Festival: The Ruhrpott Rodeo invites you to pogo in the countryside again

Social Distortion, Kreator and a secret top act will play for the festival comeback. Handicap officers and social workers are also on site.

For punks and punk rock fans from (not only) all of Germany, a meadow on the north-western edge of the Ruhr area was always the goal of their festival dreams in summer. Since 2008, the “Ruhrpott Rodeo” has been promising uninhibited pogo fun in the open air. For two years it was quiet on the festival grounds at Langen Weg in Hünxe, next weekend the amplifiers will finally be booming again.

Ruhrpott Rodeo: Backstage furniture urgently needed

But the restart wasn’t as easy as other festival organizers found out, including Rodeo boss Alex Schwers: “It’s just a big problem getting material,” explains the 49-year-old. “The really important things – stage, sound – were unproblematic. We have long-standing, loyal partners. But there was a problem with shower containers, for example. We then had to organize them from very far away and at horrendous prices…”

Even shortly before the festival, Schwers and his team were not spared – sometimes “material” is affected that the non-festival organizer has no idea about: “Last week our supplier for backstage furniture canceled,” reports the Gladbecker and explains on request (“Backstage furniture”?): “There are special couch sets for the backstage tents and containers, so you book two- or three-seater couches with an armchair, side table and a mirror. But we need that 45 times. So you can’t just get them from the bulky waste somewhere…”.

Local heroes, mob & thugs – as well as a cult band

A problem, yes. But nothing that could endanger the rodeo (“We’ll get them somehow. And otherwise there are beer tent sets or beanbags…”). A wide range of bands from all sub-genres of punk rock – and beyond – will take a seat backstage (on whatever). There are 45 bands in total, the usual suspects include German-language festival favorites like the local matadors, Pöbel & Gesocks and WIZO (all Saturday). With Social Distortion, the festival on Friday finally honors the cult band of all those who traditionally wear their wallets on a chain.

Thrash Metal for the pogo fans

It’s no surprise that snotty hard rock also makes its way into the line-up. On Saturday, for example, it’s the Norwegian 90s swine rockers Gluecifer. However, the appearance of the Essener Kreator as a top act on the same day is a premiere. Flawless Thrash Metal at the Ruhrpott Rodeo – is that a risk? “You’re always worried – you don’t want to put anything on stage that everyone thinks is shit,” says Alex Schwers. “But I’m sure that Kreator will arrive, just like Blümchen arrived three years ago, it was really great then. You can’t really compare Kreator and Blümchen, but I think punk is open enough for a band like Kreator these days.”

Stadium tape as a surprise

“A punk band”, at least that’s what the rodeo maker reveals, is behind the “Surprise Act”, which is scheduled for Sunday evening. And probably not a small one, but one “that usually plays in stadiums and is currently on tour.” However, the secret will only be revealed shortly before the start of the festival.

In person, Schwers stands (or sits) on stage on Friday with the original German punks Slime – as a drummer. A double burden? “No, it’s more of a break from the festival for me – get out of my office, turn off my cell phone and immerse yourself in the concert for an hour,” reveals the festival director and drummer. “For me, those are always the most intense performances with my band.”

Awareness concept and handicap officer should guarantee fun for everyone

This year, Schwers and his team are making a special effort to ensure that all visitors can really enjoy the festival intensively and carefree. For example, as part of the awareness concept, there is a social worker on site who acts as a contact person in the event of encroaching or discriminatory behavior.

But that’s not all: “We also have a contact person for people with disabilities, I’ve never seen that at any other festival,” reports Schwers. He received a bunch of emails and tries to find solutions for individual cases. A platform for wheelchair users, for example, is a matter of course. But who thinks that you have to have electricity because someone comes with a dialysis machine?!”

Information about the Ruhrpott Rodeo:1.-3.7. Hünxe (outdoor area at the airport Schwarze Heide). Day tickets (€81) and festival tickets (approx. €128, incl. camping: approx. €149) are available www.ruhrpott-rodeo.de.

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