Music festivals are usually major annual musical events . The term “festival” is closely related to the term “festival”. This is used to describe events that stand out from the context of everyday concerts due to their location and their design. They are characterized by their social importance, their size and their musical diversity. Festivals today often have high visitor numbers and can stretch over a longer period of time. They are mostly geared towards a certain genre of music or interest group and can be an integral part of youth cultures .
In ancient Greece, theatrical performances were staged as part of festivals. Kings and princes were also known for their festivals. The era of courtly festivals extended from 1450 to 1750. The first castle festival took place in 1665 at the court of the Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt. Such events were mostly politically motivated and served to demonstrate power and influence. Before bourgeois musical life began in the 18th century, it was unusual to perform music in front of a paying audience. Music was composed for personal use, in the religious sphere or at court. In 1620, for example, male student citizens met in the so-called Collegia Musica , not only to make music together, but also to eat, smoke or talk. At the end of the 17th century, making music moved further into the foreground. This preliminary form of the concert still took place in restaurants, guilds or with private individuals. It was not until the 18th century that specially set up concert rooms, halls and concert halls came into being, which now completely focused attention on the music thanks to sophisticated acoustics and a centered alignment of the stage. Music was now the reason for coming together. By participating in one of these music events, the audience became part of a collective that identified itself through certain rules of conduct. In the 20th century, a new pop culture appeared alongside the bourgeois concert. This not only established its own musical styles , but now takes on similar identity-creating functions as the classical concert of the 19th century.
Classic pageants / festivals
Starting from a music festival in honor of God, it developed from London in 1784 that now popular composers were honored with a festival. Cathedrals were converted into concert halls, in which festivals of a charitable nature were also held. Birthdays and days of death were celebrated with a homage or funeral chants, depending on the occasion. The bourgeoisie pursued humanitarian goals with music events, on the one hand, and on the other, they expressed their national zeal through musically cooperating city alliances. Groups of merchants, industrialists, musicians and students came together from different places to attend performances by various composers. Music competitions were also common at such events. Furthermore, world exhibitions or events could be the industrial background for a music festival. In addition, the unveiling of monuments or honors provided the occasion for such festivals, such as in 1842 in honor of Mozart in Salzburg. It was there in 1877 that the idea of holding the Mozart Festival based on the model of the Bayreuth Festival came up . During the First World War, concepts for such festivals were developed by the “Salzburg Festival Community”, which were implemented for the first time in 1920. In addition to Mozart, operas by other composers and plays were performed at different locations. The construction of a festival hall for 1500 people was planned as early as 1887, which was not realized until 1925. In 1960 the Salzburg Festival was relocated to a new, large festival hall. Under the leitmotif developed by the poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal around 1918, “Bringing peace and renewal to Europe from the artistic tradition”, the artistic direction has always tried to implement the festival accordingly.
Open air festival
The Open Air is a live musical major event in the open air.
The term comes from English. Freely translated into German, it roughly corresponds to the term “open air event”. It became naturalized in the late 1960s when increasingly large crowds, mostly youngsters, gathered to listen to pop and rock music. It is not just a matter of breaking the quantitative framework of previous music events, but of turning the event into an ideal moment.
History and creation
The history of the open air has its origins in America and established itself a few years after its first major successes in Europe.
The first big and well-known festival was the 1st Newport Folk Festival in 1959 . It was an addition to the Newport Jazz Festival . For the first time, the range of music on offer expanded to include different styles, with jazz being supplemented by blues and folk. The number of visitors increased steadily in the following years. In 1965 there were already 80,000 visitors. Although the festival had to be suspended in various years because the organizational structures were not yet fully developed and incidents kept coming up, overall it enjoyed greater popularity from year to year.
In 1967 the " Monterey International Pop Festival " took place with 200,000 visitors, which is also one of the most important festivals in its history. The organizers were inspired by successful concerts that took place in the clubs of San Francisco. The festival was an important career step for Janis Joplin , Jimi Hendrix and The Who , who were little known at the time. The success of the “Monterey” made it a model for other major festivals. Over the years, the range of music genres that were presented at the festivals expanded. One example of this is the " Miami Pop Festival ". There, 34 bands from the genres of rhythm & blues, rock, pop, folk and jazz play on two stages over three days.
In 1969 the festival euphoria reached its peak in America. This year the most famous open-air festival to date also took place: the Woodstock Festival . At that time 32 bands played in front of around 500,000 visitors. It was held in Bethel, New York State, and is often seen as the linchpin in festival history.
Motivated by the successes, other festivals of a similar scope were planned and carried out. But the organizational structures were not yet able to cope with such dimensions, and mistakes kept coming up, as was the case with the Altamont Free Concert that took place in California in 1969 . As a result, four people were killed in one day. Overall, the festival wave did not ebb and reached Europe at this point.
The gateway to Europe for the open air festivals was England. There are no doubt parallels to the development of popular music itself. Open air festivals have been held in Europe since the late 1960s. Among other lesser-known festivals, the Isle of Wight Festival was first held in 1968 and is still a great success today. In its second year, the festival drew around 120,000 to 150,000 visitors and has been referred to as the Woodstock of Europe. In 1970 there were already 600,000 spectators, and the musical program was also on par with previous festivals from America. Successful models such as the Reading Festival and the Glastonbury Festival followed . Starting in Great Britain, the open-air format expanded to the rest of Europe. It reached Germany in 1965.
Open air festivals in Germany
The first open-air events in Germany were not very successful. In 1965 a Rolling Stones concert took place on the Berlin Waldbühne . The organization was very immature due to the young experience, so that the concert ended in a disaster. A similar catastrophe took place on Fehmarn in 1970. There were outbreaks of violence at the Love and Peace Festival and great financial damage. This meant that the open-air format was initially approached with caution. The "Scheeßel" festival was one of the few that always dared new attempts. Although these were initially not very profitable, the organizers tried to establish festivals in Germany on a permanent basis.
At the end of the 1970s, the concert organizer Fritz Rau brought experience with organizational structures from America to Germany. This boosted the German festival market, so that in 1977 numerous open airs took place. Together with Michael Scheller, Fritz Rau organized a number of successful festivals that were both musically valuable and financially profitable. In 1980 the first open air took place at the Nürburgring . The music program consisted mainly of the alternative, underground, German and independent rock scene. In 1982 the Rockpalast Festival series began in the open air on the Loreley . It broke the audience records in 1984 with 22,000 visitors. In 1983 there were already 30 major festivals across Germany.
Now that the organizational basis had been expanded and improved, organizers were increasingly confronted with the task of dealing with technical details and marketing.
In the 1980s, huge concerts were offered by world stars such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and other contemporary pop and rock stars, with the organizers increasingly resorting to large stadiums as venues. However, the open-air format was not entirely resolved.
Whitsun established itself as the opening of the German festival season and thus also the Rock am Ring festival, which has been successful since 1985 . This is known to this day for its high attendance and top-class cast. Overall, the festival situation in Germany stabilized due to the fact that many festivals were held successfully. At the end of the 1980s / beginning of the 1990s, more and more smaller organizers, municipalities and local authorities set up their own festivals.
In the 1990s, there was a noticeable stagnation in public demand for festivals. In 1993 there were 183 festivals in Germany. Many large events were no longer sold out or well attended. The admission prices have risen continuously until today. This is not least due to the fact that artist fees are also increasing rapidly. In some cases, there were large losses, which drove mainly small organizers into bankruptcy. The number therefore decreased to around 100 festivals in the following year.
Today there are a number of major events in the German festival landscape that have become firmly established. These include the Rock am Ring and the Hurricane Festival , the Wacken Open Air , the Southside , the Rockharz Open Air , the Open Flair , the Fusion Festival , the Rock im Park , the Nature One , the With Full Force , the Juicy Beats , the summer breeze and some more. There are also many smaller festivals that relate to certain music styles, regions or topics. A festival guide on the Internet shows over 350 festivals in Germany for 2011, and there are probably a few more.
In spring 2020, all cultural events will be banned by the federal states due to the Covid-19 virus pandemic . The Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV) fears considerable economic damage for concert and festival organizers as a result of the event ban .
Benefit and non-profit festivals
In addition to festivals that are primarily organized for economic reasons, there have also been numerous festivals since then that are intended for a specific charitable purpose. This can serve political or other charitable purposes. For example, the transcontinental band aid festival Live Aid in London and Philadelphia in 1985, but there are also festivals in Germany that do not cost admission, including the Rock-den-Deich Festival near Bremen or the Duckstein Festival in Hamburg.
Social responsibility as well as economic benefits are motivating organizers more and more to conduct and conduct music festivals in an environmentally responsible manner in the face of global warming . Taxes and regulations that could be initiated by the state due to climate change could possibly avoid long-term follow-up costs through an early switch to alternative event procedures. Furthermore, consumers are developing an awareness of the problem of climate change and are therefore increasingly welcoming a sustainable lifestyle. This can create competitive advantages when these needs are taken into account. Nevertheless, additional costs arise through ecological action, which can be offset, for example, by winning new sponsors who advocate an ecological organization, image gain and increased media presence in order to achieve positive results in the long term. The choice of a suitable location and time for holding a festival as well as a number of individual measures such as the use of recyclable materials, renewable energies or recording the actual consumption of resources in order to generate as little waste as possible can significantly reduce the environmental impact.
In the UK, Julie's Bicycle is advocating more sustainable music festivals. In Germany, the Green Music Initiative is committed to ecological measures at music events. At the European level, there are the A Greener Festival and Green Operations Europe .
- Franz Willnauer: Music festivals and festivals in Germany , German Music Information Center 2013 ( full text ; PDF; 210 kB)
- Christof Graf: Culture Marketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995.
- Danela Heinisch: Development of an ecologically sustainable strategy for organizing a music festival. Unpublished master's thesis. Lueneburg 2010.
- Doreen Schmidt: Rock festivals in Germany. Inventory and development of rock music and festivals. Saarbrücken 2007.
- Dudenredaktion (ed.): Festival. in: DUDEN. The foreign dictionary. 8th revised and expanded edition. Mannheim 2005. (Volume 5.)
- FA Brockhaus, B. Schott's Sons (Ed.): Festival. in: Der Musik-Brockhaus. Wiesbaden / Mainz 1982, pp. 177-179.
- Folkert Koopmans: About musicians, makers & mobile toilets. 40 years of open air history. Hamburg 2007.
- Gottfried Kraus: Salzburg Festival between Idea and Reality. In: Kraus, Gottfried (Ed.): Music in Austria. Vienna 1989.
- Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht : Festival. In: Dahlhaus, Carl (ed.): Brockhaus Riemann. Music lexicon EK. Ed .; Mainz 1979.
- Karin (undated) Vogler: Rudolstadt. < http://www.stadtfuehrung-rudolstadt.de/deutsch/rudolfd.htm >, as of January 30, 2011.
- Martin Troendle: The concert: new performance concepts for a classical form. Bielefeld 2009.
- Walter Salmen : The concert. A cultural story. Munich 1988.
- Werner Braun : Fixed . In: Finscher, Ludwig (Hrsg.): The music in past and present. Material part. Stuttgart 1995. (Vol. 3.)
- See “Festival” in: DUDEN. The foreign dictionary. Volume 5. Ed .: Duden editor. 8th revised and expanded edition. Mannheim 2005, p. 321.
- Brockhaus, FA, B. Schott's sons (ed.): "Festival" in: Der Musik-Brockhaus. Wiesbaden / Mainz 1982, pp. 177-179.
- Eggebrecht, Hans Heinrich: "Festival" In: Dahlhaus, Carl (Ed.): Brockhaus Riemann. Music lexicon EK. Ed .; Mainz 1979, p. 51 f.
- Vogler, Karin (no year): Rudolstadt. http://www.stadtfuehrung-rudolstadt.de/deutsch/rudolfd.htm , as of January 30, 2011. Braun, Werner: Fest. In: Finscher, Ludwig (Hrsg.): The music in past and present. Material part. Vol. 3. Stuttgart 1995, Col. 412.
- Cf. Martin Troendle : The concert: new performance concepts for a classical form. Bielefeld 2009, p. 27f.
- See Troendle, Martin: The concert: new performance concepts for a classical form. Bielefeld 2009, p. 28 ff.
- See Troendle, Martin: The concert: new performance concepts for a classical form. Bielefeld 2009, p. 32.
- See Salmen, Walter: Das Konzert. A cultural story. Munich 1988, pp. 128-133.
- Kraus, Gottfried: Salzburg Festival between Idea and Reality. In: Kraus, Gottfried (Ed.): Music in Austria. Vienna 1989, pp. 345-357.
- Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 28.
- Cf. Koopmans, Folkert: From musicians, makers and portable toilets. 40 years of open air history. Hamburg 2007. p. 16.
- Cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 60.
- Cf. Koopmans, Folkert: From musicians, makers & portable toilets. 40 years of open air history. Hamburg 2007. p. 12.
- Cf. Koopmans, Folkert: From musicians, makers & portable toilets. 40 years of open air history. Hamburg 2007. S. 13. and cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. pp. 64f.
- See Schmidt, Doreen: Rock festivals in Germany. Inventory and development of rock music and festivals. Saarbrücken 2007. The chapter “Development of Rock Music” (p. 5 ff.) Deals with similarities and connections in the development of rock music in the USA and Great Britain.
- Current information can be found at www.isleofwightfestival.com.
- Cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 110.
- Cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 109.
- Cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 129.
- Cf. Koopmans, Folkert: From musicians, makers & portable toilets. 40 years of open air history. Hamburg 2007. P. 91. and cf. Graf, Christof: Kulturmarketing. Open air and popular music. Wiesbaden 1995. p. 132; P. 136f.
- BDKV: Music Business calls utility. May 6, 2020, accessed May 15, 2020 .
- Cf. Heinisch, Daniela: Development of an ecologically sustainable strategy for organizing a music festival. Unpublished master's thesis. Lüneburg 2010, pp. 18-22.
- Cf. Heinisch, Daniela: Development of an ecologically sustainable strategy for organizing a music festival. Unpublished master's thesis. Lüneburg 2010, pp. 40–42.
- Julie's bicycle. Retrieved May 15, 2020 .
- Green Music Initiative. Retrieved May 15, 2020 .
- A Greener Festival. Retrieved May 15, 2020 .
- Green Operations Europe. Retrieved May 15, 2020 .