Dour Festival 2006

For the 4th time in a row I have spend four days in the dusty, dirty and heated post-apocalyptic youth-oriented alternative music festival near Mons, in the south of Belgium. With friends and my girlfriend we have witnessed crazy, beautiful, stoned, drunk, kind and rude Europeans having a time of their life. We have seen musical expressions from many parts of the world. Mono from Japan, Groundation from California, Born from Pain from the Netherlands, First Blood from New York, The Congos from Jamaica and many more. We have seen Reggae, HipHop, Metal, Hardcore, Jazz, Carnavalesque Skapunk. And above all, we can now conclude alternative music offers far more than mainstream can ever imagine. And without any conveivable programme subcultures can weave into each other without any problem.

Music that vents anger, hatred, and violence can be exposed by amplified guitars, raging drums and grunting vocals as well as through heavy dub-like bass, reggaevocals and improvised keyboard-solo's. Both are able to entertain and move people. Dancing as cultural trait is able to unite the people and can promote an imaginable feeling of a massive feast of several thousands that share.

However, all is fiction. Most people enjoy the festival within the borders of their own social surrounding. All consume the bait of commerce that makes the festival possible and the feast of thousands turns into a great marketplace. One thing is left over, and that is the music. It is this Capitalistic world that forces us to become competitors and for now there seems to be no way out.

Still, seeing so many people express their perceived freedom makes one wonder, whether or not there is more to this economic dog-eat-dog system that has invaded every imaginable corner of our world. Music makes people retreat to their own mind, while not abandoning their society. All of us together turn inwards and sense rhythm and emotion in our own unique way.

The Mad Caddies, Groundation, Andrew Tosh, Amen Ra. All had their unique way of moving the people. And the more people there were at the front of the shows that participated fully, the more people truly seemed to enjoy themselves. I have really enjoyed this issue of Dour Festival, for music gives energy, perceived or not.

My Pictures
Official Dour Photography


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