Rock Hard Ride Free 2016 is now history. Last weekend the Goleniów Industrial Park turned into a true rock festival venue. 23 bands from Poland and abroad performed on two stages, including the legendary New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Saxon.
The festival coinciding with the motorbike meet was organized by the Goleniów Bikers Association and attracted about two thousand visitors. Stars of the first day
of RHRF included Behemoth, Poland, and Candlemass, Sweden. The former provided a brain bursting death metal show with special pyrotechnical effects and black confetti. Nergal and his band presented their latest album in its entirety, which had its debut at 34 position of the US Billboard 200 list. The Swedish band performed
an overview of their pioneering epic doom metal output. Before that, the large stage was occupied by German power metallers from Primal Fear, Malteses from Nomad Son and our domestic J.D. Overdrive and Snakebite.
On Saturday, the Warsaw based Exlibris with guest appearance of Riku Turunen, Finland, attracted quite a large group of fans to the small stage. Shortly before that, we could enjoy performances given on the main stage by Cochise and Chainsaw,
and later Forsaken, Malta. Night Demon, young representatives of New Wave
of British Heavy Metal, heated up the audience for a concert by the legendary Gallagher brothers with their band Raven. They made an excellent introduction
to their well-known British friends from Saxon. The performance of the world heavy metal star was announced by the Mayor of Goleniów Robert Krupowicz by making
a reference to Brexit: Great Britain is going to leave European Union, but they leave their best here in Goleniow.
The setlist by Saxon could be surprising. “Battering Ram” and “Motorcycle Man” performed at the beginning were obvious, but “Crusader” and beloved by Polish fans “Broken Heroes” came as a surprise. The latter might not have been a big surprise
to everyone, since one of technicians spread the news before the concert. There were some diplomatic arrangements made by the organizers using a board, marker and a British flag. The one and a half hours show ended with some classic pieces
of “Strong Arm of the Law” and “Denim & Leather”.
Members of Raven and Saxon met earlier the same day at a common dinner
in the Villa Park restaurant in Goleniów. The meeting of old friends put them
in a good mood that everyone could see when they performed on stage. Biff talked to the audience, asking people about their favourite songs and… warning the Polish soccer team that they would lose to England in the Euro 2016 final.
Rock Hard Ride Free 2016 would have never gone beyond the dreams of its organizers if it had not been for the support of several dozens companies
and institutions, chiefly from Goleniów and Szczecin. The imposing backstage was set up in the office building of Stylepit Poland Sp. z o.o., and the festival itself took place at the adjacent piece of land.