If you're passionate about music and like attending festivals, you're probably aware of some of Europe's most famous music festivals. There's Tomorrowland in Belgium, Germany's Reeperbahn Festival, and Croatia's Ultra Europe.
Today, I'll be focusing on the MELT Festival that happens in journey. Prepare yourself by learning all of the ins and outs in my guide so that you can have an unforgettable time!
What Is MELT Festival?
The MELT Festival, sometimes written as MELT!, is an open-air electronic music festival held annually in Germany. The festival first appeared in 1997 and has grown ever since!
After a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival finally returned in 2022 and continues to be held yearly.
MELT! is well-known for its diverse lineups, stages with tunes 24/7, and an inclusive atmosphere.
In the past the festival has hosted big names in the electronic music scene and more. Think artists like Bon Iver, A$ap Rocky, Woodkid, Nina Kraviz, The XX, Florence + The Machine, Cigarettes After Sex, Fred Again, Honey Digon, and many others.
Where Is MELT Festival?
The MELT Festival is held at Ferropolis, also known as the "City of Iron". It's an open-air museum on a narrow sliver of land in Lake Gremminer. The lake is near the town of Gräfenhainichen, less than 2 hours south of Berlin.
The open-air museum on the small peninsula features giant 20th-century coal excavators. The industrial machines give the space a nearly dystopian or apocalyptic appearance. Quite fittingly, one of the excavators is called Mad Max.
When Is the 2023 MELT Festival?
The MELT Festival takes place during the summer over the course of a weekend. Think 3 and a half days of constant partying and music in a scenic location on a lake where you can swim to refresh yourself between dancing sessions.
Did you know there's also a pre-party? Arrive a day early on Thursday and you can get in the mood for the concerts happening from Friday to Sunday!
The 2023 MELT! is scheduled to happen on June 8th to June 11th. As it's coming up soon, you'll want to grab your tickets ASAP.
Artists to look forward to this year are Beabadoobee, The Blessed Madonna, DJ Swagger, Joy Orbison, Phillip Jondo, Piri & Tommy, Skin on Skin, and many others.
Remember to check the official MELT Festival website frequently to stay up-to-date with new announcements.
How to Get to MELT Festival?
You have several options to reach MELT Festival. So choose your transportation freely based on your schedule and budget.
If you plan on going by car, the festival venue has a parking lot at the beginning of the peninsula. If you're driving from Berlin, it takes less than 2 hours to reach Ferropolis.
Keep in mind that you need to pay for parking. They have a dedicated parking lot for the festival and spaces for car or caravan camping. The parking ticket for 2023 is approximately US$20 per vehicle.
The location is easily reachable via public transportation. Several trains depart regularly from Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) to Lutherstadt Wittenberg, where you can change for a train to Gräfenhainichen.
Alternatively, catch a train to Bahnhof Jüterbog and change there for Gräfenhainichen.
The downside of getting there by train is that the Gräfenhainichen station is nearly a 1 hour walk. One option is to catch a taxi to Ferropolis. However, shuttle buses are also available from Gräfenhainichen to the festival site.
By Shuttle Bus
Shuttle buses are the best option if you can't get there by car. Every year, MELT Festival organizes shuttle buses from Gräfenhainichen, Dessau, and Wittenberg, which are all easy to reach by train.
You can also check out Maximal Trips, which organizes bus trips for various European festivals.
For MELT Festival, you can find shuttle bus trips from several German cities, including Berlin, Cologne, Dresden, Frankfurt, Munich, and others. The company even offers international transfers from Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Where to Stay for MELT Festival?
The weekend ticket includes a camping option, which is the best way to enjoy the festival site. Of course, this means that you'll need to bring your own tent. The camping site opens on Thursday afternoon before the festival, and you should aim to get there early if you want to claim the best spots.
Another option is to camp in your car or caravan. To do so, you'll need a car/caravan camping ticket, which is different from regular car parking tickets as there is a dedicated area for car camping.
MELT Festival also provides an additional glamping option if what you're looking for is some extra comfort and, well, glam! This option includes suite tents for 2-4 people with electricity, free sanitary facilities, nearby parking spots, and free shuttle use throughout the festival area.
The most luxurious option offered at MELT! is the chalet—a wooden lodge with actual beds, a fridge, a barbecue station, and even a 24-hour bar. Don't judge me too hard if you find me here!
Don't plan on staying in the festival area? You can also check out hostels and hotels in the nearby cities of Gräfenhainichen, Wittenberg, and Dessau, all connected to the festival site by shuttle buses. Some hotels even offer special packages for MELT Festival, so be sure to check out the various options.
MELT Festival Ticket Prices
MELT tickets are available for purchase on the MELT official site. Weekend tickets start from about US$170, but you can choose between many options.
If you plan on attending with a group of friends, check out the Weekend Ticket [4 Friends] option. Alternatively, the Weekend Plus ticket gives you access to the VIP Camping Area, which has dedicated sanitary facilities. This option includes a free shuttle bus between the festival and the parking area.
Along with your choice of Weekend Ticket, you can buy your car parking or car/caravan camping ticket. Finally, you can choose between four glamping options, depending on your group size and whether you want a suite or a chalet.
MELT Festival FAQ
Now that you have all the deets on location, how to get there, accommodation, and ticket options, you're almost ready for MELT Festival. Here are a few more tips to help you make the most of your festival experience!
Do I Need Cash?
MELT Festival is now cashless. You get a festival wristband with a chip that allows you to pay for the various services around the festival area. You can easily top up your credit online, meaning you won't need to line up anywhere to withdraw cash or recharge your bracelet.
If you have any money left on your chip at the end of the festival, you can transfer it back to your account. This option takes a lot of stress out of carrying cash, and you only need to worry about your bracelet.
Is MELT Festival Accessible?
MELT Festival is accessible to people with disabilities, thanks to the Barrierefreies Festival project created by KulTh e.V. There is no need for a special ticket for disabled participants—just get your regular ticket, and you'll find the KulTh e.V. staff on-site to help you.
You can even request special assistance in advance by emailing the staff. Check out the accessibility section on the MELT website.
Are There Food and Drink Options On-Site?
You'll find everything you need in the festival area, from free drinking water to food stalls. There will be many shops to buy food, drinks, and even camping gear. Supermarkets can also be found roughly 5 kilometers from Ferropolis, in case you need something you can't find on-site.
As part of MELT Festival's sustainability efforts, all food stalls will have at least one vegetarian option, and many will also have vegan options. MELT has also partnered with Foodsharing and Die Tafel Wittenberg to minimize food waste.
Are There Lockers On-Site?
You can rent a locker to store anything you don't want to carry around during the day. Lockers come in various sizes, so you can rest assured that you'll find the space you need. You may also leave your stuff in your tent if you're able to lock it.
What Shoes Should I Wear?
Bring shoes that you can wear all day long. Most of the festival grounds are concrete, so you want to be able to dance and walk around comfortably. Maybe a pair of comfortable runners or some waterproof sneakers like Vessis in case it rains.
You should also bring a pair of flip-flops. They'll come in handy after swimming in the lake and while using the showers.
Plan Your Trip to MELT Festival With Pilot
Now that you have all the info you need to attend MELT Festival in 2023, it's time to start planning. If you're heading to the MELT Festival, you might as well add a few German cities to your travel itinerary. Spend a few days in Berlin or Leipzig.