My day starts at 05:30 in the morning. I have hardly slept the previous night, full of anxiety, packing bags, twirling on my bed till managing to close my eyes for 3 hours. Alex calls me and he is on his way to my home. I get up, no appetite for breakfast (and that's weird for me). In a few moments I am ready, Alex has also arrived and my father decides to take us to the airport. We arrive first. Then, the first person we see after a while is John of 39 Custom Guitars (the guy who did the great job with Skeptical Minds guitars for the MFVF competition). A bit later Marios also arrives. We check in, get the tickets and then John (Thomas) and Chris also arrive. Sinnik would be going to meet us in Belgium, coming straight from Wales where he currently lives. After an hour or so, we enter the check line, we get our tickets checked by the airport personel and then we get on the plane. Near me and Alex there is a guy from Cyprus. Really funny guy, we talked a lot. The plane takes off and well, this was my first time in an airplane, believe it or not. It was really entertaining. For the whole 3+ hours me and Alex kept teasing Marios, who was sitting right in front of us. MP3, sleeping, taking pictures and the time passed away quickly. Maxi Nil of Visions Of Atlantis was at the same plane with us as well as with DIMLIGHT and MEDEN AGAN. By 10:00 we arrived National Brussels Airport. We get off board, get our luggage and stuff, then walk outwards the airport. My eyes notice a tabloid: "Welcome To Europe". Well, Brussels is definitely the center of Europe, mostly for financial reasons but here I also have to add her natural and architectural treasures as a reason. We got out and had to wait some moments for the shuttles of the festival to pick us up. As soon as I got out to the cool air I felt problems with my throat. It is silly how fragile I get when I am sleepy. I immediately put my scarf around my throat and went at a bistro in the airport to get some hot tea. There I saw my dear friend Jack Williams and some of my Eve's Apple sisters: Grace, Kass (who immediately huged me so tight I couldn't breath! Such a sweet girl!), VK and Melissa. Managed to exchange some quick hugs but had to go again as soon as my hot tea was ready - I had to be back to my band mates and wait for the shuttle. Promised to see the girls at the hotel. A shuttle came quickly as I got out and we loaded it with our stuff. We got in and the driver took us to the hotel. On the way to our hotel I was looking outside the windows, listening to the guys making jockes and the good mood had overcome my sleepy attitude in a few minutes. We arrived at the hotel and I was surprised enough to meet a bunch of people holding photos and posters of Seduce The Heaven, asking for autographs or photos. I was really touched, thinking that my music has touched a number of people without me having an official album release yet, being at the very beginning. We went at our rooms, took a shower quickly, fixed my hair and at 16:00 I went downstairs to the lounge of the hotel. Met Lisa Middelhauve for the very first time as well as other E.A. girls and I was so excited! We got on the shuttles and the driver took us to OKTOBERHALLEN in Wieze, where Eve's Apple would perform an acoustic set on the first day of the festival. When we arrived and saw Oktoberhallen I felt so happy! I tought "it is happening, finally!". After taking photos and hugging like crazy with the joy of meeting each other for the first time, we made ourselves comfortable at the backstage and exchanged some gifts and hugs once again. So happy to meet my sisters at last! Soundcheck time arrives and we get on stage trying to be quick. Check goes well. I listen to my sisters' voices one by one and I feel honored to have listened to them performing songs they haven't performed on an official record. Maxi Nil gave me goosebumps. Then it is time to get ready. We choose dressing rooms and we have fun telling jokes, making our hair, doing our make up, wearing our fancy clothes for the show. I took photos and huged and talked with so many girls, I was very happy to meet them all there finally. Then the time for the show has come and we all gather behind the stage. The technical sound crew is running around, jumping here and there to have everything OK, perfectly checked and ready for us. VK and Maxi begin with "The Black Halo" and we are all excited back there. The two first songs are being played and followed by claps, excited voices from the crowd. Third song is "The Crow The Owl & The Dove" by me and lovely Kass. The lights are so strong I cannot see the crowd but after a few minutes I am actually able to see some people and their reactions so I feel safe again. I am singing, being very happy, enjoying Kass' sweet voice and the duet we are putting on and finally the crowd's reaction. It was a lovely experience! Kass is an incredible person and I cannot wait to meet her again one day. More songs come along till the set has to be over with a song written by VK called "Find Me", which has to be performed by all of us. But before this, we felt the need to award some important people to us, as Eve's Apple, like Philty of MFVF, Jack Williams for his support to the group etc. Overwelming feelings of joy, hugs and awarding people for their contribution. Wonderful moments, forever carved in one's memory. So here we go, we perform "Find Me". Each lady performs one line of the song, all ladies huged and when I saw photos of us on stage later, we looked like a colorful buquet of flowers! The crowd is excited, we are happy, the show ends wonderfully! Talking with people, friends and fans, taking photos, signing autographs follow and some time later I decide to go earlier than the rest of the girls as the next day we would be performing with Seduce The Heaven. We got a taxi that night to take us to the hotel. Arrived at Ibis Hotel, which is really quiet at that time cause everyone is at OKTOBERHALLEN. We attack the restaurant and have dinner. The next thing I remember is trying not to fall asleep at the shower and then finally a reaaally soft and comfortable bed. Really, I would like to give 12 points to Ibis Hotel for their beds. I slept like dead. Awesome.
DAY #2 Saturday 20 October 2012
Morning has come and the alarm is ringing, however I am not really willing to get up. I feel as If I had been digging tunnels on social work the whole night. The only reason I finally found the courage to separate from bed was the lovely chocolate-filled croissants waiting for me at the breakfast! I meet the guys of Seduce The Heaven, then also Phil and we are having breakfast together. Such a kind man. It was an honor to meet him. At 09:00 we were supposed to get on the shuttle and go to Oktoberhallen, for today we were performing at 13h10. Got ready within 15 minutes, got a big bag with all I would need for the day: clothes, shoes, make up etc. On the shuttle again, heading to the venue. We also had Frida Eurenius with us, talented frontwoman of Swedish band Lapis Lazuli. Such a nice person to be around! And of course such a wonderful hostess for the festival this year! She did greatly! We were walking around, taking photos with people, talking and exploring the place until it was time to go backstage. Did my make up quickly and put my stage clothes right before that time cause I new it would take me a lot of time later and I might not be able to prepare properly. Of course there was time later for this but I wanted to be ready for better or for worse. We got backstage, had line check. The stage manager had everything so well organized that even if you threw a pin on the floor among all these cables and machines, they would return it straight to you! The people helped me a lot with everything, my in-ear etc. Having some troubles with my throat, I wanted to be comfortable with everything else and they helped me a lot with it. The first orchestral samples start to play, the band is on stage and I am ready, waiting there behind the curtain with a wireless microphone in my hand, shaking of "can't wait-ness"! Marios enters his part and I enter my part also by appearing on stage. I hear a wave from the crowd and I feel so happy that this moment is actually taking place after all this time I had been waiting for it! The show runs well till some problems occur with a guitar wireless so we have to slow down for a minute. The show must go on, and it does, thanks to the stage crew for their quick help. After a drum solo performed by John we were ready for 2 more songs. Last song, the crowd responds greatly, I loved the MFVF crowd, such warm audience. Our setlist included songs from our upcoming debut album "Field Of Dreams" and this was: 1. Reflection 2. Baseless Addiction 3. Field Of Dreams 4. Helpless Mind 5. Illusive Light 6. Walls Of Oblivion All 35 minutes we were on the stage of MFVF were dreamy. Thank you very very much every one for making it so awesome! Then we got off stage and run for the signing session, which had been organized by Rock Tribune. For half an hour people came and went, many people, with posters, photos, others taking official posters signed by us on the spot. I received so many hugs and I also signed on a little yellow duck! I wanted to make sure I will remember every single person I met there, cause fans are really important to us. So I asked their names before taking shots with them and tried to know something special about each one of them. Signing session was over and now we had to attend the official MFVF band photo-shooting with amazing Tim Tronckoe. Not to mention how many times I thought his twin brother Nick was Tim and vice versa! That was really funny. We also took a shot with Jack Williams and one more sweet girl. Awesome mementos to have from the fest! Then went out to see the other bands performing as well. I saw DIMLIGHT, wonderful performance of my sister Sanna, Greek power and a tattoo on her arm that stole the show! Then it was time for my guest appearance with Skeptical Minds. We got backstage again with Sanna, Iliana and Angel and appeared one by one when our parts had to be sung, you know, just to keep the wow effect alive! I enjoyed the show with S.M. and the Greek girls so very much! Generally the day went by with us running around like shocked from all that flash with photos, fans, receiving wonderful little gifts, signing more autographs, making new friends, meeting fellow musicians etc. Had a meal at the venue's kitchen with the most beautiful people in and out (Iliana, Maxi, Angel and some more fellows). Back at the Artists Area, I waved at Angela Gossow of Arch Enemy from a distance and I was really blown by her power, even if you see her from a distance she is wonderful! Also, Cristina Scabbia is the sweetest on earth same as Amanda Sommerville. I received wonderful gifts from many fans and I have to say that the most special of all is a drawing I received from Peach Galea and Emma White, two great girls from UK. Truly awesome! That night we wanted to leave a bit earlier cause we felt really tired, so we were driven back to the hotel by Robyn Stryker of Sonic Cathedral. Such a sweet woman I got to know her at the fest. She sounded also sweet from the phone back in winter when we had made an interview together but meeting her in real life is something else. So we went back to the hotel where I met Zuberoa Aznarez and her band DIABULUS IN MUSICA. They had just arrived as they would perform at the fest the next day. Next, I killed a pasta bolognese within moments. Shower, bed, smile on my face, sleeping like there's no tomorrow.
DAY #3 Sunday 21 October 2012
Well, of course there was tomorrow! And it was a wonderful day! We got on a shuttle and reached OKTOBERHALLEN once again to watch MEDEN AGAN who clearly killed it and Iliana was ill but no one could tell as her high pitched vibrato was reaching heaven. Bravo manitsa! <3 The day keeps going with more chatting with people and more people and more people! Wonderful, to me! At the end my throat went completely off with so much talking but it was worth it! At 16:30 Eve's Apple had a photoshooting with Tim Tronckoe and many other photographers that had come from blogs, webzines, magazines etc to report the 3rd day of the fest. It was lovely. Outside OKTOBERHALLEN I enjoyed a wonderful kind of hamburger, you should try this one out, I got it from the BBQ thing. The guys also tried the Samurai sauce but they warned me it was too hot for me. Chat with Karolina of Skeptical Minds who was chewing some french fries wearing a wonderful blue cloak that had upon it some ancient Greek signs, called Meandros. Then photo with a fan with me being so sleepy I didn't really get where I had to stand. Really funny moment. Back to the hotel early this day. At the hotel lounge many people were gathered, bands, fans taking shots and exchanging hugs. Music makes you a friend with everyone. XANDRIA also arrived after their show, Manu looked awesome in her white tutu! Had dinner and fun with STH and then we went back to our rooms. Next day would be really wonderful, as well.
DAY #4 Monday 22 October 2012
Sightseeing day! Or plane was leaving at 20:00 in the evening so we had the whole day to explore the center of Brussels! Grabbed my camera (which was gradually getting off battery as I had it with me the whole weekend getting shots) and we got on a shuttle that took us to the center of Brussels. We entered the train station to find out how we would reach the airport later. Also left our luggage in lockers in the station so that we didn't have to carry them through the whole town. Meanwhile Sinnik had already left cause his flight to Wales was early. Chris took his way to Luxemburg so now it was me, Alex, Marios and John. We visited Grand Place, a wonderful scenery as If we were back in the medieval times! We had coffee in a small Kaffee there, we actually made Fredo in Belgium by asking the waiter to bring us ice cubes and he was looking at us curiously (Fredo is a Greek patern of making cold coffee with ice cubes in it, sorry I don't know more details, I don't drink coffee). Went shopping for true Belgian chocolate and returned after some hours to the train station. Bought tickets to the airport and took the way. Reached the airport and checked in after some time waiting on another Kaffee there. Phil arrived with Val and Maxi to say goodbye and I was so sleepy I didn't even react in him trying to scare me by growling behind my back, haha! The moment I got on the plane the great sleep began. I woke up when we arrived in Athens.
The MFVF was an amazing experience I am always going to keep in my memories, heart and mind. All the people I met, the moments I lived will always seem to me as fantastic as the very single moments I was experiencing what that was. I want to thank everyone who contributed in making this the greatest weekend of my life, with so much joy and art flowing inside us all for 3 days. I would like to thank deeply Phil and the MFVF people, the fans that were so amazing and whoever else I might be fool enough not to mention here. See you maybe next year! Whether STH are playing at the fest or not, I will always look for chances to come and visit all the friends I made these days! And of course taste Belgian chocolates! XXX
PHOTO & VIDEO GALLERY of the weekend!
Friday 19 October 2012 | Eve's Apple Show | Elina & Kass performing Nightwish!
Eve's Apple performing common song "Find Me" and awarding special people @ MFVF X!
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER 2012 Seduce The Heaven performing @ MFVF X!
SKEPTICAL MINDS feat. Angel Wolf-Black, Iliana Tsakiraki, Sanna Salou, Elina Laivera performing Born To Be Wild!
SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 2012 Eve's Apple RED CARPET Photoshooting by T.T
MFVF | Artist & VIP Area, Meeting Friends/Fans
GRAND PLACE | A place taken out of fairy tales!
BRUSSELS... Various other little corners around!
Seduce The Heaven @ MFVF X
Bought many boxes, none survived! Who ate the chocolates???