Monday arvo we caught the ferry back to the mainland and boarded our bus to Rome. A five hour journey and we need to find our accomodation – well it wasn’t that close and it was pretty basic – kookily decorated (which we like) but a lot of stuff doesn’t work, its 5 flights up (not good with a stuffed knee & heavy bags!) ratty old towels, no soap … i could go on but won’t. We need some cash so its a 20 min walk in the opposite direction to tonights gig but we manage to find an ATM and spot a nice looking restaurant over the road – after a great pizza and a couple of drinks we walk the 1/2 hour or so to the venue which is super packed – not just the 70 or so Were Louders but heaps of Rome locals as well. We catch up with our friends Rachael & Tiberio (who we met last year and who came and visited us for Jen’s birthday last year) The gig venue is so stiflingly hot so we don’t see much of the bands but we sit out the other bar and have a great time catching up.
The next day we have to get a train to the port for our ferry to Barcelona – we catch up with Rachael & Tiberio again at the big food court near the station – they insist on us trying as many Roman food delicacies as we can eat. Every 10 mins or so one of us goes off and buys a dish – by the end we are super full and get to out train in time to meet a few other Were Louders heading in the same direction.
After much confusion at the dock we finally get to the big ferry to take us on the 22 hour journey to Barcelona. We don’t board till about 10pm so by the time we get our cabins and freshen up it time for the gig at midnight. Les Lullies play first followed by Finale (Spain) then Sick Thoughts (New Orleans) – The Okmonicks (USA) are supposed to play but at 3.30am and they ask if they can play tomorrow (wise move!).
The boat was pretty grim to say the least – the included breakfast was a small yoghurt, a stale croissant and a tiny cup of coffee, fruit & additional coffees were extra! The crew were pretty rude too but as we have such a good natured bunch we laugh most of it off. Okmoniks play a great set in the arvo and we dock in Barcelona about 10pm. Jen & I skip the show tonite as the gig is half over by the time we get to our hotel – so we get a bit of rest before the next festival – Fantastic Dracula Carnival in Spain.
The Dracula festival has been going for about 20 years – we went to the 3rd one in 2007 and had a ball – it was much smaller then, about 400 people, and held in Valencia. This year there are almost 2000 people and the festival sold out in a mater of hours. Pete & Eunice who run Were Loud have a long connection with the woman who runs the Funtastic Dracula Festival and are able to secure a bunch of tickets for the Were Loud people. The venue Penelope Discoteque is one of the best venues we have ever seen. Its been there since the 60’s and is HUGE. The main room, which has several levels and a high stage holds the big crowd comfortably. There is also a very large outdoor area that has a mezanine level the whole way around. This area is mostly for the DJ’s who, again, spin some cracking tunes. There are a couple of other smaller rooms and even a swimming pool with glass sides which gets pretty hectic as the night goes on.
The festival has an great array of bands including The Scientists (Aust), Way Los Arrrrghs (Spain), Mudd Club (UK) The Jackets (Holland) Thee Cha Cha Chas (Aust) Okmonics (USA), Kid Congo Powres, New Bomb Turks (USA) and the Make Up plus a heap more and about 4o different DJ’s who play all night and each night finishes about 9am the next day – we never make it that far and are usually home by about 2-3am.
Friday 13th is dress up night and boy were there some great costumes Jen went as the Day of the Death air hostess and I as a zombie Steve Irwin. There were Fankenstiens, Beetlejuice, Pig Woman and many more.
Our friends from last year Jim and Stacey had been to Benidorm before and took us around in their rented Noddy car for some great Tapas. The festival being so big it was hard to keep track of our We’re Loud pals but our WhatsApp group enabled us to all get together a few times, once for a group photo.
The last night of the festival was huge and they have a tradition that the festival ends (usually about 9 the next morning) with a huge explosion of confetti – this is evident as we walk into town the next day – there is confetti from one end of town to the other. Eunice posted a pic of her shoes covered in confetti and said “it looks like I kicked a rainbow home last night”
I don’t know how Pete and Eunice do it – organising 70 semi drunk, semi punks all the way, not missing a beat and staying happy and looking non-stressed most of the time. Last year were were a bit apprehensive about how it would all work – but this year we (wisely) put out faith in our illustrious leaders and although it was exhausting is was an amazing trip.
We got a flight back to Barcelona and spent a few days relaxing before flying home – which was a mega trip as we missed a connecting flight in China and spent 12 hours hanging around a Chinese airport. I think the trip home was about 45 hours without sleep.
While it was good to get home we can’t wait to do it all again!
Here is a 20 min video/photo collage…. enjoy!!
and here is a link my Youtube Channel with lots more video from this year and many other trips