BURG HERZBERG FESTIVAL - Half a century of peace, joy and pancakes

13. July 2018

Burg Herzberg Festival

BURG HERZBERG FESTIVAL - Ein halbes Jahrhundert Friede, Freude, Eierkuchen

Despite major social and musical changes, the spirit of Germany's biggest hippie festival has remained constant for fifty years. But how did it all start? What has changed? What are the constants? And what will be on the agenda for the big anniversary in 2018? Together with organizer Gunther Lorz we trace the historical cornerstones of the meeting of old and young flower children.

"Love & Peace" is the motto for 2018. Flowerpower. Alternative forms of life. Terms that - one might think - have long since been lost in the maelstrom of new media and social developments such as turbo acceleration or self-optimization. And yet an annual festival community at the foot of Hersberg, between the East Hessian towns of Bad Hersfeld and Alsfeld, resists commerce. This temporary community relies on an extremely lively subculture and contrasts this with diverse music (psychedelic, stoner, blues, world, classic rock, folk, prog and others) and variety of life (shiatsu massage, batik workshop, energy ball man, coffee shop and the like more) around three stages and the camper village Freak City.

Beat Beginning and Herbaceous Early Times - Culture Shock for Hesse

"This kind of festival did not exist in Germany before, at least not on this scale. All this was very bizarre, at the same time the atmosphere was extremely stimulating for us. Well, the organizers, the Petards, were an honest confirmation combo for groups like Amon Düül, CAN or us." (Mani Neumeier, Guru Guru)

The "Traditional Hippie Convention" was initially called "Burg-Beat-Show", then "Electric Rock Herzberg Festival". The first "Burg Herzberg Festival" took place on July 7, 1968, "to counter the usual pop events with German rock music," explains organizer Gunther Lorz. Many Beatmucke and Krautrock played at the first meetings, bands like The Rattles, Guru Guru, Amon Düül II or Tangerine Dream. But why didn't things continue in 1972? "The Petards had to decide whether they wanted to be pop stars or promoters. "As a musician, the effort of a festival organizer was too much for you

1972 was the end, and Germany had to survive the eventful seventies and the trendy and colourful eighties without the Hippie Convention, until resistance stirred up in the Fulda record store "Marleen". Lorz outlines the great transition from the new edition with Kalle Becker to the current organizing team as follows: "In 1991, under the leadership of Kalle Becker, who first wanted to promote a Might As Well record on his label, it was brought back to life. In 2003 it fell flat again for another year and Becker had to emigrate to the east to Eisenach until, as the saying goes, a circle of people interested in music came together in Fulda and continued Herzberg Castle from 2004 until today"

If you calculate, the Castle Herzberg Festival has only taken place thirty times. Between 1991 and 2002, larger international acts such as Hawkwind, Gong, The Temptations, Eric Burdon and Steppenwolf appeared. Since 2004 (motto: "Freak Again"), things have been going on constantly on the Herzberg.

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