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MS Dockville 2018 – The Debrief

With three fun stuffed days at MS Dockville being history, it is time to take a concluding look back at the festival, which marks the end of a month of music and art in Hamburg. From mid-July, Artville takes over the large ungroomed park like area on the river island of Wilhelmsburg, romantically nestled in between harbour industry and shipping containers. Numerous installations from miniture details to larger than life statues transform the area into an amusement park for the artistically inclined.

No better setting for the finale of the month long occupancy then, than the musical selection of MS Dockville with more than twelve stages, ranging from the usual steely main stages to wooden huts in the bushes and worn down trailers and containers.

The illustrious line up played out in headline performances by the likes of Bonobo, Nick Murphy, alt-j, Oscar And The Wolf, and Cigarettes After Sex. With the latter’s latest piece of recording Sesame Syrup, hazily attached below.

Naturally though, Team Poule spent its days and nights lurking around the smaller stages. Because that is where the magic happens, where connections are being made, and the life and vibe of a festival are really rooted.

So one whose name has to drop first was London’s Nilüfer Yanya. Despite grey conditions and an early Friday afternoon slot, the lady of the hour played her heart out and kicked MS Dockville off to a flying start. She had a new EP out in February titled Do You Like Pain? and continues an extensive solo tour in September playing Copenhagen and Warsaw among other places before supporting none other than Interpol on more than a handful of dates in Europe.

Another name to pencil down would be Otzeki. The duo out of London fused some of most infectious electronic spins of indie, “rock” if you will, that you will lay your ears on. The group released a fantastic debut album in Binary Childhood earlier this year and will be touring relevant parts of Europe in October.

Further highlights included, bit were not limited to, performances by Sevdaliza, Dengue Dengue Dengue, BØRNS, Honne and The Soft Moon. Each of them giving it all their verve and gusto.

In its 12th year of existence, MS Dockville once again proved to be a household name not only in Hamburg but in the larger European festival schedule. It uniqueness is derived as so often from its location. The Artville setting creates an ephemeral space and special atmosphere that evolves during the preceding month, to find its peak on Dockville weekend, only to then disassemble itself, in part at least, to go its own way. The green scenery of Wilhelmsburg with jungle tree houses, the sun casting leafy shadows in the grass and crickets spinning their own beats at night really makes MS Dockville a place of it own.

Lucky number 13 of Dockville 2019 is scheduled for August 16-18, with early bird rates going on sale October 7. If you will have us Dockville, we will be back next year.

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