High Times

Author: sam
Date: Sep 14, 2003
Views: 2174

Europe's Party Summer 2003 - In-Depth Article and 100 Photos of Voov, Samothraki, Antaris, Sunrite, Fusion, Excalibur and Full Moon Festival

Sep 14, 2003 - Text: Sam - Photos: Sam, Gerardo, Vogt, Kai Mathesdorf, Jason Patton, Klaus (Blue Space)

Europe – the historic center of economic revolution – the center of the trance movement. The Summer of 2003 showed that even in difficult times trance is alive and kicking. Join us on a journey of this summers most amazing festivals with an in-depth report and wonderful photos!

We just passed a wonderful summer in Europe with amazing weather that we hadn’t have in many years. Germany – Europe’s trance center – looked more like a Mediterranean country than the usual northern Europe rain land. Southern Europe Countries like Spain, Portugal or Greece were transformed into deserts with many forests burning and temperatures easily at 40 degrees Celsius.

While prerequisites for open air parties were perfect it was also a summer of party consolidation. Doing financially successful events got more than difficult for the organizers due to general and music market recession, big competition with other parties, rising costs due to the euro and accompanying reasons. The result was – like in many economic consolidations – the survival of the big and well known parties and crucial financial losses for medium and small size parties. While the big events drew historic numbers (like Voov with over 10,000 people) medium or small size events often got only a fragment of their expectations resulting in empty-looking parties that were depressing for both organizers and guests. This development however was long overdue. Especially in Germany it seems more like a hobby than a business to organize a trance party. Chaishop’s Party database counts 1187 German trance parties in 2002 (comparison: 639 in 1999; 761 in 2000; 1322 in 2001), this is nearly 100 parties per month! Trancers find today their money very limited and start to sort out the parties they attend. In the end they choose those parties that they believe to be killer – those where lineup, name, organization, date, weather, friends suggest good prerequisites. Hopefully some party organizers will understand this years painful signs and stop doing parties in the future or cooperate with other organizations!

Another main development seen on this summers parties is the return of psychedelic full-on trance. This is especially significant in Germany – a country where progressive trance dominated the past years and Psytrance rather sounded like a swear word. This development is pretty interesting: First there was Psytrance. A new underground sound, perfect for the high-end dance and party experience. Anyhow after years and years of Psytrance this head-centered music got a bit too much or stressy for the regular weekend experience. These were perfect times for the introduction of progressive trance – a fusion between techno, house and trance. Progressive Trance – more for the feet than the head – was less sophisticated but more groovy. If was also a gate for the techno and trance scene in Germany to mingle. German Trancers were grooving for many years until some started to get bored while others started to get even more housy. In the meantime Israeli producers (always on top of psychedelic trance productions) had found interest in progressive trance and started to release some fusions of their psy-roots and European progressive revamped with crystal clear and pumping baselines. Producers of other nationalities followed right after. This new sound fastly became very successful with leading artists like Astrix, Alien Project, Altöm, GMS, Silicon Sound, etc.. It became the rescue for those bored by progressive trance and old-school psychedelic trance alike.


Page 1 Article 1
Page 2 Article 2
Page 3 Article 3
Page 4 Photos Night 1
Page 5 Photos Night 2
Page 6 Photos Day 1
Page 7 Photos Day 2
Page 8 Photos Day 3
Page 9 Photos People

Photo by Vogt

Photo by Jason Patton

Photo by Sam

Photo by Sam

Photo by Sam
Hallucinogen live at Samothraki Festival

Photo by Sam


Photo by Sam
BLT live at Mushroom Open Air

Photo by Jason Patton

Photo by Sam

Photo by Sam

Photo by Sam

In Europe the percentage of psychedelic and progressive trance is fixed to the latitude. The formula due to Jankowski is: Percent of Basic Progressive = (Latitude – 35) * 4. Percent of basic Psychedelic = 100 – ((Latitude – 35) * 4). Sorry, but this formula is only valid until Oslo (Sweden) since there are a few discrepancies about Finland that have not yet been understood!

This formula worked for many years but now it needs reworking due to the renaissance of Psytrance (now called Neo-Psytrance!) in northern Europe. In Southern Europe strangely Progressive Trance gets more popular in the past few years (although Psytrance still rules!). This could be understood as a late introduction to a smaller crowd of club trancers.

Other trends in Europe’s Party-making are: Introduction of Deposit for Trash, Smaller Budgets, Smaller Guest lists, Less Income for Shops, Chill Outs go alternative Floors, Pay-Toilets, Party Presales, Better cooperation with the locals and Rising Ticket Prices.

Deposit for Trash means you pay an additional – let’s say 5 EUR – with your ticket and get it back when leaving the festival with a full trash bag (that you get handed when entering the festival). This is generally a killer idea since it not only resolves the trash collection issue but also improves the responsibility of party guests about what to do with trash during the party (do I throw this cigarette on the ground?). Anyhow party organizers lack in organizing to give the deposit back. Often trash collection stations were closed or had tiring queues that made party people think the deposit was a new method of making extra money. This needs to be improved in the future.

Smaller budgets are due to reasons described above and result in smaller sound systems, less floors, less specials, reduced artist fees, less deco, etc.. Partying the golden years for some time made party organizers use some money in the past for specials that are not really essential. These could be left away. Anyhow care should be given about the essentials like good sound, deco, good artists, clean toilets, showers, etc..

Smaller guest lists go in line with smaller budgets and are generally ok. Artists doesn’t need to get their whole “trance-family” in for free.

Less Income for Shops on Festivals go with the economic situation. It’s not seldom this Year that shops (who spend a week or more of work with one festival) leave a party with loss rather than profit – partly to the high shop fees from the organizations. Some Organizations already limited the number of shops strongly to meet this problem but still: Too much shops for too little party guests with spare money.




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