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GoatHell Metal Fest: Istria and Heavy Metal - Call of the Goat


July 4–7, 2019 | Pula, Istria, Croatia

In a time of festival after festival adding to the prevalent congestion in the market, fans are already looking outside the financial treadmills our big European mainstream events have become. No wonder many are craving for the unique treat instead, for a reasonably priced, rather cozy and less over-populated way to experience music and the culture evolving around it. Enough to call it a grass-roots movement among both festival hosts and visitors? Yes it is!

And while beautiful boutique festivals are emerging left and right nowadays, only very few manage to combine it all: classic festival atmosphere, top European bands and a culturally appealing entertainment framework. One particularly holiday-like beautique event is the GoatHell Metal Fest in picture-perfect Pula.

Located on the south-west coast of peninsula Istria in Croatia, Pula is known for a rich cultural and historical heritage, offering relics all the way from Roman monuments, ruins, the still used amphitheater and colosseum to Pula Castle with cannons from Napoleonic times, and the large historic Pula Harbor. All this served with traditional Croatian hospitality and the Mediterranean atmosphere of a region that features some of the finest wild and romantic coastlines of the Adriatic Sea. This is where the goat, heraldic animal of both Istria and the dark side of heavy metal, has started its annual call in 2018.

GoatHell Metal Fest will lead a growing crowd of head banging metal pilgrims into the light of memorable vacation days as well as into eerily beautiful underground culture deep into the night. The festival grounds are located in the Pula area Vallelunga, a former military basis by the sea, on the northern side of Pula bay, once the largest port of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. From their camping site, embraced by a comforting pine forest, visitors can enjoy a picturesque view on dark romantic ruins of former military stone shanties and the clear sea, which are magically lit at night: by the Lighting Giants, illuminated cranes of Uljanik Shipyard, and a safe bet to get the camera out and shoot an awesome postcard. During the day, keen eyes can even spot Pula Castle across the water — one of many forts in and around this historically rich city.

A very special eye-catcher while casting a glance at Pula is the Roman amphitheater, which once upon a time was the setting for vicious gladiator fights for bare survival, legendary knights’ games in sight of up to 20,000 euphoric spectators in joyful anticipation of violent battles and gory entertainment. In between the blood-lusty spectacles, traditional markets took place where usually survival of the fittest was at the top of the agenda. This legacy of the ancient gladiators is not only inherent in the enormous colosseum, but can also be honoured and relived at cultural events and impressive shows right where gladiators once either lost their lives or covered themselves with glory. In an abandoned old building, the festival ground also offers an atmospheric art exhibition featuring obscure and occult works referring to Pula’s manifold local ghost stories and myths from werewolfs to blood-suckers, like the saga of Jure Grando — the documented origin of all vampire legends. The festival's stage itself is named after this first vampire in history.

A cult place indeed, presenting cult bands such as DESTRUCTION or European death metal spearhead of the very first wave, PESTILENCE, within a passionately selected roster of 30 bands from all over Europe in a sustainable event at a reasonable price, sporting FREE CAMPING, FREE PARKING and affordable local food and beverages. Of course you won’t have to leave common amenities such as WiFi, toilets and showers at home either — this ancient goat has got you covered perfectly fine.