Weatherstock Festival 2011
Weatherstock... everybody who plays Lord of the Rings Online should at least have heard about it, if not:
You've missed one of the biggest, awesome player events ever!
Weatherstock is a music festival where several bands compete and play their best songs while the audience is choosing the winner afterwards.
This event takes place on the Server Landroval and is hosted and managed by the kinship The Lonely Mountain Band (surely with a lot help from several other kinships), and this festival is held the fourth year yet (2012).
Bands and visitors from all over the world... ehm... from all over the servers are coming to Landroval's event to dance, drink and have fun, even the server lags during this time are wonderful.
My Dwarf Tokal was there (in 2011) and brought back some awesome paintings and stories. Well, my story is not that awesome and the screenshots aren't the best due to the server lags and crashes I had... but Weatherstock is very awesome, even if you are forced to turn down the graphics on your moderate computer because the lags are so evil.
One thing I want to share with my readers and all you Lord of the Rings fans out there: The Lonely Mountain Band has created an anthem for it's kin, the song Far apart, never alone which they play really lovely. You'll find it here on Youtube (external link, opens in new window/tab):
Lonely Mountain Band: Anthem Far apart, never alone
Two hours to Weatherstock
Weatherstock 2011 - this year I decided to be there too, no matter how often my computer would crash.
Coming from good old Germany over the EU-Migration process to the american server Landroval I first made a character there and made my way through the introduction, earning a few levels there to make sure not to die too fast. And then the long journey began...
Tokal, my young dwarf, was so excited to travel to the Lone Lands and see the Weatherstock Festival that he even forgot to buy a horse and when he came to the Forsaken Inn he really needed a rest. He sat down on a stone and tried to not eat all his rations 'cause the day would last long for sure.
While Tokal was catching his breath from the long walk more and more people arrived at the Inn, and it was still 2 hours to Weatherstock. All those people would never fit into the Forsaken Inn so they decided to make a small party outside. Some singers and bands arrived and they sang some nice tunes for the audience at the Inn.
The crowd did grow bigger and bigger and people gathered around three bands that played lovely songs while they all were waiting for the security guards to carry them up to the weathertop for the concert.
Galadolor, a minstrel of the Boars Head Company, played several really nice tunes for his audience and my dwarf
made his first dancing steps here. Two hobbits danced like it would be their last day on Middle Earth... and the crowd grew
bigger and bigger around Galadolor, all in all this minstrel was Tokal's favorite singer at the Forsaken Inn party that
But... we won't talk only about one minstrel, the other bands in front of the Forsaken Inn also played very well and they had their audience too.
Then it was time to travel to the Weathertop for the concert. The security guards arrived in time and in small groups the
people were guarded through the wilderness of the Weather Hills and to the top of that high mountain.
The route the security guard took with his small group was a bit dangerous and my dwarf Tokal feared a bit for his life, he was too stressed and excited to make pictures at this point of his journey, my apologies for this.
In the end Tokal arrived alive at the Weathertop, thanks to his guard who hasn't lost one man and perfectly guarded the whole group. :)
At the top
Tokal was very excited when he arrived at the Weathertop, he did travel with one of the first groups guarded by the security
members of the Lonely Mountain Band kinship and so arrived as one of the first few people visiting this great
concert. While waiting for the first competitors to play on the rock-stage later the people at the Weathertop gathered around
some bands and songwriters to listen to the first tunes now.
Still fearing a bit for his life Tokal inspected the surroundings and found several security guards standing at the entrance and all around the platform to defend the crowd this evening. Even an old ghost, summoned by a security guard, was helping with his bow to defend all the people here, so nobody could say it wasn't save enough here at the Weathertop.
After Tokal was sure that nothing could happen to his life he grew more and more excited, like flies on a pie people were coming and gathering in the middle of the platform where the bands played. Several minstrels and bands made the last minutes right before the show worth the waiting. Tokal didn't remember all their names, but he made pictures of nearly every band.
(With dozens of people filling the area several problems began... at some points I had to turn off the emotes and at the end I also had to turn down the graphics to avoid crashes. I'm not happy with the quality of the screenshots, especially not the later ones, but turning all down to a minimum was the only thing I could do to save my system from catching fire.)
Finally the vendor team arrived, all dressed in yellow with black hats, so nobody could miss the ale and tokens. Now lots
of people stormed to the entrance to buy hope tokens and ale and (mostly the hobbits) fresh applepie. Somehow the area
filled more and more with people from all over Middle Earth.
Poor Tokal didn't get a foot on the ground while trying to walk around and get some ale, so many people were at this festival.
(After a short while Turbine decided to lower the graphic details on the whole server, maybe they feared everything could catch fire... :D)
Then the bands began to play...
(...and my computer to crash.)
My young dwarf was happy, but had too much ale so he decided to sit down and watch the bands from the ground. When the first band climbed the rock-stage the audience did run crazy, they were hopping and screeming and dancing like wild orcs.
(I have to admit that I missed some of the bands and even their names due to those crashes, sorry for that.)
When the next band, the Green Hill Music Society, entered the rock-stage and played some really good songs Tokal was impressed. My little dwarf never heard such lovely and well played songs before in his lifetime and he really loved the lyrics.
As usual there are always idiots on a concert and someone meant to impress the audience with a cowbell... but as usual there's also always someone who makes such people shut up very fast. :D
After the Green Hill Music Society, which was one of Tokal's favorite bands this evening, the Eriador Music Society entered the stage. It's a bit senseless to mention that all bands played very good tunes and made this evening one of the best in Tokal's life (and even for me it was a real nice experience).
The two next bands that played this evening were the Songburrow Strollers and The Breakfast Club. At some
points during the songs a member of the stage crew disengaged fireworks, it was amazing to watch (but also made my
computer crash a few times). While the Breakfast Club was playing their band leader disappered in a wizard's
cloud (he crashed) and the people had to wait until a wise Lore-Master did find him and summoned him back to the
During the short interruption of the concert Tokal and all others had time to smoke and drink and get their breath back. After the Breakfast Club finished their last tune the Blackheart Pirates entered the stage to play pirate songs for the audience.
The Blackheart Pirates dedicated their first song with the title He's a pirate to their fallen crewman, then played really fine tunes and with their last song they asked What shall we do with the drunken sailor, for their wonderful performance the Blackheart Pirates got Tokal's vote this evening.
The last band this evening was the Ingolemo Experience, Tokal never heard of them before but listened closely to their really exotic tunes. When they played their song With a little help from my kin the audience did go wild again and clapped and cheered to this exotic band.
With the last band leaving the rock-stage Harperella entered the scene and the first winners were announced. Then the bands
had time to perform one last song for their audience before the real Battle of the Bands would begin.
One of those Hobbit-Bands requested the audience to jump and the whole audience at the weathertop hopped around like there was no tomorrow. (I'm sure you can imagine what then happened to me?! Right, I crashed again... :D)
The last Battle of the Bands
(When I was back in game...) ...the initiators of the festival began to arrange the bands in a circle on the
weathertop platform, so they could play one song to battle against the others and win the favor of the audience. While
Tokal was moving slowly towards his favorite band The Blackheart Pirates he looked at the biggest crowd of people
he had ever seen.
The Green Hill Music Society played some songs until the bands were arranged correctly.
After the last tune of the bands did end and the audience stood around their favorite band Harperella announced the winner:
The Ingolemo Experience won the festival this year! Congratulations.
This was a wonderful night and a real great festival, Tokal did thank the initiators for this great concert before leaving the weathertop with the crowd.
While Tokal needed a personal security guard this afternoon to get to the Weathertop, now there was a crowd of people
walking down from the weathertop to Bree in a long procession, so he wouldn't have to fear for his life and the procession
was still guarded by the security team of the Lonely Mountain Band kinship.
They even cleared the small orc-village that lies on the way to the Forsaken Inn so the crowd could pass it without losses. Poor Orcs, they surely didn't realize what happened to them, so fast and without warning came the attack of the security guards. :)
One of the leaders of this procession made some group pictures (dwarfs and hobbits in front please) on the way down to the Forsaken Inn, where the first people stayed to have another party, others were processing to Bree and have their party in the Prancing Pony where the Ingolemo Experience would play more songs until the next morning.
Tokal decided at this point to go to bed, but he will never forget this wonderful and really exciting night at the Weatherstock Festival. :)