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Rivertree View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: German festival history
    Posted: August 11 2009 at 15:00
German festival history - UMSONST UND DRAUSSEN 1975-1979

'Umsonst und Draussen' can be literally translated to 'for free and outdoor'. It was the starting point for uncounted festivals taking place in Germany furthermore provided with a self-organized, non-commercial and open-minded approach. Stylistically the 1970s were dominated by prog and prog-related bands, mainly offering a blend of jazz, psych and folk, which had a special experimental attitude. They questioned all conventions - today often categorized as krautrock. This represented those restless and rebellious times drawing from the former student uprisings and protests against the Vietnam War.

Surely inspired by the famous WOODSTOCK festival the first ideas to offer music self-determined and free from any commercial goals came up around 1972 in the Herford/East Westphalia region and manifested in a one day event at Bünde. It is said that Norbert Hähnel (Der Wahre Heino) is responsible for the original label which is quite prominent nowadays.



Three years later (25th June) the first official 'Umsonst und Draussen' festival took place at a stone quarry in Vlotho-Winterberg and developed to a German wide trademark during the following years. Up to now lots of festivals have been organized all over in Germany under this moniker trying to hold up the spirit of the past - based on donations and sponsoring.

The SIREENA Records label now has re-issued the 1975-1978 festival recordings on compact disk - remastered based on the original tapes.

http://www.progarchives.com/progressive_rock_discography_covers/2633/cover_5859131182009.jpg

Aufbrüche' holds four discs provided with best possible sound quality (considering the circumstances) and a nice booklet containing informations and pictures. Although musically not a big revelation and challenge for me today, this is a very important historical music document by all means.

compilation on Sireena Records


Living in Herford nearby I was involved in the festivals 'til 1979 - first of all because I was a collaborator of the youth center FLA-FLA which supported the festivals of course. Not being a musician I was aquainted with some band members anyhow but didn't belong to the inner circle. With this blog I want to light up those years a little bit which are representing an important period of the german festival history.




Edited by Rivertree - August 11 2009 at 15:19
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2009 at 13:23
   Umsonst Und Draussen 1975

In 1975 (25th June) the first official 'Umsonst und Draussen' festival took place at a stone quarry in Vlotho-Winterberg.

It all began when HAMMERFEST, a young local blues rock band, searched for an easy way to offer their music to a wider audience. The idea to organize a (little) festival came up and they invited MISSUS BEASTLY and EMBRYO who already beared a quite famous name in the german alternative music scene.

A truck trailer was turned into a stage and surprisingly nearly 2.000 spectators came to this one day event. Other local matadors like JACK BONE GROUP (with Marlon Klein on drums) and JOHANNISLUST ORCHESTER contributed as well as ATZEN WEHMEYER, known as a former member of Missus Beastly.

In order to meet some costs a vinyl sampler was self-released (as for all following events until 1978 in the same way - today much sought-after items).




original cover
'VIotho-Winterberg' - D 1975 - Maulschnauz MOL 0001 (sold out)




Edited by Rivertree - August 12 2009 at 15:57
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2009 at 15:22
Very interesting, please go on
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2009 at 13:05

apparently the Porta Westfalica festival still lives on, not "umsonst" anymore I supposeWink

here are some videos from this years edition:
 
 
 
Tadpoles keep screaming in my ear
"Hey there! Rotter's Club!
Explain the meaning of this song and share it"

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 13 2009 at 13:34
It's called 'Umsonst und Draussen' because it is umsonst! Smile ... at least for the entrance ...
A (moderate) fee is charged for a parking place - camping is for free too!

The only weak point for me is that progressive rock bands are missing nowadays ...

a cool animation




Edited by Rivertree - August 13 2009 at 13:35
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2009 at 13:30
   Umsonst Und Draussen 1976

Some experiences with logistical problems led on to the idea to form a cooperation named 'Musikerinitiative Ostwestfalen-Lippe'. Another intention was to claim for public funds which should help to finance future events.

The next festival one year later (3/4 July) took place around a football ground and saw a similar line-up featuring Marlon Klein playing with his new REAL AX BAND and Atzen Wehmeyer who had formed EINHORN in the meanwhile. MUNJU, SKYLINE and the folk band SPARIFANKAL especially known for using lyrics with bavarian dialect, enlarged the festival's stylistical bandwith.




With 15.000 spectators in total 'Umsonst und Draussen Vlotho' was on the way to become the biggest alternative underground festival in Germany.




'Umsonst und Draussen - VIotho 1976' - D 1976 - Maulschnauz MOL 0002 (sold out)




Edited by Rivertree - August 14 2009 at 13:32
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2009 at 14:00
Interesting to learn this stuff! Smile
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2009 at 14:17
Uwe why the Censored have you never invited me to one of these? It would probably take me a week to recover though.LOL   Would have loved to been their in the seventies experiencing  MISSUS BEASTLY and EMBRYO though.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2009 at 14:46
LOL

As for that we have to come up with a Time Machine Shocked  - the first time for me to think about that with reason! That would be really funny ...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2009 at 10:06
   Umsonst Und Draussen 1977

The next event was enlarged to a three day case now (1/2/3 July 1977 - 30.000 spectators - 17 artists - 2 stages). Some ideas to spread this festival to a multiculti meeting were implemented with comic, artistic and theater performances.



The line-up was dominated by bands around the alternative APRIL (later SCHNEEBALL) label, a project founded to produce and distribute LPs single-handed based on a wide network of friends.

CHECKPOINT CHARLIE and MOIRA appeared on the festival for the first time as well as Ulli Trepte's SPACEBOX




'Umsonst und Draussen - VIotho 1977' - D 1977 - Maulschnauz MOL 0003/0004 (sold out)




Edited by Rivertree - August 22 2009 at 15:27
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2009 at 17:11
     Umsonst Und Draussen 1978

Upcoming protest in Vlotho forced the organizer group to change the venue. A new association called 'Umsonst & Draussen e.V.' was formed.
The next festival (25/26/27 August - 65.000 spectators - 39 artists) started in a gravel pit nearby Porta Westfalica.





Besides many others two top-class bands participated for the first time - OUT OF FOCUS and AERA
The term 'Porta Westvlothica' was used for the album title - just a pun mixing up both places.



'Umsonst und Draussen - Porta Westvlothica 78' - D 1978 - Maulschnauz MOL 0005/0006 (sold out)


official poster.





Edited by Rivertree - August 22 2009 at 15:28
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2009 at 15:20
   Umsonst Und Draussen 1979

1979 saw a three day occasion at 17/18/19 August. 100.000 spectators cared for a slight Woodstock feeling in Porta Westfalica (including all the chaotic conditions which occured). Not much has survived from this event, even music recordings don't exist anymore by the look of it. AERA featuring ex Missus Beastly drummer Lutz Oldemeier, Roman Bunka and Charlie Mariano offer some pictures on their website.

Local band HAMMERFEST was there as usual but also NWD (Neue Deutsche Welle) upcoming bands like EXTRABREIT and GEIER STURZFLUG.

Despite of many logistical problems it was a friendly peaceful one in any case like it was the years before - not missing the mandatory mudbath.



A pirate radio station RADIO FREE PORTA WESTVLOTHICA was broadcasting music and informations.

Various organizer teams quarrelled though and it was soon clear that it won't be possible to repeat such a large-dimensioned thing once more. So they came to the decision to have a one year break - which finally evolved to eleven then.


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 27 2009 at 13:32
   Umsonst Und Draussen revivals

The first 'Umsonst und Draussen' revival took place in 1990 then, featuring EMBRYO and GURU GURU. (3/4/5 August 1990, 15.000 spectators, 20 artists, 2 stages).

Anyhow - the musical contributions changed more and more to alternative, crossover, ska, hardcore music and hip hop during the next years including events in 1991-1993, 1997-2004 and 2007-2009 with differing venues here and there (remaining in that geographical region of course).




As mentioned above the musical legacy of this festivals from 1975 to 1978 was re-issued this year bý the German Sireena Records label - an important historical document ...


website links including more pictures in order to explore some spirit of 'Umsonst und Draussen' (in German):

Umsonst und Draussen
Festivalkult



Edited by Rivertree - February 16 2010 at 15:52
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2009 at 19:50
Awesome info, thanks for posting this! 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2009 at 00:41
According with Julian Cope the Essener Sonteg Festival was the first major music festival in Germany  in fact the Kaiser organized this.

Amon Dull came as a whole and in the festival split in the now know two bands.

interesing both bands performed in that festival.

Tangerine D. also play in that festival


more info here:http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/discography_long.php


Edited by Alberto Muñoz - August 30 2009 at 00:42


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2009 at 20:00
i hope to play again in london some day, maybe a longer set
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2009 at 14:09
Originally posted by Alberto Muñoz Alberto Muñoz wrote:

According with Julian Cope the Essener Sonteg Festival was the first major music festival in Germany  in fact the Kaiser organized this.

Amon Dull came as a whole and in the festival split in the now know two bands.

interesing both bands performed in that festival.

Tangerine D. also play in that festival


more info here:http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/discography_long.php


Smile  Good suggestion, Alberto - I thought of Burg Herzberg to continue - but Essener Songtage is a good choice too ...
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