Strange Noise Festival 1996

Ticket für das Strange Noise Festival 1996 in TrossingenI’m off to Maifeld Derby Festival in Mannheim this weekend and really looking forward to it. Marc, Verena, possibly Timon and I will take the car and drive down south tomorrow morning. It’s funny to go back to Mannheim after almost five years and it brings back memories of golden times in the Jungbusch…I will be writing about those days another time. Talking music festivals with Timon at work a couple of days ago, I remembered the first festival I ever went to – the Strange Noise Festival in Trossingen, Southwest Germany in 1996. I was 16 years old and went there with two friends of mine, Pese and Daniel. I think our parents drove us there and I remember a sunny day on arrival and a lot of people queuing to get in. At the main entrance drunk and evil looking security guys released the arriving festival folk of thousands of litres of alcohol, drugs and all sorts of things. Back then, there were no festival websites informing people of no glass bottles on festival grounds policies. I remember the security guys being very unfriendly, rogue and perhaps even slightly violent, sneering at people and taking cocaine.

But then I was only 16, rather insecure and coolness was just a role I had to play. I remember roaming the festival with my friends with big eyes. I had never seen such an agglomeration of freaks in one place before. I was from a small village.  And at that time, I still listened to the music my father likes a lot – The Who, Cream, early Clapton etc., I loved The Doors. Before the festival, I had never heard or cared for bands performing at Strange Noise like Headcrash, Manic Street Preachers or Skunk Anansie. I already liked The Prodigy though and of course I knew (but disliked) Fanta 4.

The festival itself turned into chaos on the second day. Festival organiser Matthias Kästner had expected 15.000 people – around 40.000 came. Apparently, small town Trossingen’s supermarkets were all empty in one day and people were queuing for ages in front of the public „Freibad“ to take showers after the festival had turned into a mud bath following a thunderstorm with lots of rain. People threw mud balls at Placebo while they were performing, and folks on drugs were bathing in the small stream that ran through the festival ground (Strange Noise `96 took place in Trossingens „Teufelsgurgel“), which was full shit and debris. There weren’t enough loo cabins (perhaps 15?). I also remember drunk people turning those “Dixie” cabins upside down while somebody was in there taking a dump…ah, those were the day. Thinking of it now, it was a very rough and alcohol driven affair. I didn’t enjoy it myself that much. I remember the folks I was with not being particularly interested in  me (I wasn’t cool enough) and we had an argument during the first night in the tent, and I so left early in the morning of the second festival day, my Dad picking me up at Trossingen station, and I missed out on most of the fun. I’m not even sure I saw The Prodigy to be honest.

A few of my today friends also went to this festival. I know Oli was there and so was Maxxi. It’s nice to know they were there at the same time and that we became friends only years and years later in other cities. Who else went there? Tell me about your memories of the festival – or share your memories of your very first music festival. I’m packing my stuff to get ready for the Derby now and look forward to your comments. Maifeld Derby, here we come!

5 Thoughts.

  1. Cheers Dad 🙂 Kathrin sent me a nice eMail the day before yesterday and said that during the festival, local officials declared a state of emergency for the area and also that all shopping trolleys were stolen from the supermarkets.

    Pese also dropped a line and said that it was actually Thomi who drove us to the festival in his VW Polo, the first car he ever owned (Wow. This is such a long time ago) and that he was in a hurry to get back because he was worried of all the „hippies“ damaging his car or something. hahaha!

    • I remember the camping area, I think that it wasn’t the wright place at all, just a field in the middle of nowhere, far far away from the hot spot. I remember that we just brought a water melon with us, a package of Butterkekse, and a bottle of wine, but we made it. I remember your friends, Patrick, who we met the following days – very strange memory by the way, both of them being totally clean and somehow shining in white robes (maybe first signs of dehydration). Of course I remember the mud. We lost our tent there. Mareike just dropped it and in a sec it vanished forever. I remember my mum who was waiting for us after midnight, because some drunken hippies occupied the shuttle bus. She was totally relaxed and well prepared with pizza and blue plastic sacs to collect the mud kids and I just thought that I really have a cool mum.

  2. waren da nicht auch dEUS? Dann war ich auch da! 🙂 Jedenfalls hat man 10 Mark für einen Döner bezahlt, der ca. 1/3 der üblichen Größe hatte. Der Regen (also einer von denen) kam während „For the Roses“ und Lutz stand neben mir.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.