I didnt go to the first one because I thought it was a fraud. My first one was 2012, skip the '13 because I was living outside of my country and i didnt wast to leave my wife alone. Then I went to 2014, 15, 16 and 17.
This year was the best lineup for my "taste". Some bands I never saw before (Mors, O. Gatherum, Axxis, Allegeon, Kalmah) and some of my Faves (Overkill, Anthrax, Death Angel, Carcass, Testament and the Mighty Amorphis).
Overall was a great trip. My main focus on the ship is to attend concerts. I dont interract much, dont go to the fancy restaurants, dont do the meet and greet (you bumb with everyone from time to time), dont stand in line to buy mech (poor selection every year) and i dont get wasted with beer.
Soundwise - The main stage(outside) had a good overall sound, the mais theater had some issues for the entire trip, the ice rink had ups and downs and the small bar had a great sound.
day 1 - I saw: Scar Symmetry, Ammaranthe, Death Angel, Nightmare, Moonsorrow, Testament, Serenity, Arch Enemy and Kalmah. Best show was D.A and Testament. Let down was Kalmah and Amaranthe (I gave up the band after this trip). I went to bed 2.30 am.
Day 2 - I got up 9.00 am and I Saw: Mors, Striker, Orden Ogan, Revocation, O. Land, Xandria, Therion, Ovekill, Amorphis, Carcass, Anthrax, Kamelot, Equilibrium, Cryptex, Vreid and O. Gatherum. Went to bed 4.00 am in the morning. Best ones were Mors, Overkill, Amorphis, Carcass, Cryptex (they did a great cober of Gutter Ballet) and OG. Dissapointment none but I and fed up with Therion.
Day 3 - morning off and I Saw: Mors, Moonsorrow, Overkill, Uli, Testament, Haggard, Kamelot, Amorphis, Equilibrium, Revocation, Allegaeon. Best Show: Hands down Allegaeon. I went to bed 3. am.
Day 4 - Up 9.00 am and I saw: Axxis, Serenity, Ammaranthe, Cryptex, O.Land, All Star Jam, O. Gatherum, Orden Ogan, Scar Symmetry, Carcass, End of the Super Bowl and Anthrax.
Around 46 of 122 shows. I could have seen a bit more on the last day but i was tired.
for 2018 I will wait for the first 15/20 bands so i can make a commitment.
From now one mine main purpose is to attend festivals to see bands i want and never had the opportunity to see : K. Diamond, Running Wild, Eclipse, Wolfheart, Dynasty, Slayer, etc.
The rest of my year will be:
PPUSA, Evergrey in may (FL), A. Amarth and Abbath in may (Brazil), Helker in may (Argentina), Barcelona Rock Fest in june/july (Spain), Ayeron in September (NL), maybe: Rock in rio in sepptember, John Smith in Finland, Lleyendas del rock in july(Spain), and frontiers rock fest in april.