What, when and where?
The Ferropolis industrial complex is located in Gräfenhainichen, 85 kilometres (53 miles) north of Leipzig and 140 kilometres (87 miles) south of Berlin. The grounds are easily reached via public transport with the easiest option being to catch a train down to Dessau, Gräfenhainichen or Wittenberg and then transfer to one of the free shuttle buses taking festival-goers to the complex. International revellers heading to Melt! are best advised to fly into one of Berlin’s airports and take the train from there. Dutch and Belgian guests can jump aboard a dedicated festival bus that will take them across Germany (more routes across Europe are scheduled to be announced soon).
Weekend passes sell between €129 and €149 ($159-183 USD), depending on how far in advance you book. If you can get a group of four together, the €479 ($589 USD) group option saves you a few bucks per head. Day passes are available for €69 ($85 USD) and include one night of camping. For extra comfort, it’s worth looking into the VIP packages which include some extras, such as a pre-party invitation, access to VIP sections and more.
You can obviously bring your own tent and equipment, but if that’s not an option or too much of a hassle, you can rent everything you need online and book pre-pitched and fully-equipped tents, group pods and wooden huts.
The festival grounds
The Melt! Festival changed locations a couple of times before the organisers moved the festival to the City of Iron in 2000. Now, revellers dance through the night to thudding electronic beats in the midst of steel structures and giant industrial machines. There’s nothing quite like spending the weekend surrounded by the huge coal mining diggers of the open air museum on one side and scenic lakeside views on the other.
Several stages are scattered across the festival grounds, alongside food trucks, lounge areas, a small supermarket and other funs spots. The most iconic area of Melt! is the Sleepless Floor tent which first opened in 2009 and has since gained absolute cult status among ravers. The Floor is open 24/7 for the duration of the festival which means 90 hours of constant music that you can really lose yourself in. Those who have participated in it rave about the experience and compare it to a night out in one of Berlin’s never-ending nightclubs.
Every year, Melt! boasts a colourful lineup of international top acts and newcomers. The 2018 lineup is complete with Florence & The Machine and The XX, both of whom play their only Germany show at the festival. Also on the list are Fever Ray, Odesza, Little Dragon, George Fitzgerald and many more.