Musicians, Makers And Mobile Toilets

Many German promoters and agents – and others who can read the language – will be interested to get their hands on a copy of Von Musikern, Machern & Mobiltoiletten, an excellent coffee-table book detailing four decades of the country’s festival history.

It’s the brainchild of Hamburg-based Folkert Koopmans of FKP Scorpio, the promoter of six German festivals and co-promoter of several spread across Austria, Switzerland and The Balkans. He enlisted the help of local public relations and journalist Katja Wittenstein to research and co-write it.

The partnership worked well and Wittenstein, a friend of Koopmans’ wife Malaika, has since joined the company’s own press department.

The book follows German festival history from the politically charged Burg Waldeck in the early ’70s to the scene as it is today.

It also touches on how the country reacted to the new outdoor musical entertainment phenomenon, including when the county of Bavaria banned festivals because fans had imitated what they’d seen on Woodstock footage and run around naked.

Of the festivals that exist today, Wittenstein says Stefan Reichmann’s Haldern, which started in ’84 and Marek Lieberberg’s Rock Am Ring (’85), were the first to establish themselves. Klaus Maack’s Summerjam came shortly after.

She said the exhaustive research was made easier by the help and support she received from many of those involved in the ongoing story.

There’s a list at the front of the book that includes Lieberberg, Maack, Dieter Boes (Koko Entertainment), Holger Huebner (Wacken Open Air), Karsten Jahnke (Hamburg Stadtpark), Stefan Lehmkuhl (Melt Festival), Stefan Reichmann (Haldern Festival), Johannes Wessels (Music Pool) and Scumeck Sabottka (MCT).

Those who can’t read German may still find it worth having just for the photos.