Peaceful Easy Feeling
30th Schöppingen International Blues Festival
Words & photos: Vincent Abbate
Without question, the northwestern German town of Schöppingen’s annual blues festival has a special kind of flair. Held in an enclosed grassy area next to a public swimming pool, it’s just the right size for a relaxed communal experience – not so huge and overcrowded that the music becomes secondary to partying and distracted wandering, as at some bigger name events. Instead, Schöppingen feels intimate. As a guest, you can almost always find a spot close to the stage if that’s where you want to be. The food stands aren’t a mile away, so you can enjoy a pizza, a beer or a helping of fries and still see and hear the bands. A small tent adjacent to the stage is the meet-and-greet area; musicians gather here after their respective performances to sign autographs, sell merchandise or simply say hello to their (mostly) adoring fans.
All that – plus the consistent high quality of the music – is what keeps me coming back year after year.
This year’s two-day event was a study in contrasts. It started on a Saturday full of surprises. Continue reading