The issue I want to ponder on today is fortunately not a mass phenomenon. However, the following scene can be watched at quite every big festival a couple of times: The next artist has just fired up his laptop, pressed play, and now the beats are booming from the speakers, the crowd is having a great time… and here comes a partyhead waving a flag of the country that is apparently also shown on the passport of this artist. Sometimes this flag is flying over the heads of the crowd, sometimes it is worn in genuine Superman style as a cape, and at one of the biggest festivals a visitor even climbed onto the stage and hoisted a flag right on the DJ booth.
Now I’m not going to discuss the complex matter of national pride and whether it is reasonable or not. But one thing should be obvious: Festivals and a scene that define themselves by slogans like “Psychedelic Tribal Gathering” or “We Are One” and where words like “global” and “international” are used all the time, are definitely not the right place for national flags. For a simple reason: The feelings and emotions that usually find expression through these flags contradict those beautiful slogans and make them smug catch phrases without any true value.
Hands down: To understand the music of any artist of the Psytrance scene, you don’t have to speak his or her language. He or she just comes from I-Like-It-Land or I-Don’t-Like-It-Land, it’s as simple as that. And it’s a beautiful thing, because music is an universal language, and for once we are really all connected by that language and those awkward barriers of communication that rule the big, bad world out there are temporarily eliminated. “Make Change Happen”, that’s another popular phrase… so why not really embrace it and forget about nations, at least for a couple of days?
There’s nothing wrong about flags as a symbol of affiliation, and the majority of the flags to be seen on the dance floor or in the camping area does indeed give expression to the true spirit of this scene. For instance, I still love the good old Acid smiley. I’m also really fine with an Om, a peace sign, or even better: A unicorn spewing a rainbow. Lets not forget that during the weekend and at festivals we are all citizens of the same state, the same state of mind!