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Berlin Festival takes off at Tempelhof Airport

The Local · 10 Aug 2009, 12:30

Published: 10 Aug 2009 12:30 GMT+02:00

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Offering an eclectic mix of indie rock and electronic music, the two-day festival lured several thousand to the former airport famous for its decisive role in the Berlin Airlift in the early days of the Cold War.

Pulp frontman Cocker put in a solid set on Saturday night, but much speculation surrounded the performance of the notoriously unreliable Doherty, who has struggled with drug addiction over the years.

But he turned up on Friday night and his slightly pudgy appearance hinted that he might be staying off the smack. He also put in a rousing acoustic set without a backing band.

Click here for a photo gallery of the festival.

Other highlights included local favourites Bonaparte, who have become famous for their riotous stage performances, Berlin-based Canadian trash-rock queen Peaches, and the Hamburg-based electronic duo Digitalism.

The setting at Tempelhof was impressive, but ultimately the festival failed to make the most of the unique location.

Story continues below…

Due to noise regulations the main stage had to be moved into one of the airport’s large hangars, which meant much of the music got lost in an echoey mushy mix. That was unfortunately unkind to Zoot Woman’s already reverb heavy tracks and other artists eschewing a rawer sound.

The massive green space around the landing strip also could have provided ample camping grounds for the festival goers, but the tarmac was fenced off just past the main terminal. Still, the Berlin Festival’s first time at Tempelhof hinted at potential for what could become a regular residency.

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