Live Report: Superbloom 2022

Travelling to Munich for the festival's debut run...

This past weekend saw the inaugural year of Superbloom, Munich’s first major music event in the form of a two-day festival. Nestled firmly in Munich’s Olympic park, Superbloom played host to over 200 artists, including big names and rising stars. With 50,000 people in attendance, it became a sold-out event on its first run, pointing towards a bright future for music events in Bavaria’s capital city.

Superbloom was an amazing chance to see acts I might not have been able to discover or make the time to see otherwise. It was brilliant to see how many artists from neighbouring European countries there were and it was an apt reminder of how cultural exchange underpins the creative and musical landscape of Europe.

Live Report: Superbloom 2022

With this in mind, we decided to explore the vastness of their lineup. The first day had proved to be unlucky weather-wise, as torrents of rain passed through, the festival was halted briefly whilst thunderstorm warnings played on loudspeakers asking us to take cover. Luckily it was brief and the rain delay only lasted all of about half an hour. Sadly it meant a couple of songs had been cut from Skepta’s set but given that I got to see him perform ‘Energy’ live I was ecstatic regardless. After which we took the opportunity to take in some of the experiences set up around Superbloom, including a bar set on a jetty that sat on the lake which made for a beautiful setting against the sunset. Circus performers paraded throughout the festival grounds, showcasing some of the most iconic culture Munich has to offer, with puppets, robots, stilts and countless other oddities that made for some thrilling viewing.

As the first day started to wind down we headed over to the Neoneo stage to take in a performance by the indie pop duo BRUCKNER, a transcendent experience, to say the least. The combination of enveloping ballads infused with 808s, the moon hanging high above the lake and an almost ethereal stage production made for an emotive and memorable display. We hit up the Bloom Stage to end the evening with a set from improvisational YouTube sensation Marc Rebillet. Sometimes when artists build their music and performance in the confines of their room they struggle to connect with large audiences, Marc Rebillet possesses no such limitations. He took to the stage, strutting around in a silk dressing gown and creating an energy that forced the crowd to let loose and enjoy the experience of not knowing what to expect other than a damn good time at the hands of an improvisational genius.

Live Report: Superbloom 2022

The Bloom Stage had a strong line-up and became a bit of a haunt for us during our time at Superbloom. Especially on the second day, when we made time to catch Willow, it was an exciting chance to see the pop-punk direction the young star has taken her music towards. If anyone can hold a screaming note it’s definitely Willow. The same stage saw girl in red after and It was clear Munich held some die-hard fans. Her set came as somewhat of a surprise, the Norwegian singer-songwriter presents a much more delicate persona in her music but her whole set was incredibly high energy. I never thought I would be able to say I saw three mosh pits at the same time at a girl in red performance but here we are. 

Stromae was an iconic high point to end on, I had been aware of some of his biggest hits, but what I hadn’t known previously was what a spectacular performer he is, holding the audience captive with relative ease and receiving exalted responses for actions as simple as a move of his hand. I would say he was one of the best festival sets I have seen this year, definitely within the top three. You can spot a good performer if you’re thrilled even when you don’t understand a word they’re singing. Every deeply considered conceptual element, from his wardrobe to the animations lighting up the screens behind him, aligned to produce something that felt like equal parts, theatre, performance art and musical rendition.

Live Report: Superbloom 2022

Superbloom held particular importance on diversity and creating a gender-balanced experience. When speaking to the managing and festival director Fruzsina Szép after their Sunday press conference she commented: “I don’t want to see diversity as a badge to put on my chest and say, oh, I’m so wonderful. It should be absolutely normal. For me, it should not be a question. In the way I live, the way I work and our team, we have a very diverse team within Superbloom. It’s one of my targets and wishes that we keep on doing it like that. Not only on the music side, but also in the experience areas. It can be difficult getting a gender-balanced lineup, I think we achieved it this year, and I’m super happy about that.”

If you’re looking for a chance to discover new performers and experience the spectrum of talent that moves through Europe, Munich’s Superbloom should definitely hit high on your list. It’s an incredible feat that they have achieved the first time out of the gate and bodes well for what this team can do for the next instalment in 2023.

Live Report: Superbloom 2022

Words: Naima Sutton
Photography: Philipp Kratzer, Adam Haranghy

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