12-15 July 2024 in Stölln / Germany
Tom Rom

The Antaris Festival is actually a psychedelic peace project. Ant-aris means being against the Greek god of war Aris (in Rome, the god of war was called Mars). The festival is thus a project that brings together people of all countries, genders and religions to dance, talk, love and live together for a few days and experience real peace – in Trance Dance, as Goa-Gil called the spiritual experience of the union of humanity, nature and the universe.

This is the total absence of war. And that is Antaris, which also includes Laugh and Dance. “For friendship, peace and freedom is the motto of the festival. A world that needs the positive energy of all of us so much regarding the current political and economic situation”, says Uwe Siebert, who is the founder, spiritual leader and soul of the festival to this day. The first Antaris Festival took place in 1993, making the project an institution for an entire generation. Founder Uwe, the Goa legend, is known to everyone who has spent a season between Anjuna and Arambol or stood on the Antaris main floor. He created a dream that has lasted for generations.

Antaris is particularly known for its holistic decoration concept. The psy-geometric figures by Avikal, the string worlds by Ananto and others have become legendary over the last 20 years. In 2024, we will be celebrating the 28th Antaris and this is a good opportunity to talk with Goa Jonas, one of the makers of Antaris, about the last few years and the future direction. Alongside Uwe, Goa Jonas is one of the faces of the Antaris team. Jonas is a booking agent, played his first big DJ set at Antaris and works in many areas before, at and after the festival. He has known Uwe since he was a child – from the times when his parents lived in Goa.

During the Covid period, Antaris was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. Thanks to support from the German cultural fund, Antaris was able to survive and continue, InschahShiva! The Ukraine war afterwards only had an impact on the artists’ bookings in the way of massive travel restrictions for Russian DJs. The Gaza war caused a split in the scene between the Israel-friendly and Palestinian-friendly parts, says Jonas, but “it had no influence on the bookings”.
Three generations are now dancing on the same dancefloor in Stölln near Rhinow, and there may even be a fourth generation in 2024, which is still very young. Otto Lilienthal launched his first flying machines at this historic location, making it the oldest airfield in the world.

Unfortunately, Antaris will change location from 2025 because the rent is no longer affordable for the organisers. The whole team, especially managing director Dirk Poguntke, is very sorry about this, as the site has already become a tradition in recent years. Antaris has already changed locations several times – from Fehrbellin and Tarnow to Stölln in Havelland. But now the move to a new location will begin right after the festival, where there is more water, woods and shade. “We would like to manage a site all year round in order to realise an eco-festival concept there”, says Axel Stumpf, the festival’s technical director.

The line-up for 2024 is already public, but the timetable is still being finalised in mid-June. The feeling has to be well-rounded and the artists will play in such a way that the flow will once again be the typical Antaris flow for the 5,000 fraggles expected this year. The Antaris audience is very familiar and underground, across all age groups. There are young dancers who were even sired at Antaris and are now standing on the main floor and stomping along, with or without their parents.

In 2023, there were heavy rainstorms that ruined the main stage. Jonas assures us that things will be different this year.

In 2024, there will also be a deco-visuals combination from Buju and freeOptics, a synthesis of hand-painted backdrops and new printed transparent fabrics, which will have a very special appeal. The combination of mirrors and lasers will also be fantastic. With the light poet Alfred Wolski, a Merkaba made of glass is planned in the centre of the main floor in combination with the lasers.

There will again be two floors, a Psytrance and a Psytechno floor. In addition, the Spiritual Circle on the hill will be a chill-out area at night and a healing area with 32 programme items during the day – with talks, workshops, massages and energy work.

Antaris 2024 will be the last at the well-known location in Stölln, so nostalgics shouldn’t miss it. There will be a reincarnation of Antaris in 2025, so let’s celebrate the farewell accordingly and look forward to the new location!

Tom Rom

Tom Rom is an author for mushroom magazine since 2001. He also wrote many articles for the Trancers Guide to the Galaxy. With some friends he founded and promoted the biggest Psy-Festival in Europe in the springtime, called Sonnenlang, from 2003 to 2007. Until 2012 he was head promotor for the Spirit Base festival. He has been still active in contributing to and promoting Psy festivals in the last 20 years.

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