A brief visitors guide to Germany´s festival season
Started Topics :
Posted : Jun 14, 2011 22:48:35
the point of this thread is to give visitors a general idea about the largest, finest and most traditional psy festivals to take place every year in Germany. This thread is meant for people who are not familiar with the german psy scene and would like a general overview of where to go in summer if they happen to be here - I hope this will offer a brief but good introduction to the highlights of the festival season.
Every year between June and September, the A 24 highway between Hamburg and Berlin is transformed into a perpetual psychedelic playground of sorts, with many festivals taking place, and most of the locations being relatively close to each other (+/- 100-200 km maximum)- perfect for travellers who have more time to spend and enjoy to hop from festival to festival. There are also plenty of smaller festivals to slip in if there are a few days gap in between. (If the meadows could talk, they would tell of a 2 decade long psychdelic legacy). Best time is in July and August, when you can easily catch some of the best ones.
The A24 has become known as „Goa Highway“ due to the density of psytrance/goa festivals along this route. Don´t be suprised if you hear germans calling average psytrance parties „Goa“, no matter is the actual music being played is actually „Goa trance“ or prog. Goa frequently works as an umbrella term for psychedelic trance music and fests in general in Germany
Apart from 2 festivals I will mention below, all events listed here are on this route. Therefore you are propably best off flying to Belin or Hamburg, which ever is cheapest and easiest. In terms of distance it doesnt really matter that much, although Berlin is maybe a little closer to some. On this map you can get an idea of how the festivals are distributed on the A24:
If you are travelling in a group, you will be able to make use of group rail tickets that can save you alot of money. The site below (German Railways) can help you to plan your trip and get prices and train connections, but be aware there is a big cost difference between IC/ICE trains and regional trains-.if you want to travel on a tight budget, stick to the regional ones.
All festivals offer shuttles of some kind, so if you plan your trip well you will really be able to minimize your expenditure.
Anyhow, lets have a look at the most interesting festivals on „Goa Highway“:
Psychedelic Circus – The introduction to the Summer
This is usually the first bigger festival on the A24 to open the season in early to mid June This years edition has just past, but give it a go in future, you should not be disspointed, as it usually rings in summer with quite a bang. This festival has built a good reputation in the last decade and usually presents a relatively varied line-up with a bit of everything. (With a focus on prog and full-on).
Fusion Festival – For the open minded dancers and listeners
Although there is usually a large psyfloor with a good line-up running, this legendary festival offers a unique opportunity for trancers to dive into other forms of music, theate, cinema and activities. Psytrance is only a fraction of the experience here, and is an attractive option for open minded trancers to check out, if:
a) You are not deterred by large crowds – with 50 000 or more visitors in recent years things can get rather crowded and confusing.
b) You dont mind paying the relatively high ticked prices and, most importantly, order in time, because there are limit tickets and they all tend to go. This years edition is sold out unfortunatly, but give it a try if you want to experience something different.
c) If minimal techno, d n b, dubstep etc dont cause repulsion and stomach cramps for you.
Antaris Festival – Against War and For Friendship, Peace and Freedom
One of the most traditional and well-loved festivals in Germany. My personal favourite as well, because of the great vibes and crowd This year is already the 17th edition, and its still going strong. I would also say it is one of the most international fests, attracting trancers from all over Europe and the world due to its good reputation. Since Shore Bar Axel took care care of the line up again fully, it has improved drmatically again in the last couple of years, delivering a balanced approach that should satisfy you no matter what kind of psy you like. Especially old school/neo-goa artists have received increased attention again lately, and also the darker side of psy has been getting some love. Check out the line up and you will find alot of diversity, the vibes will touch your heart and mind for sure.
Highly recomended! Long live Antaris!
VuuV Festival – Congratulations to 20 years of trance!
If push comes to shove, this is propably the most internationally well known gathering in Germany. In any case, it is one of the oldest, as it was first held in 1991 in Sprötze, near Hamburg. At this time the festival organized by the legendary Djs Antaro and Scotty, ran under the original name of VooV Experience. To get an impression of what this festival was like in the early days, check out this classic thread from the trance forum, featuring footage of the original festival – amazing times when the scene was still a young and innocent baby, not the naughty twen it is now. Happy 20th birthday VooV! In 2007 Antaro left the team and the event was continued by Scotty under the slightly modified name.
Naturally today alot has changed – the once small festival has become huge since long over a decade. Nevertheless, it remains one of Germany´s biggest and international festivals, with a strong prescence of tribes and families from all over the globe – especially a traditionally strong Scandinavian contingent. The lasers, deco are first class and will likely blow your mind. Line-up is usually Full-On and prog orientated, check links above to get an idea of this years happening. Mainfloor opening is usually a very impressive affair. in terms of dramatic effect. In recent years the festival has been held near the village of Putlitz in North-Eastern Germany.
For more info, check here as well:
Fullmoon Festival Germany – Amazing line-ups and international crowd
Nowadays the Fullmoon Festival is only held every 2 years – the next edition is due in 2012. In its earlier days, this festival became widly known as „the full-on festival“ because its line-ups used to read like a who is who of international full-on artists. In more recent events this has really began to change as more artists from different genres are given the opportunity to perform. A great example of this was the inclusion of the Parvati floor in 2010 – steps such as this one have made the festival more accesible and a real highlight on the calendar. The crowd is very international, and if you give the line-up of the past edition a look, you will see the effort that goes into gathering a powerful and diverse convergence of artists that is truly second to none.
This event is normally held on an Airbase in Wittstock (North Easten Germany), which makes for an interesting location as hangars are used for the chill area and there is a hunge tarmac parking lot.
http://forum.isratrance.com/fullmoon-festival-2010/ (last years edition-)
Psycrowdelica – The dark highlight on the calendar
For the first time this summer we have to travel a little bit further, south-east of Berlin to a little village called Drebkau. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drebkau
Everyone who enjoys the darker and more twisted side of psytrance should find the trip worth while and feel right at home with Cannibal Crow/Krähe and his Psycrowdelic family, who bring some of the finest masters of the dark arts to Germany every year, along with showcasing the best local talents. You can expect the sound to cover the ground between Parvati style forest all the way to high B.P.M psycore styles. If you like this, you´ll have a blast – if not the whole affair may be a little intense.
Although this has become one of Europe´s finest and well known festivals in this style, it can not be compared to some of the larger festivals mentioned in terms of amenities and layout. However it gains a deserved place on this list as an (imo) excellent, relatively cozy, mid-sized gathering for dark psy freaks.
Started Topics :
Posted : Jun 14, 2011 22:48
Waldfrieden Wonderland – A different trip
The Waldfrieden crew put on several events during the year in their trippy lair.....check out some of the photos and info on their webiste, its truly a magical place. This crew has been around for a long time, and their highlight of the year, the Waldfrieden festival is going into its 15th edition. Again, don´t expect something on the scale of VuuV or similar – instead expect another mid-sized cozy gathering in a unique and foresty location, which also features an indoor floor. The site is built and decorated with natural materials that enhance the trippy woody vibes of the surroundings. Sound- wise the festival offers an internatinal line-up with a focus on psy-prog.
Travellers will have to once again leave the comfort of the A24 and take a trip to Stemwede in Lower-Saxony. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stemwede .
Spiritual Healing Open Air – The spiritual side of trance
Back on the A24, another fine and family freindly festival is calling out to those who have a heart for the spiritual side of psy culture. There is alot of focus on off-the floor activities that people can participate in – seminars and workshops on prana healing, Qi-Qong, Astral travel etc .Due to these elements you will find this to be one of the more layed back psychedelic festivals, with many visitors from other secnes who come for more than the psytrance.
Musically you can expect alot of diversity on the floors with a great deal of attention given to the chill area and line-up as well to suit the more relaxed general theme. There is also plenty of older psytrance and goa as well as softer and tribal styles to be found alongside some prog.
Indian Spirit Open Air – The close of the Season
This is the last big festival of the season on the A-24 and definetly a worthy close at the start of September. One of the more spectacular fests in terms of decoration, and relatively international as it draws many visitors from across Europe. The line-up has become more diverse and impressive in recent years and now includes representatives of every style – since last year a nicely decorated „dark“ floor has also been introduced, but the sound system was a little bit poor there. I hope this improves this year
Hope you find something you like for this season or the future. Willkommen and party safe!