When: 19th to 21st July 2019
Brass band music at the Fremdingen festival delights young and old
When: 19th to 21st July 2019
Trombones, clarinets or trumpets – instruments wherever you look. Around 1,000 visitors to the BLASIUS brass band music festival in Fremdingen in the Swabian district of Donau-Ries are gathered in front of the stage. They hold their instruments in their hands. The conductor stands on the stage and lifts his baton. He gives the upbeat.
The Community Ensemble makes music together.
The participants were sent the music with their tickets so they could learn it in advance. Without ever having played together before, a thousand amateur musicians in the so-called Community Ensemble play the BLASIUS March – an arrangement specially composed for the festival. The odd wrong note goes unnoticed and the overall effect is astonishingly harmonious.
The moderators Daniela Lauter and Bernhard Reichherzer stand near the stage and watch this huge brass band. They are both members of the Musikverein 1871 Fremdingen e.V and part of the organising team behind the festival. They are thrilled to see that their audience is so musical. And back in the campsite the festival-goers continue to play their instruments. “People play music 24 hours a day,” exclaims Bernhard Reichherzer with delight.
“People play music 24 hours a day.”
At BLASIUS, participants don’t just get to listen to traditional brass band music such as polkas and marches, but also crossover music featuring club music, electro, dance and hip-hop. The priority for the organisers is that at least one wind instrument is involved. “The later the evening, the more party-like the music,” laughs Daniela Lauter.
The festival was the brainchild of some members of the Musikverein 1871 Fremdingen e.V. back in 2015. “It was actually an idea that came to us late at night after a few drinks,” explains Bernhard Reichherzer with a grin. It took them a year to find a suitable site, research the experiences of other festival organisers and approach bands. They ran a feasibility study and got the committee on board.
After all, it’s not all that easy to set up a festival in the middle of a forest – in a simple field. The biggest challenge was the lack of a water supply. The solution was to run a 1.5 km long water pipe through the trees. The waste water goes into slurry tankers and is transported to the treatment plant by tractor.
Around 60 members of the Musikverein 1871 Fremdingen e.V. spent a year preparing for the festival on a voluntary basis. In 2018 BLASIUS was attended by around 1,800 people. As well as the music there are other attractions including a pool, a boat swing and a shooting range. A lot of older people, many of them in traditional costume, spend the day in a specially constructed Biergarten.
“It’s always peaceful, nobody shoves anyone else.”
Darkness starts to fall. Daniela Lauter stands on the illuminated stage and raises her voice to introduce the next band: “Let’s hear it for the Fexer!” The crowd roar with delight. Everyone from the age of 18 to 50 plus sways, bops and jumps about in time with the beat. “It’s always peaceful, nobody shoves anyone else,” says Bernhard Reichherzer. He gets goosebumps when he sees hundreds of people having fun in front of the stage and enjoying the brass band music. At times like this he knows that all the hard work has been worth it.
Total distance: km
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