Fun for some, noise for others

  1. Giessen general
  2. Pour


FROM: Kays Al-Khanak


It got loud at many festivals in Giessen. © Oliver Schepp

For some in Gießen, “City without a sea”, the cultural summer or Hokus Pokus FestiWelt were the most important events of the year, for others they were pure irritation.

Gießen – A mild Friday evening in the long summer. 5,000 people stand side by side in Schiffenberg. They sweat, jump and dance from the heart during the cultural summer. When the vocalist of the Düsseldorf punk band Broilers, Sammy Amara, shouts “Woho-ho-ho-ooh” into the microphone, these 5,000 people know exactly what they need to do: they shout “Is anyone there! Someone there! Who feels like me! «In the night sky. Yes, there are those who feel like these music fans. But there are also those who do not want to share the enthusiasm for events such as the cultural summer, the festival of hocus-pocus or the celebrations in the main university building. Because the music is too loud for them or they are annoyed by the rubbish they leave behind.

One of them is a resident of Petersweiher. His name is known to the editorial office, but he does not see his anger as an individual opinion, but as the neighborhood behind him. They couldn’t share the enthusiasm for the Schiffenberg concerts, he says. “I don’t mind amateur parties at the monastery.” Professionals are the problem. “Hourly soundchecks from 2pm, home office out of the question,” he says.

Summer festivals in Gießen: noise and stressed wild animals

In addition, there will be noise throughout the festival – and “continuous exceedance” of decibel levels after 10pm, says the man. Half of the Petersweiher Pond is parked for events – although a free shuttle bus runs from Philosophikum. And for the wild animals that live around Schiffenberg, “sound” isn’t funny either.

The man from Petersweiher is also annoyed that he often tried to discuss the matter with the law enforcement office, but staff were hardly available. Here it becomes clear: Cities are particularly vulnerable during such years: On the one hand, there are citizens who want to get rid of their anger and expect the authorities to take action. On the other hand, there is a need for people to celebrate and benefit from first-class cultural offers.

Noise pollution at festivals in Giessen. “The bigger the event, the greater the control”

Complaints like the Petterweil man are obviously not isolated cases, but always arise when there are events – not only – in the open air. The editorial staff also regularly receive such tips – for example after festivals in the city park, but also after spontaneous parties on the Lahn.

Complaints, says city spokeswoman Claudia Boje, were at a similar level as before the crown period. A break of several years did not result in increased sensitivity. Most of the complaints were about quantity. As Boje says, all major events were controlled – “the bigger and more intense the event, the more control.” They also take place at specific measuring points, e.g. at one of the apartment’s windows closest to the noise source.

Gießen: The organizers mainly stick to the noise regulations

Measurements showed that the organizers largely complied with the legal requirements, “even if one or the other resident thought otherwise,” Boje emphasizes. »Legal regulations do not provide residents with” absolute peace “. The legislator has defined the very perception of music or bass, as long as they are not exceeded. «

In order to minimize possible contamination of local residents, it is important to ensure in advance that the speakers cover areas where few or no people live. The city also sets noise limits for organizers and asks them to measure noise and keep records of it. These must then be submitted to the regulatory authority. Regardless of this, the law enforcement office measures itself in order to be able to intervene – and check that the values ​​given by the organizer correspond to reality. Moreover, as Boje says, the city tries to mediate between the organizers and the applicants. If the organizer does not follow the guidelines that are subject to penalties, he will be asked to pay the fee.

Gießen: The city severely limits its events to the space in front of the main university building

In terms of littering and noise pollution at improvised parties, the city tried a carrot and stick mix. For example, the university, in cooperation with the authorities, severely limited the use of the square in front of the university’s main building in the evenings, and the night mayor is to organize the party life in the future.

When it comes to open-air concerts, Giessen has been a blank spot on the map of Germany for decades. Many top-class players have already played here. Herbert Grönemeyer and Joe Cocker performed at the Waldstadion; Tina Turner played there in 1987 in front of 28,000 viewers – not private dancers. For those who liked a little less mainstream, the Bizarre Festival 1991 line-up was a dream: New Model Army! Fairies! Bad religion! Iggy Pop !!!

But the Bizarre Festival in particular must have been quite a traumatic experience for Giessen. Because that was the end of the open-air flights in the city. For over 25,000 tickets sold during the two-day festival, there were only 5,000 tent places. No wonder it caused chaos in the city as visitors set up camp where they wanted – possibly on the communication islands as well. To end this chaotic situation, the police confiscated the meadows and designated them as campsites.

Festivals: “Gießen successfully positions itself as a lively and urban city”

In addition to the 2005 MTV campus invasion with Adam Green, Bloc Party and Wir sind Helden, there was silence for many years at the festival front. The city welcomes the fact that this is the end. In 2016, the first cultural summer with rock and pop bands took place in Giessen. A year later, the electro Amen festival, 2019 Stadt-ohne-Meer OK Kida with indie and hip-hop took place, and from this year hocus-pocus with rap scene celebrities.

“These festivals suit very different musical styles, so we can talk about a pleasantly broad offer,” says Boje. Festivals, the spokeswoman emphasizes, are a good fit for Giessen – also because of the disproportionately large number of students. “These festivals are extremely good for the city’s image as a city of culture, Giessen is fulfilling its role as a regional center and is successfully positioning itself as a vibrant and urban city,” emphasizes Boje.

Giessen: Events are an important image factor, especially for young people

This is also underlined by Jens Ihle, managing director of the Central Regional Authority of Hesse. “A bustling location needs a lively and urban offer,” he says. Art, culture and sport are “the emotional pulse of the region”. These included stage concerts such as the City Without Sea Festival, as well as a wide range of events such as the Summer of Culture.

Such events shape the image of the location and are an important image factor, especially for young people, for employers and talents, for families and universities. “The worst thing that can happen to a region in this context is boredom,” emphasizes Ihle. Thinking about the festival summer in central Hesse, he says: “Show me only one region that was able to present such famous names in the concert year 2022.”

What are the organizers saying? For example, Shadi Souri, the head of Pizza Cloud, who is now also in the care of rap event organizers, tells about the 10,000 guests in three days who attended the Hocus Pocus festival in early September. Reports about empty supermarkets in the area and hotels taken up. And he wants to go on. It can be assumed that Gießen will continue to be a festival venue – at least as long as there are no wild campers in front gardens or on communication islands. (Kays Al-Khanak)

Leave a Comment