Roadburn Festival 2017 Part II, Tilburg Netherlands

Baroness, by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

The outside area around 013 was set up as a place to relax away from all the noise. You can hang out at the picnic tables, drink local specialty Schröbbeler (a sweet herb liquor) and enjoy food from one of the many food trucks that adorn the festival these days.

You can get anything from your body weight in fries to the famous Porn Burger and the most incredible vegan kebab. Hail Seitan! (their joke, not mine. I wish it was though..) The basement of 013 was this year equipped with a special whisky and craft beer bar, where you could try the beers from Mysticum’s collaboration with Belgian brewery Bryggja: the Mysticum Cosmic Ale and Cosmic Tripel.

Mysticum, by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

The Mysticum beers gave us a taste of how intense the band’s performance was going to be. They pulled out all the stops on Saturday night, standing on impressive platforms that reached about twenty feet up in the air on 013’s main stage, accompanied by a seizure-inducing light show.

Razors In The Night, by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

The rest of the Saturday had a definite punk taste to it, all thanks to Dyer Baizley as curator of Het Patronaat. He kicked the day off himself by teaming up with Neurosis’ Scott Kelly, Insuiciety’s Marek Sarba and Baroness bandmate Pete Adams to perform their most beloved punk classics under the name Razors In The Night. Now you can imagine pogoing is quite an anomaly in the relaxed fumes of Roadburn, but d-beat legends Disfear took it one step further and offered the perfect chance to stage dive in the frightening knowledge you could end up crashing through a second floor stained-glass window. For a cozier experience, we squashed into the smallest venue, Cul de Sac, to have a taste of the punk brewing just over the Belgian border. There was nothing Zen about LOTUS; they turned the venue into a giant mosh pit right from the first second, led by their singer who didn’t so much as touched the stage. BEAR decided to stick to their motto ‘don’t keep calm and wreck things’ as they kicked off a relentlessly loud set and we ended the night furiously headbanging while their guitarist established the bar was the best place to hang out (on).

Disfear, by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

At the other end of the spectrum, the most mesmerizing set this weekend came from Emma Ruth Rundle in a packed Green Room. An ethereal silence hung over the audience like a from the second she climbed on stage and this created such an intimate vibe that it felt as if we were sucked into a collective dream from which we didn’t wake up until the last note had died away.

Groundbreaking experimental acts and a fully-fledged fourth day instead of an Afterburner, this festival can’t help but feel like a best friend who still manages to surprise and impress you every time you see them. Roadburn once again explored the heavy music genre in all its depth and diversity and took us through the entire range of possible human emotions. It’s good to know that no matter how messed up and divided the world is right now, at least we know at Roadburn people from all countries and backgrounds can still get together late into a crisp Dutch Saturday night in April, dancing to the music of an accordion-wielding street artist who kicked off an al fresco after party for a festival he doesn’t really understand much about.

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

Roadburn 2017 Afterparty , by Susanne A, Maathuis Photography

WORDS BY CÉLINE HUIZER
PHOTOS BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS