play in Germany, so if we were to see them we would have to travel. As Autumn Moon was the half term weekend shortly after our thirtieth wedding anniversary, we decided to treat ourselves.
Our lack of German language skills was a bit of a challenge, especially as Hameln is quite a small town so there was limited English spoken, but we managed.
The festival ran on three main sites: the Rattenfängerhalle - Ratcatcher Hall - was the main stage, then there was a smaller stage at the Sumpfblume - Swamp flowers - and a tiny stage on a ship - large barge really. The Mystic Halloween Market also had its own open air stage where some of the bands also played.
After that we had a choice: stay on the Schiff for Ye Banished Privateers, or pop across to Sumpfblume to see electro-pop-rock band Tüsn. We chose the latter. Tüsn were basically okay but incredibly pretentious. Fortunately we knew Ye Banished Privateers would be on later in the Rattenfängerhalle.
A bite to eat then back to the boat for Tibetrea: pagan folk with medieval instruments and female harmonies. Actually much better live than their YouTube videos had suggested. Good fun but not as exciting as some of the other folk bands we saw.
Then across to the Rattenfängerhalle for Megahertz: rock with a very deep male singer. Slightly weird but a bit too Alice Cooper for my taste.
I'm flagging by then, to say the least, but the boat had seats, if you didn't mind being a bit far back from the action. So back to the Schiff again for Dunkelschön's take on folk rock. As the name implies they mixed dark and light, with some lovely melodic songs interspersed with some much heavier and rockier tracks. Enjoyable.
Back again to the Rattenfängerhalle for Omnia: more pagan folk, this time from Bohemia. Interestingly their style of folk is quite eclectic and there was a good reggae beat going on at times. Enjoyable but, in spite of some interesting touches, in the end they became a bit repetitive.
We stayed put for the Friday night headline act: Deine Lakaien. Male voice over keyboards mostly; the YouTube video had sounded good but live I found them dull. That said, the hall was packed with people who were having a great time, so it has to be a matter of taste.
We popped over instead to the Sumpfblume to listen to Euzen who gave, I felt, the worst performance we saw that day. They play a kind of female-fronted indie pop. They had sound issues at the beginning; but even after they resolved these initial difficulties their sound remained unbalanced, too loud and frankly rather grim.
The Sumpfblume complex includes a cafeteria so we retreated there for a mysterious snack which turned out to be a kind of extra-thick pancake. Good sustenance for midnight after a couple of disappointing bands.
So, day 1. Ten bands: six decent to good, two that we didn't enjoy, and two really excellent, in very different ways. Not bad for day one of a festival where we didn't know any of the bands before we booked. Oh, and some really interesting and very tasty food along the way.