Every year I go to Rock Werchter with friends, and every year I’m as happy as a lark; before the festival, during the festival and some days thereafter. During this time I wonder why the whole world can’t be like Rock Werchter…
Rock Werchter is an annual music festival held in the village of Werchter, just three miles from my home. Since it started in 1974, the festival has won various awards for being the best in Europe and in the world. Four podia are spread over the terrain allowing the attending music lovers to chose who they wish to see during four consecutive days around the end of June.
Before you start drawing conclusions, no. I am not a hippie. Nor do I smoke marijuana. I guess I get high on good music, great friends, a few bears and (hopefully) fine weather. Just like 90 thousand other visitors each day. So yes, there is a common theme of relaxation, enjoyment and music with the binding togetherness breathing masses of respect and love, no matter the colour, creed or appearance.
How different this is to today’s tangible mistrust and fear in society. I’m sure that if elections would be held at the festival, then extreme right would remain an insignificant minority. Moreover, in a world of perpetual Rock Werchter, a Faas Kramer novel would undoubtedly portray a beautiful young woman with a daisy-chain on the long blond locks of her head singing Kum ba yah, while a bronzed man strums an accompanying guitar to a tune to which those around the campfire can easily hum along to.
But is this really me?
What if the guitar player was a paraplegic purposely playing false notes to give the impression he wasn’t very proficient? What if the singing girl stood confidently naked with the flickering light dancing on her warm, bare flesh? What if the only absentee from the campfire was Morgana, a 22-year old camper suffering from depression? And what if a kitchen knife had been stolen from the cabin-kitchen earlier that morning…?
Ah yes. I’m back. For the sake of writing, thank God Rock Werchter is only four days a year…!