Open Source FestivalDüsseldorf
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Open Source Festival
The idyllically located racecourse in the Grafenberg forest is the perfect location for a perfect summer festival, with three stages amid leafy surroundings. In July this is the venue for the Open Source Festival (OSF), the ultimate platform for the latest trends in clubbing and pop culture – open and diverse, dynamic and innovative, experimental and substantial.
Düsseldorf is more than just the host for this sensational one-day festival, it also provides artistic inspiration and supplies many of the programme highlights. The city’s creative scene is alive and kicking – a shining example of how music and art can together tread new paths.
In few other cities are music and the arts so closely integrated, and in a way that has produced so many famous names. So it comes as no surprise that internationally acclaimed Düsseldorf photographer Andreas Gursky is a friend and sponsor of the festival. In the 1980s, Düsseldorf established a worldwide reputation as a home of cutting-edge pop through the music of Kraftwerk and through exciting new-wave German acts such as Fehlfarben and Andreas Dorau.
In the 1990s, bands such as Mouse on Mars and Kreidler took up the mantle and began to seek a closeness to art. Electronic music in all its facets has a long tradition in Düsseldorf, dating back to the Fluxus concerts organised by Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik in the sixties. “Electronic music coming out of Düsseldorf is now highly regarded around the world”, says Stefan Schneider, musician and part-time lecturer at Karlsruhe’s HfG University of Design and Cologne’s Academy of Media Arts. “Unfortunately, this encouraging position is not always reflected in what goes on in the city.” Organisers of the Open Source Festival feel bound to this tradition and have created a new platform for it with their event. Philipp Maiburg, the artistic director, believes that the festival should not hark back to the past, but instead offer a new forum for the here and now: “The aim is to reposition Düsseldorf and the surrounding region as a hub for pop-culture movements and trends in international music.” In 2009, almost 4,000 visitors – including many from Austria, Switzerland and the Benelux countries – made their way to the festival where they enjoyed more than 35 bands, DJs and sound systems.
But new trends do not just originate from the star names and established acts, they are also given an airing on the Young Talent Stage. Every year, in line with the open source philosophy, organisers put together the line-up of music and supporting events from scratch. “We place great emphasis on the latest trends, which is reflected in our efforts to create a modular festival programme that does justice to a vibrant culture”, says Maiburg. The culture that he refers to encompasses music, of course, but also modern art, design and fashion. “It’s been a long time since music has stood in isolation. Instead, it is now interwoven with other genres.” Media artists, for example, create moving pictures which are precisely synchronised to the rhythm of the music. Fashion has long since established itself as an expression of musical affiliation, and beautifully designed record covers quickly become collectors’ items. For these reasons, art is actively incorporated into the OSF programme, giving galleries, fashion labels, and video and media artists the chance to demonstrate their connection to music.