«Why Festivals III»

Statement in the discussion
by Thomas Oberender


«The question why we have this increasing number of festivals is for me one of the main points. It is difficult to explain why we find new festivals every year in a situation in which everyone has less money. The less money we have, the more festivals there are—this is a curious development.

There is a reason why this should be so. It is a reaction to the general social development of our society. In a time when capitalism becomes more and more rigid, liberalization forces us to explore our own capital as a human much more intensively. Society is losing more and more its shared unity through religion, tradition and values. In this situation festivals provide a kind of substitute for what we have lost in society and give us something in common with other people, but in smaller circle and a more fluid way. In a way, the entire society is becoming more fluid and in this process festivals are an expression of a contemporary awareness of life. Festivals are not forever, but for a certain time they are important. I think that people like this feeling that they feel assured by a very clearly defined issue.