Bonn The Panama Open Air Festival in the Rheinaue in Bonn started on Friday afternoon. The guests celebrated under a bridge when the festival area had to be temporarily cleared due to a storm.
The pavilion stood for hardly half an hour before the wind destroyed everything. The poles were bent, the tarpaulin crumpled. “We thought it would work without pegs”, said one of the young men who had set up the shelter.
The Panama Open Air Festival on the Rheinaue in Bonn started on Friday with a thunderstorm. Organiser Sandro Heinemann temporarily interrupted the event, which is expected to attract 25,000 visitors at the weekend. The guests from all over Germany didn't mind: they simply continued celebrating at the collection point under the South Bridge.
Among the few groups who arrived by camper van was Caro (24) and Dennis (23) from Siegen. The caravan model “Luxury Münsterland” lived up to its name: inside were not only two beds for four people, but also a small kitchen with a fridge. But this was converted into a water storage facility because there was no electricity. “We only need that for washing”, explained Daniel, one of the camper van's occupants.
Whereas the men managed without electricity – their barbecue was gas-powered – the women had to improvise. “Our festival outfit is important, it must glitter”, said Caro, while she stuck small sequins on her cheek. Although she had already done her hair at home, she still needed electricity for the hair dryer. She found it at a service stand. The garden table quickly turned into a dressing table and next to the beer were the hairspray cans.
The community feeling on the camping site was described by many visitors as “very special”. If someone needed help, for example to knock a peg into the ground, it wasn't be long before a hammer was found among the tent neighbours.
Organiser Sandro Heinemann expected about 1,000 visitors to spend the night on the festival grounds. “We are very happy that camping here in the Rheinaue is working out so well”, said Heinemann. For him, it is particularly important that everything runs smoothly and, above all, peacefully.
“The area is not so vast, which is wonderful. There is a family atmosphere. It's the second time we've been here and we've been recognised by other campers. That's really cool”, said Annika from Bruchsal. The programme was so compelling for her that she came back to Bonn.
“The artists who perform here are really great. It's not often that they're all at a festival”, says the young woman. Together with her namesake Annika, she walked across the festival grounds with a heart-shaped sign – for recognition. They had the sign with them last year.
Videos of the festival grounds are available on the Instagram channel of the General-Anzeiger.
(Original text: Maximilian Mühlens, translation John Chandler)