Dear diary,

I have so many things inside that I would like to express. The previous days I felt so many feelings – positive and negative ones. I had been to some concerts here in Athens, Greece, and I got many impressions that I would like to share with you. Let’s go back and see what happened …

First of all, I would like to emphasize on the fact that, as everybody witnessed, Plateia Nerou, where Release Athens Festival 2019 took place, is an ideal place for rock and metal concerts. Its capacity and facilities make it perfect for everybody that wants to enjoy his rock/metal music. On the contrary, Terra Vibe, Rockwave Festival’s home, didn’t fulfill all the requirements and, the most important, it wasn’t safe for the attendants.

Nevertheless, the worst impression I got was from the Gazi Music Hall, where the concert of Dream Theater took place. I would not exaggerate if I would say that this place isn’t suitable for rock and metal concerts. Apart from the fact that the microphone and speaker installation is poor and designed for other music kinds (especially for Greek folk music), there was absolutely no room for the three thousands of the Dream Theater fans. Obviously, the organizers (Eventation) sold more tickets than they should have. The capacity of the hall was small, the organizers knew that, but decided that the concert should take place there. As a result, the Gazi Music Hall was overcrowded, and a big number of fans couldn’ t reach the arena, they didn’t have a view to the stage and the band and some of them even left the place! That is pathetic, n unacceptable behaviour towards the music listeners, who just wanted to see their favourite band on stage! We had paid for our ticket, yet there was no space for us! Let alone that it was too dangerous for all the attendants – if something had gone wrong, we would have casualties now …

My diary, I am also irritated with some things I saw and heard at the Release Athens Festival 2019, the day Disturbed performed. Two things just pissed me off. Firstly, the frontman of SiXforNinE (Fotis Benardo) commented in an impolite way during his band’s set the fact that Anthrax weren’t headlining the fest, but Disturbed did. Benardo said: “How many of you came here for Anthrax? How many of you came here for Disturbed? Well, I came here for Anthrax too!”. We all have to admit and take into account that Anthrax is a more historical band than Disturbed, but commercially speaking, Disturbed is a bigger name nowadays. If we don’t consider that, we are wrong. And Benardo was disrespectful to the fans, the bands, the road crews. Of course, we have to overpass this incident. However, I can’t forget what I saw that night: many fans were throwing their lit cigarettes not on the ground, but on other people who were there to enjoy the show! Yes, picture this: you have come to the fest to see some bands and suddenly a lit cigarette falls from the sky on your eye! Motherfuckers, why are you doing this? Your fellow metalheads may get injured! Can’t you understand that?!

We saw Manowar, we saw Disturbed, Anthrax and Dream Theater (many saw also Lamb of God, Beth Hart, Tarja Turunen etc.), and the day we will welcome the mighty Slayer is getting near. I hope this time we won’t witness miserable behaviours! Liberate your mind!!!!Behave!!!!!!!!

Sincerely yours,

Dimitris Zacharopoulos.