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Festival fever

Poster 2016
Poster 2016

The free cultural festival Breminale invited its visitors from July 13th to 17th 2016 to stroll, listen, dance and enjoy the vibes in good company along the enchanted dike-meadows. More than 100 artists performed in four big circus tents and on many more stages. A variety of music, dance, readings and theatre and culinary delights left nothing to be desired.

And again renowned bands played in front of hundreds of people, though this time the festival presented itself with a musical diversity as never before: Stars from the Altmannshöhe to the watersedge of the Weser covered the whole musical range from world music to Rock'n'Roll to alternative and pop music. On stage in the four biggest marquees Flut, Deichgraf, Baronesse and Himmelwärts artists like Laith Al-Deen, Jupiter Jones and Town of Saints celebrated with the dancing crowd until midnight. Behind the scenes a ligamental strain, two mosquito bites,  fifteen applications for naturalization and many promises to return next year from the artists made the festival in 2016 a unique and memorable event.

Approximately 200.000 visitors from near and far enjoyed five days of wild gaiety and open air ease. We, the team from Sternkultur, will keep the Breminale spirit alive while planning the next big success for 2017. Our philosophy is to provide space for music and culture that is open to everyone. Under the motto " No Racism, but Respect!" we want to promote and demand values of civil courage and tolerance on as well as behind the stage. "Of course we are immensely irritated by the criminal incidents on the festival site," Max Maurer, project manager of the festival, said, " but we want stay an Open Air Festival without fences. This low-threshold approach is important to us."

There was great excitement about the many opportunities to share the Breminale vibes online: Blogs from our media partners, up-dates and tweets on Twitter and daily crowd clips captures the shimmering athmosphere of the five festival days.

Furthermore we have seen progress in our endeavour for sustainability: Way more than 1000 lamps on our chains of lights are now operating with energy-saving LED-technology thanks to the financial support from festival visitors and sponsors. Many thanks!

The Dörfliche Wiese with its variety of fair trade and certified organic goods is still flourishing. When sitting on the meadow with good food and good company discussions on the sustainable future of the city of Bremen come up. However next year the federal sponsorship for the partner associations ProZept and SozialÖkologie will expire: "How can we keep this important platform for ecological consumer behaviour alive for the audience?", Susanne von Essen, artistic director of the festival, is asking herself with regard to the Breminale 2017.

Fair Breminale - towards a sustainable festival with bigger "bio-village"

After Breminale is before Breminale! But first we take a little breath and draw a balance after the 28th edition, which result looks quite impressive. The biggest Open-Air Festival around Bremen, with ten big and small stages, was simply satisfying.

"With around 200.000 people celebrating, we´re keeping a high level when it´s about the rush of visitors. "Meanwhile, we´re familiar with this view, seeing all the people celebrating the brilliant nights. This pleases us" says Max Mauerer the festival manager.

With musical highlights like Andreas Kümmert, Graham Candy and Kill it Kid and some insider tips like Ezra Furman, Los De Abajo and Mine, Breminale is a great host for Musicians all around the world.

„This wouldn´t be able without all our fantastic cooperation- and media partners. Especially Radio Bremen who offers stages, as well as Lagerhaus, Treue and Dreimeterbretter as organizers“. Susanne von Essen the artistic direction is looking forward for the next years´ cooperation with all the „bremisch“ partner.

The „Öko-Dorf“ is one excellent example for Breminale´s purpose getting a more and more sustainable and fair trade festival. This so called eco-village increases in popularity and offers only fair trade Bioware. With a bicycle-festival and Co. the Sunday was dedicated to the future.

The next Breminale with its family friendly program will be from 13th to 16th of July 2016. Then there again will be the children´s hands and bass pounding, stages and stands with new ideas and guests strolling along the Breminale.

 

Under the rainbow- a stormy Breminale 2014!

Everyone in and around Bremen now knows what a storm is or rather what it isn't. Despite several storm warnings at this year's festival, there has never been a true storm there. Nevertheless "Safety is more important than sticking to the programme", says Max Maurer, project manager of Breminale festival. Visitors of Breminale festival can rely not only on great entertainment, but also on the right security measures that are taken.

A brilliant saturday evening reconciled visitors, food & beverage vendors and the rest of the Breminale crew with weather forecasters. The largest and most diverse summer festival in Bremen presented more than 100 bands from pop to rock and blues.  This year's Breminale family also included the ship MS Treue as well as the DreiMeterbretter, Wohnzimmer, an organic food village the socalled "BioErleben-Dorf" and the "Himmlische Wiese" which is an extension of the festival area that has been introduced in 2013."Thanks to the swb and Radio Bremen we were able to host such a diverse and colourful event", says Susanne von Essen, art director of Breminale festival.

The organisers estimate that this year around 200.000 visitors enjoyed their programme, which is a little less than in the record breaking year of 2013, but nevertheless the artists and musicians came to one and the same conclusion: "Such a peaceful festival of this size is unique". The organisers are already looking forward to hosting the Breminale 2015, which will be taking place from 15th until 19th of July, 2015 - despite any wind and weather.

 

Breminale 2013: a great party!

From the Weserlust to the Breminale

A culturally influenced festival

In 1983 the "Weserlust" ran out of steam and the AG Breminale (resulting from "Kulturkooperative Bremen e.V.") set itself the goal to create a culturally influenced festival instead of a commercially-based festival. 100.000 DM were provided by Horst Franke, the former "Senator for Education, Science and Art" for the creative artists and cultural mediators to realise their ambitions. From the present point of view that amount of money was unbelievably high but unfortunately not sufficient enough for such an event.

The time has come the 16th of September 1987: The official BREMINALE-opening took place at the Bremer market place. More than 10000 people visited the festival area at the „Osterdeich“ greenfield where they enjoyed music, art, literature, theatre and a fanciful progamm for children. At the end of the BREMINALE festival the „Feuer-Wasser-Klang-Corso“ offered a spectacular firework which was impressive and dramatic at the same time: One visitor died after an outsider fired an illumination flare into the crowd.

In 1986 no one of the BREMINALE founding members have thought of the fact that something mundane like the weather should ever influence the success of the festival. Some people are of the opinion that it is raining all the time during the BREMINALE which is clearly a wrong interpretation of the festival. It is probablly the close Weser-bank and the unavoidably connection whith the element water where this conjecture is based on.


swb saving the Breminale

Despite the positive response to the BREMINALE an the increasing number of visitors in 1990 and 2000 the year 2001 was challenging. Rising costs for infrastructure and staff ensured a financial minus of 25.000€ in advance and constituted a bad basis for the festival. The cancellation of the 15. BREMINALE was announced and triggered a large echo in the media. Just one day later the energy supplier sbw offered balancing the remaining amounts to zero. To this day the swb is one of the main sponsors.

A Ferris wheel enabled the visitors to have a fantastic view over the whole festival area, the Weser and the „Viertel“ but unfortunately rain clouds covered the sky . „Bad Weather“, the loyal assistant of the BREMINALE was again present! Arctic temperatures, wind, heavy rain and high tide descended on the Osterdeich.

2004 then the BREMINALE started and had as its motto „swingin in the rain“. Bad weather was expected by the organizers and a highly discussed topic. Against all expectations five warm, sunny days were the matter of fact!

A new cooperation partner made a huge line-up change possible: Bremen Vier. High-carat acts like Soulounge and Culcha Candela rocked the new „sbw Bühne im Bremen Vier-Zelt“ and provided record-breaking numbers of visitors.

Crowd Puller

Even though a lack of money is a chronic case, the BREMINALE as a crowd-puller etsablished itself in Bremen. The foundations for even more annual bunfights at the Weser bank, usually on Whitsun, were formed. Bands like „ Green Day“, „Urban Dance Quad“, „Candy Dulfer“ or Edwyn Collins“ played the festival and productions like „Faust“ tempted more visitors. A cooperation with CrossCutRecords and its BluesFestival turned its attention to international european guests as well and more than 50.000 live records were sold so far.

In 1993 a big change behind the scenes took place: government aid of 220.000 DM was canceled and ten of the twelve founding members ended their occupation. Harald Siegel and Manfred Fleckenstein then founded the Breminale GmbH. As for the drastic financial cutbacks more reductions in the festival programm had to be done and expensive  parts like theatre, art and literatur had to be canceled. Anselm Züghardt, one of the former founding members gave a hand and linked parts of bremens cultural scene to the BREMINALE - the so-called „Flut-Projekt“.

A postponement in 1999 from Whitsun to a weekend in summer elicited an extremely positive response and 200.000 visitors were estimated these five days : the town on the river is alive!

The city Bremen again became financially active and new cooperations „TUI“, „Sparkasse Bremen“, „Weser Kurier“, „Radio Bremen“ and the brewery „Beck & Co“ were produced what fortunately increased the quality of the BREMINALE on levels of design and acts.

Breminale 2006

In 2006 the BREMINALE is celebrating its 20ths anniversary. The green fields of Osterdeich turned into a cultural playing ground again. After a lot of sunshine but also rainy weather in the last 19 years, the Organisers of the festival focussed on the topic "Water". One part of the program was the "Naturathlon", germanies biggest nature sports contest. Also in the kid's program there were water attractions. With rubber boots the young BREMINALE guests enjoyed the program which was launched under the motto: "Moving water". Water was moving the BREMINALE in the last 20 years. Water from above and from below, a lot of rain in all shapes and colours and the flooding Weser were often part of the festival. So in 2006 it became a official part of the program. There was a race along the Weser, a dragon boat race on the water, a waterquiz and imaginative watergames.

So besides the consideration with water issues-what was going on at the BREMINALE 2006? Nick Moss (USA) and Conny Lush (UK) opened the event at the traditional blues night on stage "Weltbühne". The visitors were excited about the musical highlights "Arabanda" from Belgium and "The Mighty Three" at the night of concerts presented by "Nordwestradio" and "Hurlak" from France presented by "Sparkasse in concert". The klezmer-violonist "Sophie Salomon" stood out by her stunning performance. In the "hanseWasser"-tent international reggae artists like "The Tiptons" and "Zerphrylogie" won the crowd over with their great shows. "ElBicho" presented hot flamenco-rock at cold temperatures outside the tents. "Root ID" stood out by mixing ska from England with classical HipHop. "Onejiru" from Kenia combined traditional sounds from Kenia with funk-, R'n'B and electronic sounds. The "Lagerhaus" celebrated its "Birthday of vision" in the Flut-stage with innovative musical projects from all over Europe. Part of the celebration were different dance-, theatre- and filmproductions. Bands like "Babacools", "Paulsrecorder", "!Deladap" und "Dos Guitarras" celebrated with the "Lagerhaus", the very satisfied BREMINALE-Crew and festival visitors the 20ths BREMINALE Birthday.

Breminale 2007

No BREMINALE in 2007 The free and culture festival at the Osterdeich green fields had become a well known and traditional institution for people from Bremen and Bremens guests. But in 2007 it could't take place because there was less money from the funding of the city. Although the co-operation partners wanted to support the festival like the years before, the financial ressources were not sufficient to realise the festival. But the BREMINALE crew should not be discouraged. They planned to improve their work staedilye and realise a BREMINALE with a slightly different concept in 2008.

Breminale 2008

Breminale 2008 After there was no BREMINALE in 2007, the great festival at the Weserdeich was back in 2008. From the 2nd until the 6ths of July one could listen to over 60 Live-concerts and for five days enjoy the great festival feeling. There was a new open-air-stage, where especially local Bands from Bremen and the Bremen region played their concerts. The other stages in three tents presented different styles of music from national and international band formations. The highlights of the five days festival played on saturday night at the "Weltbühne" where the "Sparkasse in Concert" presented too top-class bands. Besides the well-known musical program, there were new venues: the baltic-row-tower, a sauna, an art intallation inside the cycle tunnel and the eventboat "Treue". Moreover, there was a fanciful and imaginative program for kids. The art direction, Susanne von Essen and Carsten Werner suceeded in expanding the musical range of the program. While it was typicly focussed on worldmusic, singer-songwriter and bluesrock, in 2008 the visitors could also listen to electronic sounds and "Deutschpop".

Together with their cooperation partners the radio stations from Bremen "Bremen Vier", "nordwest Radio", "Lagerhaus" and other interesting cultural institutions from Bremen the BREMINALE crew made a fine festival program happen on the old and new locations.

In 2008 there were lots of women on the BREMINALE stages. At the front of the field were the female actors "Lydia Daher", "Bernadette La Hengst" and "Gustav" on the MS Treue, the bands "Paula und Klee" on the swb-stage in the Bremen Vier-tent and "Sandy Dillon" on the Weltbühne. In Arnd Zeiglers wonderful world of pop played the musical project "Hight Llamas" and singer-songwriter "Louis Philippe" from France. "Sirqus Alfon" from Sweden played a wonderful concert at the Weltbühne and friends of Boogie-Woogie and Rockability has profited as well. On the Flut-stage and in the LichtLuftBad the visitors enjoyed the wide range of music from reggae, polka beats, pirats-jazz, chanson and klezmer. One could also watch short film compilations, video installations and illuminations. Between the cycle tunnel "Altmannshöhe", MS Treue and Weltbühne the visitors could see outstanding sculptures, a mobile sauna from the arts group "Fluchtkunst" or the Baltic-Raw-Tower. They offered new spaces for performances, parties, alternative TV-shows and powerpoint-karaoke. Who wanted to have more proximity to home could find this at the "Bremer Bühne" where bands from Bremen and the region of Bremen played.

In total there were 120 attractions. Music, theatre, performances, creative childrens program were offered for the visitors of the free culture festival. Still in 2008, the BREMINALE charged no entry fee. One had the opportunity to donate a little amount of money for placing special emphasis on the program and the festival athmosphere for 2009.

Breminale 2009

Also in 2009 the open-air-cultureFestival BREMINALE has grown once again. From the 1st until the 5th of July thousands of visitors enjoyed the music, literature, the shows and talks on the stages and open-air-attractions. Moreover, one could experience the lovely gastronomic offer inbetween the tents. Furthermore, not only the tents were used as performance locations for musical acts, but additionally the festival presented avantgarde-culture and innovative market ideas, mainstream-pop and creative handcraft wagons „Folk-Art“ and „Global player“ on both sides of the Weser. The radio channels „Bremen Vier“, „Bremen Eins“ and „Nordwestradio“ and cultural institutions like the „Bremer Filmbüro“, „Spedition“, „Schwankhalle“ and „Lagerhaus“ presented themselves on the festival ground and completed the versatile program. One could not only listen to bands from Bremen, but also enjoy famous acts like“Polarkreis 18” and “Selig”. Moreover, the old „Licht-und-Luft-Bad“, on the isle inbetween the two Weser streams, organized a circus festival for children. The eventboat „Treue“ and the pedestrain tunnel became a cool but yet hot dancing club. For the first time the BREMINALE offered a whole-day-family-program and concerts in the early morning while the sun rose. Lots of time and space was given to stroll around the festival ground and to chat with friends and family. As usual, all the acts on BREMINALE were free.

The year 2009 was a year of extremes. „We havn’t had such circumstances during the last 21 years“ projectmanager Rolf Hesener summarizes. High temperatures, hot summer days, rushing rain, cold nights, the Weser flooding the green field, crowded tents because of outstanding concerts and at times an overcrowded festival ground. 150.000 people visited the festival within the five days. The visitors loved the extended culture program. One part was the exhibition with 100 „culture heads“ of Bremen, which was open at day and night. Another one was the cooperation with the eventboat „Treue“ and the important culture and party institution „Lagerhaus“. Anselm Züghard from the Lagerhaus is excited about the good working cooperation with the festival. The new artistic directors Susanne von Essen and Carsten Werner created a platform for interactive, urban and international Avantgarde-Culture and therefore positively surprised visitors and artists. „The artists from other cities appreciated the athmosphere and thanked for the warm welcome by the openminded people from Bremen“ said Susanne von Essen.

Breminale 2010

Oh dear, there's about to be a fence at BREMINALE Festival this year. What? The outdoor and cultur festival at the Osterdeich which was free all the years before? But, no panic!

The fence wasn't set up all around the festival ground but run through the heart of the location. So still in 2010 there was no change. Cultur stays free for all and the festival was not complicated through a ticket sytem and entry controls.  But the idea is that everyone who wants to support the artists also in a financial way was given the opportunity to do this. Every Euro makes the festival at the Weser saver and when donated from the adience has a significent meaning.

At the new fence the visitors were able to purchase merchandising items of the 2010-Stadtmusikanten edition. Moreover, one could share ideas of the future program of the BREMINALE 2011 or simply donate money. Every visitor could also just pass the fence and spend some time thinking about the value of music, theatre, literature and the media, like radio and newspaper of the city. The people who were not into this had to run up and down the Dike.

And what was going on at the 22nd BREMINALE? Lifely and more quiet tunes were played on the stages. Castles were built in the sky. traditional and world music, pearles of popmusic and monsters of rock, indie hits and house hymnes presented by Bands like Virgnia Jetzt!, Hundreds, Barbara Morgenstern, Mad Monks, Herrenmagazin, The Koletzkis, Fucking in Champagne, Stereo Total and Ohrbooten, Singer Songwriters Enno Bunger, Tom Lüneburger and Bernd Begemann. The trio Ganes and the skaband Abuela Coca from Uruguay were artistic highlights and insider tips. The visitors could also discover the newcomer bands Dead house Experience from Bremen and the Ska-Reaggae-Combo Skalinka from Oldenburg.

Musical theatre, short films, lyrics, popmusic, jazz and electronic sounds were presented by the Schwankhalle in the DeDrohme on the BREMINALE festival ground. The festival program includes a super-8-evening with live-music and sundayjazz with montuno and shakespeare against the machines, a interactive hairdressing performance with electronic sounds and a chinese boat hire with flowerrides and loveboatrides. There was also a fire show with juggeling from Flambal Olek, dance-theatre, fire spitting and british slapstick a la Mr Bean from the cabarett Mr. Diagonal and the Black Light Orchestra.Moreover, the Circo Panico from italy had their guest appearance at the Hal-Över-ferry pier. In their show they spreaded out lots of strength and creativity and created an intimate and familiar athmoshere in the small circus tent. The circus was presented by the Weser Kurier.

The assessment is encouraging for the BREMINALE 2010. Although the Festival hasn’t reached the high visitor numbers from 2009, because it was too hot at times. Thats a fact,a few years ago, no one would have thought possible. There was continuous rain and wet feed caused by the flooding Weser the years before. After the Festival did not take place in 2007, in 2010 it was even more a great success. The visitor numbers were great, the public’s willingness to donate has raised up to 16000 Euro. Only the WM-Game Germany against Argentina on Saturday night caused an immense gaping emptiness. Such a slowdown hadn’t been there since the first BREMINALE in 1987.

Breminale 2011

Yet again: Records at Breminale

The 24. BREMINALE has set some records again. „Fantastic“ „incredible“, „better than ever before“ was the feedback of the guests this year. The acts and the atmosphere of the festival was stunning. With one restriction: it was nearly too packed. Especially on Friday and Saturday night not everybody could reach the stages on the festival ground because there were too many people. To canalize the festival crowd and to get them home safely, the police had the street blocked between Sielwall and Tiefer. „The weather was ideal. As good as never before“, said the project-manager Rolf Hesener. „Warm, but not too hot, sunny and with fresh air, but not too windy- the ideal mix for partying and enjoying a great cultural event.

Fair and organic festival

Although the temporary road closure for this years BREMINALE was actually planned for Sunday morning, it started spontaniously the night before. The last festival day startet with the "Deichbankett" on the Osterdeich, located on the main street above the festival area. Lots of people from Bremen and the guests, especially a lot of families, enjoyed a healthy and fresh meal made of organic and fair trade products. Additionally, there was a lot of information about organic food and fair trade organisations. The BREMINALE and their partners SozialÖkologie e.V. und Prozept e.V. have the ambition to shape the whole event into an organic and fair festival on the long run. Besides the „Biodorf“ on the festival ground, more and more gastronomies extend their range of products offering fair trade and organic foods increasingly. To promote public awareness in this area, all the stand tenants had been contacted and supervised by Rolf Hesener, projektmanager of the BREMINALE. In the next years the BREMINALE is going to expand its project „bio & fair“. The visitors fully accepted and appreciated the offer and the gastronomic quality has improved a lot. Nevertheless, this is one step towards for a fairer and healthier world.

The artistic directorship alternates

„We succeeded in combining the ideas of sustainable and organic acting with popular cultural offerings. You can find very different types of people and programms, which result in a great enjoyment“, says Carsten Werner. Together with Susanne von Essen he is the artistic director since 2008. 2011 was his last year holding this position and it was a great success. „For free, outdoor and with perfect weather conditions.“ Thanks to the sponsors and a lot of partners it is possible to do this great event charging no entrance fee. „For the first time we had to decline some of the requests, because we just had no space“, Susanne von Essen summerizes. And we got a real positive resonance rescheduling the date to the middle of summer, because the weather is much better at that time of the year.

Breminale goes Kunst

In 2011 the BREMINALE Festival cooperated with a big art exhibition for the first time. It was called „Zur Nachahmung empfohlen“ (imitation recommended) and was set up in „Umgedrehte Kommode“ (famous building) on the Stadtwerder. With its topics of urban development, sustainability, boat trips and an auction of souvenirs it was a real part of the festival. This cooperation shall be further expanded in 2012, as well as the festival itself with it's rich offerings of art and culture.

More and more international guests

Moreover, there was the new tent "Hofnarr" on the festival ground. Anja Wedig from the cultural institution "Schwankhalle" was extremely enthusiastic about the idea. The "Schwankhalle" presented young and by then unknown artists and projects to a wide audience. "That gave us the opportunity to do also international networking and invite international artists. "We had a lot of requests for tickets from europe and all over the world" noticed Susanne von Essen. Although we don't sell any tickets, because its a free festival. So we had to put a note on the website which explained the idea of the festival. We don't have tickets because we charge no entrance fee, so there is no application needed. The festival is financed by the gastronomy, the cultural funding from the city Bremen, the program partners, the sponsors and the donations from the visitors. In 2011 the BREMINALE made the world's biggest scratch card which was honored with a place in the Guinness Book of Record. The proceeds, minus the costs, of 10.000 Euro was donated to cultur projects for next year. The 22nd BREMINALE ows its success again to their programm partners like the boat "Treue" and "Hansekogge" which berthed alongside the festival ground. The Radio Bremen program from Bremen Vier, Bremen Eins and nordwestradio, the "Lagerhaus" on the FLUT-stage and the bar from Bremen "Wohnzimmer", the One-man-band-Festival from the "Spedition" and the "Bremer Filmbüro" with the legendary "Super-8-Evening" completed the outstanding festival program. The newspaper of Bremen the "Weser Kurier" and the "Klimafreunde" enabled the Kid's program.

 

 

Roughly 180.000 visitors at the 25ths Breminale

Roughly 180.000 visitors enjoyed themselves on the Osterdeich in year 2012. The Breminale Team was very satisfied with this result. The new fields-concept became a great success. The quality of the visitors stay has been significantly improved. The visitors really appreciated the idea that funny and thrilling acts were built up between the tents and stages. Also the concerts in the tents were all well attended. You could even see lots of swelling crowds gathering in front of the tents.

Especially on Friday and Sunday night the new security concept proved its worth. All the planned innovation was well integrated without affecting the special atmosphere.

The new „Ökodorf“ was also well accepted by the visitors. The organic traders were impressed by the strong support and interest from the visitors side. The "Öko-Bankett" was sold out. Over 250 people took their lunch on a sunny Sunday on the Osterdeich.

Moreover, there was a great support by the inhibitants and visitors of Bremen for the event. The merchandise articles and the srcatch cards were highly requested. The main prize of the tombola was an electric scooter. The gains contribute to the festival, which is also aligned to sustainability. In a united effort the charitable visitors, the major sponsors, the Bremen authorities and co-operation partners have made this event possible. And they will also make it happen in 2013. The Breminale will take place from the 10ths until the 14ths of July!