Photo: Ulrike Jäger & Felix Mertsch
Do you guys remember the time, when you went to elementary school? Your classmate came up to you on the schoolyard handing over an envelope. It was painted in every colour you could imagine. In scrawly handwriting it says:
You’re invited to celebrate my birthday with me.
Mostly a common procedure followed: On a nice Saturday afternoon your parents dressed you up and brought you to your friends house, equipped with a bunch of flowers and a nicely wrapped up Playmobil-cardboard-box. Everyone gathered around the children’s table to eat chocolate cake and drink Fanta. And while your friend’s mom was busy keeping everyone entertained, the birthday girl or boy already started playing with its presents. Sometimes there were funny games like pot hitting or – in easygoing families – 2 hours of Playstation.
When you and your friends turn 18, this kind of procedures disappear. Your friends show up in the evening, instead of flowers they bring your favourite alcohol and “Who hit’s the pot the fastest?” turned into “Who can jump over the hedge while holding a beer?”.
So you start running, speed up and just jump off with your cheerleading friends in the background. You jump as high and as far as you can, it almost feels like flying. Higher and higher, farther and farther. Towards your future, your tasks, towards responsibility, higher education, work, health and pension insurance, building loan contracts, towards your own house and your own family. And before you know it, you make it to the other side of the hedge, all grown-up and adult. And your friends don’t cheer anymore, they grew-up, too. Someone asks: “What the hell?”, another one yells: “You could have hurt yourself really badly!” and the third one says: “I gotta go, got the morning shift tomorrow”.
No! That’s not what we want. The Immergut Festival turns 18. But the number of 18 is not supposed to be a door right into captivity. While growing old, we want to stay young because growing up doesn’t mean to stand still. The festival will be our fountain of youth. Maybe we are not forever young , but we can surely feel forever young . We can run up to that hedge, take a jump and never land. It’s our decision. We’re gonna stay 18 forever!