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UP Monte Paradiso Festival 1999

Pula 1999 flyer Pula 1999 Pictures

Ralf's wife is from ex-yugoslavia, so they spent their 1998 summer holiday in Pula/Istria external Link. While being there he found out about a big punk festival happening there since 1992. It is called the MONTE PARADISO festival external Link, named after an old castle where the locals used to hang out. So we did some research to find the organizer of the festival and sent him a tape of our stuff. In may 1999 we got a postcard from him, inviting us to play the 1999 fest.

We arranged everything to play there and all seemed to be fine when the trouble started. we planned to go there from august 4-9, but Ralf was not able to get off work before august 5 in the evening and had to return on august 9 in the morning... 1000 km to drive, playing a gig, one day off and back? Hmmm... we decided to cancel... the same night (2 days before we planned to drive down there...) we canceled our cancelation and decided to go anyway. fine. Guess what happened: Schmier lost his passport, great, we'd only have to pass 4 borders, 2 of them of none-EU countries...

Since Schmier is a citizen of Austria it was impossible to get a new passport quick. Fuckup. But miracle #1: some guy found the passport in his car, so we decided to meet at the IGNITE gig the next day (not that anyone does give a shit about IGNITE but the gig happened at the place we always hang out... and we always managed to get in there for free)

So we met at the IGNITE gig on august 5. The crowd was a terrible mixture of NY/HC wannabe tough guys from the suburbs and epifat boyscouts. First thing i noticed when i got there was a big nightliner bus standing in front of the youth center. Wow, "Punk Rock" i thought. "That bus cost more a day then i pay rent a month..." Inside there was a merch boot of overpriced gear that got bought in piles nevertheless. Kids seem to swim in money these days. The door price was fair though, 10,- DM (~ 5,- EUR) for three bands, two of them from the US.

We arrived when the second band was playing.They played some boring hard rock with lame vocals. One of the shittiest bands i've seen the past few years. In the end they played what i thought was an uniform choice cover. it was way better than their own material.
Then the last band enterde the stage. They played some heavy emoish metalcore. not that bad, but i wondered how IGNITE managed to changed their sound so much. Stupid me! that band wasn't IGNITE, it was the german support act. The shitty hard rock band had been IGNITE! Some guy told me that IGNITE had to play in Budapest/Hungary the next day, so the decided to play earlier and leave after the gig because the journey to budapest would be so hard. Hard! Hard? those poor american guys had a big fuckin nightliner where they could lay in bed all night while being driven to Budapest. Oh yeah, Real Hardcore, Dude. Oops, i just wrote "Dude".
There were us, one guy in his early 20ies, the others 31 to 35, ready and happy to go 2000 km for one gig with no guarantee in an old ford (not even a van) laughing at the idea of an american hardcore band playing early because they would had to travel that "far" in a fucking nightliner... Pula pictures flyer

So we kicked off at 0:00 am heading towards Munich. We crossed the austrian border at 4:00 am, only to realize that the "Tauern" tunnel we planned to drive through the mountains was one of the two who got closed this year due to a fire. Damm. So we had to go OVER the mountains in the middle of the night. It was kinda creepy with fog and stuff. We reached Trieste in Italy at 8:00 am, from now on it was no more highways. We went through Slovenia via Soper and drove through Istria until we finally arrived in Pula at 11:00 am.

We went to have some food in the city (which was already packed with Punks) and visited Ralf's relatives there. They arranged some cheap place to sleep for us, so we skipped the idea of camping at the festival in favour of some beds... We packed our stuff in the room we were sharing (with a shower and a fridge, what else could you want...) and headed to the Monte Paradiso castle were the festival was about to happen. There we met Maske, the organizer of the festival and arranged that we'd play that night (Friday) instead of Saturday. after that (4:00 pm) we went to the beach where jumped into the sea to get rid off the dust - well we also got rid of our hair dye and Schmier looked like a bloody mess... We tried to take a nap (most of us awake for nearly 40 hours now) under the trees, but the ants there were a real nasty pain in the ass (and anywhere else)...

Around 8:00 pm we returned to Monte Paradiso, where already some dozen Punks and mMtalheads hat gathered. The Monte Paradiso is an old castle. The gig was happening in the inner court, in the rooms surrounding the court people sold records and stuff, outside in the outer court they sold drinks and gave away FREE food (fried fish and bread and veggie soup). The charge from the door was 5,- Kuna each day, which are around 0,50 EUR for 8 bands!!!. aAround 500 people gathered each day and we did not notice any fights, allthough there was some heavy drinking and smoking....


Honestly i almost can't remember how each band played, except for KLASSE KRIMINALE who played classic OI! and INDERDZIA who played some cool punk with female vocals (and the drums coming from a tape cos their drummer left them just before the gig). Some bands played generic punk, but most bands where crust, grind or power violence, all of them with an intensity you have not seen for quite a while. These bands easily beat most of the american bands touring europe these days!

The crowd was pretty cool and each band got a great pit, aggressive but never violent. we played as last band on friday night, emmm, saturday morning at 1:30 am for a furious 30 minutes.It was insane, people who never heard our music before moshing and pogo to our songs like mad, girls on the stage trying to make knots in our laces... it was the best gig we played ever so far. After the gig people were coming to us, just shaking our hands and thanking us for playing... wow...

We stayed there until 4:00 am partying, then we went to our little room to fall asleep as soon as we got there. We woke up at 12:00 am and spent the rest of the day in the city sightseeing and on the beach. In the evening we went to Monte Paradiso again to celebrate the 2nd part of the festival. we met a lot of cool people, including a guy from finnland who is travelling by train for 2 years now. A guy passed me who had the same tattoo on his arm as Ralf has on his leg. You have to know that this tattoo is not a flash so both were pretty much amazed. The guy was Matjaz Lican from Slovenia, who knew Kleister of SKULD RELEASES (a guy from our area). As they talked to ralf we found out that Matjaz had recently visited Kleister where he met Ralf's wife... small small world indeed!

that night we got paid 1200,- kuna which almost covered our expenses so we were quite happy... Pula pictures flyer We left the festival at 2:00 am that night because we wanted to get home on sunday afternoon. While leaving our bass player realized that he lost his keys. Imagine a dark night, a dusty ground and 500 people around, How to find a key there? But miracle #2: our Herr Berger had seen the keys lying in the dust some minute ago, so we found them still lieing there...

We were leaving the fest and heading towards a gas station when suddenly the oil alert lamp on our car got on. Damm. We got out of the car and stopped a passing car... the guy took Ralfr to the gas station to buy oil and even drove him back. OK. One liter oil into the engine, the lamp still lit...
Ack. So we drove to the gas station asking the guy there what to do. He did not have a clue either. We wasted three telephone cards to phone a german motorist club to get help. We were no members. No help. Thank you. Meanwhile it was 4:00 am we were all wrecked. we decided to try our luck and try to get to Slovenia. There we said: ok lets try Italy... and on and on until we arrived at home, the lamp still lit but the engine running smooth. everyone got home easyly, except for Ralf who had to break into his own house 'cos he had left his keys at home...

Pula 1999 was lots of fun and we'd like to thank Maske, the whole Paradiso crew and the audience for the great time,

Thank you! See you all again at the Pula 2000 fest!!!

2008 Edit: in the meantime we've played Monte Paradiso another two times and this festival is always great!

posted 01.09.99 17:49:45 by: Ralf MDX

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