It began 21 years ago and the community continues to
grow. Regggae, Dance Hall, Hip Hop, Soul and other Black music artists
keep the entertainment industry rolling worldwide. At the Fuehlinger see
some of the most creative artists performed to the satisfaction of
thousands of visitors during the 3-day Summerjam festival from 14-16
July 2006. Afritopic was there to witness the show going on.
It was a beautiful sunny day on the 14. July 2006.
People with rucksacks and portable tents were going in the same
direction along the main road in Fuehlinger see on the outskirts of Cologne,
The scene resembled a pilgrimage. The destination of the people was the
camping area by the sea side at Fuehlinger see. The day was not a normal
day in the area. It was the start of the 21st Summerjam, a
3-day open-air music festival with focus on Reggae, Dance Hall, Pop,
Rap, Soul, Hip Hop and other forms of Black music. As usual, the
festival attracted thousands of visitors from Germany
as well as different countries in Europe.
The festival included several music artists performing on 2 stages and 2
disco dance halls with professional DJs mixing the latest Dance
Hall/Reggae cocktails. 38 music artists performed at the festival. Jimmy
Cliff, brought back sweet memories to the old boys with hits like
"Many Rivers To Cross", “Wonderful World” and "I Can
See Clearly Now". He kept the audience swinging with his excellent
vocals and professional show. Elephant Man (real name O'Neil
Bryan) sent many ladies to the floor gasping with his thousand
volt energy performance. Wearing, tight-fitting white trousers, matching
white short jacket, his hair coloured orange-yellow, Elephant Man
danced, ran across the stage, jumped and climbed on the giant
loud-speakers while singing, rapping and creaming with raw powerful
voice. He ended his show with a surprise by performing “We Are the
World”, the hit song written in 1985 by Michael Jackson and Lionel
Richie to initiate a charity project “USA
The African-German artist Joy Denalane proved her music talent and
versatility with are soulful German and English lyrics. She performed
her popular hits and songs from her latest album “Born and Raised”. Continue>
The visitors had three days
of party atmosphere with finest Reggae, Dance Hall, Hip Hop and Black
music in general. There were all sorts of amusements and side shows in
which visitors could participate. In interviews, some of the visitors
expressed their full satisfaction with the festival and promised to visit
the next Summerjam in 2007.
I flew in from London,
to visit the Summerjam 2006. There is no festival comparable to the
Summerjam in Britain.
Though, there are far more people from the Caribbean
than in Germany,
I think that it would be difficult to organize a Reggae festival that
could compete with Summerjam. The people in Germany
are different in their attitude to Reggae. Unlike in Britain,
the Germans seem to accept the music and the background
culture/life-style associated with it. The English attitude towards the
Black Caribbean culture might be influenced by the immigration history.
I am a Caribbean
born in London
and grew up with Reggae and other Black music. I love Reggae as a whole
but have my favourite musicians. I am at the Summerjam for the first
time and I am impressed. Summerjam gives me the opportunity to
experience some of my favourite artists live and see new artists
perform. The atmosphere is relaxed, the people are friendly and I am
having a lot of fun. It is a great feeling to be here.
My elder brother is a Reggae fan. In the beginning, I
was not really interested in the music. I had my own taste of music.
With time, occasionally, when a Reggae CD is on, I could not escape the
rhythm. I started picking up some words, then some lines of a popular
song. Before long, I began to like the music and my interest grew.
Today, I am hooked on Reggae music. I am visiting the Summerjam for the
third time. I love the crowd and the shows. I am practically here on
vacation, relaxing and enjoying myself.