Life Lessons From a Metal Festival in Slovenia

I was never kicking it during the Metalcamp days, however since 2015 Metaldays has been my summer love. Once there, it’s easily understood how the small town of Tolmin, in Slovenia, can capture ones heart.

Traveling half way across the world to witness metal at its finest; sitting in an inflatable shark, drinking €1 beers, floating down a chillingly beautiful river has taught me a few lessons in life, music and the real Marjan.

1. Kilt’s are not just Scottish thing.

Looking back, it was pretty naive of me to think that only the Scottish wear Kilts ‘properly’. There’s really nothing like having an unexpected German pork sword swinging in your face to prove otherwise.

Future note for first time festival goers: do not ask what’s under the Kilt. Do what you must, you have been warned.

2. Children’s inflatable pool doubles as a solid flotation device.

The Soca river is cold, like ice-bucket-mother-fucking COLD, it chills you to the bone even in 30° heat.

If you’re like me, you probably didn’t think to bring a giant inflatable floating device in your ruck sack.

Even though the town’s shops were adequately stocked, no one seemed to have handy a blow up boat like structure that I could drunkenly get heat stroke in.

That was until, I caught my eye on a children’s inflatable pool in the shape of a shark.

My drunken floating heat stroke dreams radically just came true.

Future flotation note: a 6 pack, sun screen and bottle of water, start at the Tolminka river and you’re living the dream.

Grounds metaldays

3. Metal for all.

Metaldays invites incredible talent from across the globe, featuring all styles of metal that basically anyone can enjoy. This year they’re introducing a third stage to show off even more local talent.

You’re going to be one busy metal head trying to fit in all the yoga, floating, drinking and head banging.

My one suggestion is this: when you see a growing crowd by the stage chanting during sound check, even if you have no clue who they are – drop whatever you’re doing and get to the pit.

4. Express yourself: vocally.

Most festivals will impact your spirit so much so you find yourself eyes closed, tightening your fists and screaming like it’s nobodies business.

What Metaldays fans dish out is on a whole new level of vocal unification.

As you slip back into the plastic cushioning of your inflatable, you will hear the sounds of drunken Europeans and Brits. Their echoing cries, bouncing off the lush greenery that hangs over the crystal clear, turquoise water.

What you’ll soon begin to find yourself asking “who exactly is Marjan?”

From the long-haired man adorned only with a leaf at the second beach to the entirety residing at main, you will hear the chants like mating calls in an Attenborough doco.

Metaldays second beach

5. Preparation is key – make future you proud.

Take 6 pairs of clean underwear, socks for the rainy days, more than one towel and an investment in a waterproof poncho you’ll be laughing.

Don’t forget, basic hygiene standards will abandon you one drink down. From then on all you need is a bucket and cloth and you’re good to go.

Alternatively, some do stand by the ‘fuck that, that’s what the sprinkles are for’ method of keeping the odor – and flies – at bay.

Newbie note: always take a roll of toilet paper with you at the end of the night and first thing in the morning.

Metaldays may have the best kept dunnies (dixies) I’ve seen at a festival but still, it’s a toilet at a festival.

6. One is not the loneliest number.

No one else willing to embark on such a quest like Metaldays with you?

Fuck ’em.

Go alone.

Metal unites all.

I met numerous people who went alone, best way to make new friends.

You can even reach out to others before you go on their discussion boards and Facebook page.

Heck, camp with us!

7. Festival food can be delicious, nutritious and affordable – wtf?

As much as I love the Tolmin sausage, sometimes the body needs more than just meat.

Or so they tell me.

The vegan food stall by the main beach had the BEST kebab’s. Their menu had your regular festival treats like burgers and also tasty desserts.

Note for future self: remember the best, biggest and cheapest salad was the Emperors salad at Hemp Chef.

Campsite Metaldays


Metaldays is a 5 day metal festival that happens late July each year. The camping grounds are opened generally a week earlier, I highly suggest setting up your camp site before opening day.

Nestled between mountains, in the pristine setting of the Jullian Alpes. The camping grounds and 3 stage areas are hugged by two rivers the Soca and Tolminka.

 Not only known for featuring top metal bands like Blind Guardian and Opeth (to name a very small few). Metaldays has been honoured with Improvers Award at the 2016 Greener Award Festival.

This is a festival for all; big, small, young or old.

Lovers of all music, if you just want to chill under the sun, mingle with people from all over the world you need to buy the ticket and go.

Life is never the same after a week in Tolmin.

  Metaldays bled

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