Lichtenvoorde (NL), July 13, 2018
The largest, greatest and also most peculiar and humorous summer festival in The Netherlands is the Zwarte Cross (translated: Black Cross) : where motor cross, theater and music meet. With 33 stages and over 200.000 yearly visitors, this 4-days festival is absolutely unique in its kind.
As for motorcross, apart from stunts such as freestyle motor cross, parades with hilarious vehicles were held, much to the joy of tens of thousands of spectators.
This year the serious motor cross matches were of outstanding level: the finales of the prestigeous Dutch masters of motorcross were held in the 85, 125, 250 and 500 cc classes. Additionally, for the first time at the Black Cross, the spectacular side car races were held as well.
Check out this link to our report on the side car match.
Adjacent to the heavily roaring sounds of the Motor cross at the legendary Zwarte Cross, very suitably, the old American barn “The Roadhouse” is situated. This is the venue where fans of loud hard rock music go. Unlike previous editions one is not confined to the relatively small and sweaty indoors anymore, to enjoy the atmosphere, while standing on your feet in a packed audience. This year, a lovely terrace was placed adjacent to the stage, from where one could enjoy the music, seated, having a drink or a meal. Good for you Zwarte Cross organizers! Finally you have treated us, rockers, as humans and no longer as cattle 🙂
As a metal photographer, of course I joined the action withín the Roadhouse, to present you a catching eye witness view of the scenes on stage. This report from The Roadhouse is on three interesting, upcoming bands, two from the Netherlands and one from Germany. Certain Animals, from Rotterdam (NL), are only one year young, but their sound is already very mature. The Roadhouse was packed early and the audience reacted very enthusiastic to the very familiar sounding guitar chords of this trio.
Death Alley had played before at the 2016 edition of Zwarte Cross and is clearly a darling of the audience. This is most certainly, next tot their exclusive sound, due to the charismatic frontman and singer Douwe Truijens and the dark image of former Devil’s blood guitarist Oeds Beydals.
Late in the evening Kadavar, a German trio from Berlin, with their extremely talented and frantic looking drummer Christoph “Tiger” Bartelt as eye catcher, mesmerized us completely. Kadaver was erected in 2010 and have released six full albums since, through Nuclear Blast and made several world tours.
Just across the street from the Roadhouse was Ground Hero: the track for Free Style motor cross (FMX) stunts.
At this site the spec-tacu-lar front flip was performed by Frantisec Maka. The other stuntmen were Martin Koren, Julien Manon. In the picture on the right we catch a glimpse of the side car race on the Cross track, behind the Roadhouse.
On the other side of the vast premises of the Zwarte Cross Festival, the mainstage was also hosting a few rock and metalbands. A more mainstream type of music though, as can be expected at a festival that is meant for the masses. In the afternoon we watched Jett Rebel there on stage, who is an immensely popular young Dutch rockstar.
Headliner that Friday night the 13 th, was Volbeat, the popular rock band from Denmark. Volbeat has been around since 2001 and play very routined and self assured. Volbeat knows a large Dutch fan base, mostly from their own generation. They had a blast, during the long performance of their idols!
Next year the Zwarte Cross will be held on July, 18, 19, 20 en 21 in Lichtenvoorde, close to the Dutch-German border. Don’t miss it!!!!
For you, foreign visitors, who want to taste the contemporary Dutch culture: skip Amsterdam and come and spend your vacation at the Zwarte Cross, in the lush green Achterhoek, right on the other (generally quiet country-) side of The Netherlands. The festival has several campgrounds, one of them is very luxurous. Come and stay at the Zwarte Cross, a festival for people of all ages and tastes and I bet you’ll find that you’ve never had more fun in your life!