Indian Spirit 1999 to 2024 – 25 years anniversary
Celebration of a tradition and attracting the young crowds
28 August – 02 September 2024

Eldena / North Germany
Tom Rom

Germany’s largest Psytrance event and Europe’s third largest, Indian Spirit, will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2024. The spirit for this historic festival was originally inspired by India, experiences in Goa and psychedelic music (not Native American tribes, as many might think).

With more than 20.000 visitors the Indian, as the Germans call it, has become one of the 3 biggest Psytrance festivals in Europe (next to Boom and Ozora). It all started in 1999, when the Solipse Festival in Ozora/Hungary triggered a worldwide explosion of Psytrance. And Germany was one of the biggest breeding grounds for the global Psytrance scene. And the Indian Spirit was right at the beginning. Ideas and organisers changed over time, but the spirit remained.

Even the pandemic could hardly stop the Indian Spirit. Only once – due to the pandemic – the festival did not take place in 2020, but in 2021 and 2022 it gathered many thousands of fraggles who loved to dance and love, while other festivals in Europe closed down.

The Indian has a long history of joy and progress, as well as times of mourning. Indian head booker Rouven aka DJ Schrittmacher talks about difficult times in the past, but also about the positive development in recent years. Rouven got infected with Psytrance himself after a Neelix set in 2012. In 2014 he took over the artist bookings and is still the master of the line-up. In 2024 he is responsible for booking more than 150 live acts and DJs.

 

In 2014/15 the Indian had a lot of problems with authorities, conditions and rules. The festival had to move. The Indian changed the location several times: from Kyritz, Grebbin, Jesendorf, Heiligengrabe, Stendal to the actual location in Eldena, at the “Goa-Autobahn” A24 between Hamburg and Berlin, the epicentre and core area of German Psytrance festivals.

A big and sad break in the history of Indian was the cancer and tragic death of the visionary Christian/Pizza in 2018. He founded Indian Spirit and Psychedelic Circus, another legendary German festival that unfortunately no longer exists. His legacy and spirit is still a big part of Indian Spirit. It was already in 2017 when Sebastian Eggert (Music Eggert), a friend of Christian, took over and has been running Indian for the past 8 years until now. It was a shock for the German Psy-scene to see a year without Indian Spirit. Now, after the renaissance of the Indian in 2017, the festival is a series of successes as the traditional summer finale in Europe, as most fraggles on this continent know very well.

The Covid era left a sad moment, but also a positive memory in this sad period of recent years. “We had a so-called safe PCR edition‘ with 15,000 visitors without wearing mask duty and achieved continuity. We now have an even bigger mainfloor like Ozora and Boom, but like them we also had to struggle in the Covid years”, Rouven points out.

Russia’s war against Ukraine in 2022 had no impact on the Indian’s choice of artists, because music and individual artists know no borders. The Hamas attack on the Supernova Psytrance festival and the Gaza war of the right-wing Israeli government are both terrible tragedies that did not influence the bookings, assures Rouven, who lived in Dahab/Sinai for 5 months and had and still has Israeli and Arab friends. “I never had any mental irritations or conflicts because I am meeting only people and friends, not states or political ideologies. It’s all about people”, Rouven affirmes.

What makes the Indian spirit so special? “It is the variety of music genres of the Psytrance world, the top level production, and we also hire the leading deco- and 3D mapping artists. Moreover we have the youngest audience among the Psytrance festivals, I guess, because we recognized the value of social media to reach out to younger crowds. Those who come to Indian for the first time get infected, love it and come back”, Rouven answers.

 

Indian Spirit 2024 means 5 floors of Psytrance, Progressive, harder styles, chillout and techno/house.” Also in 2024 we rely on one of the biggest deco artists for Psytrance festivals, Mae & Moa, who will decorate all stages. Fire performers, jugglers, show dancers and elves will of course again be a part of the Indian. Not many festival have a continuous yoga schedule from Thursday to Monday. Workshops and other healing programmes will complete the festival.
There is also a huge tent-, igloo- and tipi city in the camping area with well-prepared camping equipment for the increasing number of people who don’t want to bring their tents and want to have a stress-free festival. You can even book your own serviced toilet for your camp on the Indian website.
Will the Eldena location be the same in 2025? “We love Eldena, have a good cooperation with the local authorities and our partners there. We are looking for a fruitful longterm relationship there in the future”, says Rouven.

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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