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Das Fest

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Der "Mount Klotz".jpg
40,000 spectators on Mount Klotz
GenreRock, Pop, hip hop, Reggae, Dancehall, Folk, Punk, Techno, Tech house
Location(s)Karlsruhe, Günther-Klotz-Anlage
Years active1985 - present
Attendance200,000 - 250,000

DAS FEST (short form, engl. The Festival) is one of the biggest Open-air concerts in Germany, which has taken place in Karlsruhe since 1985 and is organized by Karlsruhe Event GmbH. After the first few years of existence, its date was set for the last weekend before the summer holidays in Baden-Württemberg, which starts at the end of July. The festival has gained national popularity with its concerts, making up the main part of the event.

Program and organization[edit]

DAS FEST has been organized by Karlsruhe Event GmbH since 2014. Its organizers pursue an aim clearly different to other big German festivals, which oft polarize by concentrating on certain genres. DAS FEST is designed to attract and to entertain all social groups. Alongside the music stages hosting regional, national and international artists, there is a broad program (including sports) for children and families each year. Children can visit a mobile game area with included childcare, set up by the Karlsruhe initiative Mobile Spielaktion. The Fest-Café, a theater stage and a classical concert, which always takes place on the main stage on Sunday morning, however, are aimed at older generations.

More than 200,000 people attend the festival every year and in 2006 the number was as a high as 330,000 according to the event organizers. In 2009 the total number of visitors reached a record of 400,000. Entry into the sport, family and camping grounds is free but, since 2010, tickets costing 5€ a day are required for the mound and mainstage on Friday and Saturday. In 2011, this was extended to Sunday and in 2018 the price increased to 10€.

Famous artists such as: Seeed, Deichkind, Juli (band), Silbermond, The Bosshoss, Faithless, PUR, Fury in the Slaughterhouse, Apocalyptica, Guano Apes, New Model Army, Culcha Candela, Fischer-Z, Bad Religion, Tito & Tarantula, BAP, Such A Surge, Gentleman (musician), Chumbawamba, H-Blockx, Ska-P, Fünf Sterne deluxe, Simple Minds, Beatsteaks, Sunrise Avenue, Peter Fox, Die Fantastischen Vier, Denyo and Mando Diao have previously performed at Das Fest. [1]


Tihomir Lozanowsky (Wolkenreise and current member of the band Trigon), organized an Open-air concert in Karlsruhe during the Summer of 1984. The organizers obtained all the necessary permits from the Environment Agency and the police. Following this initial Open-air concert, the group of organizers split up and DAS FEST was born. The special permits from the previous year provided the groundwork for the festival. Originally, the idea was to bring bands from Karlsruhe and the local community together.

DAS FEST has evolved over the years from a small open-air festival to a Music festival, renowned beyond the local region and visited by more than 200.000 people every year. The concept of the festival has constantly been extended at the same time with this evolution. In 1998, the café of DAS FEST was conducted for the first time. In the preparation week before the festival, food and drinks are offered (mainly in the form of beer garden) as well as an evening music program on a small stage. In 2000, the next sustainable expansion of the festival followed with its own DJ-stage, which received a big resonance and became soon established as an integral part of the festival.

A greater turning-point was reached in 2001: Due to the festival being mainly financed by the sale of beverages, the festival grounds were firstly completely fenced and once at the (still free) entrance, visitors were checked for brought food and drinks. Initially, this was heavily criticised. The number of visitors showed that the festival's popularity didn't suffer from this. Over the course of the fencing process the grounds were expanded westwards, so the tent stage could have its own place. The "Funpark", which, so far, had taken place in the Europahalle, was integrated as a sports park into the festival grounds, and has been on a constant expansion-mode. Alongside activities such as Juggling and riding unicycles, serious competitions such as the German Skateboard Championship in the Half-Pipe or the national Volleyclub tournament take place since then each year here.

In the last few years the organization focused besides the content extensions mainly on aspect of security due to the constantly rising number of visitors. In cooperation with the police and medical corps the security concept was improved every year. These improvements effected for example the division of the festival site (no stalls near the main stage, improved system of paths) as well as the layout and organization of the entrance area. Youth protection teams consisting of policemen, medics and social workers were stationed in front of the entrances to contain excessive use of alcohol among minors before entering the festival site.

After a 2006 performance by Seeed, the entry to the Festgelände had to be halted for the first time due to overcrowding. As a result, the youth committee of the city announced that DAS FEST would not be continuing in the same manner as beforehand. Next to the fact that the chairman of the club would be liable for personal losses if one should occure, one of the main reasons was the immense financial outlay, and the need for a large pool of staff, which the committee would have to carry.[2]

In the end, on 25 September 2007, the city council of Karlsruhe voted for the establishment of a so-called “separate concession” or “separately managed concession”, one of five alternative models presented to the council. Additionally, the city promised to fund DAS FEST by up to €150,000 for three years initially; this was supposed to keep the festival going until the year 2010[3]. On 29 September 2009, however, the city’s youth committee announced that it was not able to continue the festival. A loss of €180,000 in the year 2009 and the significant security problem were reasons given by the committee for this decision.

In December 2009, the municipal council decided to continue the festival under the guidance of 'Das Fest GmbH'. DAS FEST took place from 23-25 July 2010 and for the first time cost money for entry.[4] The site was divided into a smaller sports and family area, which continues to be accessible free of charge, and a larger music area. The sports and family area includes the DJ stage, the tent stage, an information section and various special offers. The music area includes the main stage around the so-called 'Mount Klotz' as well as the disco stage. For the first time, day tickets for the music area were sold at a price of 5 euros on Friday and Saturday and, since 2011, were also sold for the festival on Sunday, which had previously been free.

Line-ups (selected)[edit]


  1. http://www.dasfest.de/index.php?article_id=8&clang=0
  2. https://www.ka-news.de/region/karlsruhe/Das-Letzte-seiner-Art;art6066,59440?show=hok2007614-2025J
  3. https://www.ka-news.de/kultur/regional/Grund-zum-Feiern;art136,62062?show=jfk2007925-393C
  4. ""Das Fest" kommt mit neuem Konzept". ka-news.de. 2010-03-17. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
  5. "Das Fest 2008". ka-news. 2008-06-10. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  6. "Das Fest - Karlsruhe - Wer spielte wann?". Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  7. "Das Fest Karlsruhe 2018 Line-Up". Retrieved 2018-11-29.

Category: Karlsruhe Category: German festivals Category: Music festivals in Germany Category: Music festivals in Europe

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