The Splash! Festival is one of Europe's biggest hip hop and reggae festivals. It used to take place at the Oberrabenstein reservoir near Chemnitz, Germany until 2006. In 2007 and 2008 the festival was held on the Pouch peninsula in Bitterfeld, Saxony-Anhalt. Since 2009 the Ferropolis in Gräfenhainichen is the ground for the Splash! festival.
The former coal mining site Ferropolis seen from above, the festival ground for Splash!
|Genre||Hip hop, Reggae, Dancehall, Drum and bass|
|Dates||3 days (first weekend in July)|
|Location(s)||Ferropolis, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany|
|Years active||1998 - present|
The first Splash! took place in 1998 in the inner city of Chemnitz, in a former powerhouse. From 1999 on, it was located on a hillside of the Oberrabenstein reservoir.
In the early years there were two stages, one for hip hop, and one for reggae. In 2006, the festival had extended to six stages and four party tents. The hip hop stage is adjacent to the reservoir, visitors can see the concerts while bathing. The tents house, amongst hip hop and drum and bass DJs, dancehall and reggae sound systems, a graffiti contest and ITF matches.
The name "Splash" hints at the waterside location of the festival and the phrase "to make a splash".
- 1998 - The first Splash! took place in 1998, but not as planned as an open air festival, but in the inner city of Chemnitz in a former powerhouse. It was relatively small (and could be more accurately described as a jam) and counted only 1,300 visitors and six performers, among who were Afrob and KC da Rookee.
- 1999 & 2000 - Being held hillside the Oberrabenstein reservoir from 1999 on, the Splash! had earned its name, attracting 13,000 fans and steadily gaining popularity. In 2000, the festival had 20,000 visitors.
- 2001- More than 30,000 tickets were sold in 2001, and the organiser limited the quantity of tickets for sale to 25,000 for the next years, in order to stay true to the basic idea of the festival - party in a relaxing atmosphere and a high quality lineup.
- 2005 & 2006 - Heavy rain led to declining visitor numbers, causing severe financial losses.
- 2007 - Donations helped to balance the losses of about 70% of 2006, and the festival organisation announced on 11 January 2007 that the festival will take place, not in Chemnitz but on the Pouch peninsula in Bitterfeld.
The meeting of creditors in the insolvency proceedings was held on 9 January 2007. According to a Chemnitz newspaper, the debt amounted to over €500,000. The Splash! Entertainment AG asked for public help to be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the festival, an account for donations was opened additionally to a charity concert that had already taken place in November 2006, altogether reaching €325,000.
After obtaining €350,000 through donations from both fans and artists like Jan Delay, Samy Deluxe or the Dresden Philharmonic orchestra, the organisers announced that the festival would be held, and also informed the public about the new location.