RESIST TO EXIST?! What is that anyway? Who and what is behind it? What do we want to achieve with the festival? ... Anyone who asks themselves these questions and looking for a great punk festival in Germany with an authentical DIY spirit can become smarter through this page. 😉
Key info about the punk festival Resist to Exist
Festival name: RESIST TO EXIST FESTIVAL (Open Air Festival)
Event locations: 2022 / 2023 - Berlin Marzahn 2019 ORWOhaus Berlin 2016 / 2017 / 2018 Kremmen (near Berlin)
Datum: August 2nd – 4th 2024
Number of visitors: approx. 2.500 from all over Europe
Camping: we assume so
Year of the first festival: 2003
Music styles: Punk, Hardcore, Streetcore, Rap, Ska
Number of bands: approx. 40 (local and international)
A brief history of the biggest DIY punk festival Resist to Exist
The RESIST TO EXIST FESTIVAL was originally a protest event. Born from the struggles of the East Berlin punk scene in the 90s, Resist to Exist began as a response to rising neo-Nazi activity and the lack of safe spaces for alternative cultures.
Over time, such a retreat area developed in Biesdorfer Park. Daily almost sixty people gathered there, and eventually they became a thorn in the side of the district administration. They tried every means possible to get us out of the park: from fencing, closing times, security guards, watch dogs to video and civil surveillance. When a hundred cops in full gear came after us, an explosive threshold had finally been crossed.
In 2003 we loudly decided with our newly founded youth initiative RESIST TO EXIST to organize a protest concert in Biesdorfer Park. Our goal was to make the public aware of our situation and to address the impending closure of the park. The initiative has grown over the years and moved to a free-standing site in Berlin-Marzahn in 2007. In 2009, the association “alternati e.V.” was founded from the youth initiative in order to create an institutional framework for the work to promote youth subcultures and disadvantaged young people. Since then, this association has been organizing the RESIST TO EXIST festival every year.
The first concert with around 200 visitors developed into a into a 2,500 visitor punk festival with 2 stages and up to 40 bands over the years.
The festival had been taking place in Kremmen near Berlin since 2016 because the existing open spaces in Berlin-Marzahn were gradually sold and privatized. We would like to thank Mr. Brunner, grounds we were allowed to use.
After a legal and political dispute with the lower building supervisory authority in Oberhavel and the CDU mayor of the city of Kremmen, punk festival Resist to Exist moved to the ORWOhaus in Berlin in 2019..
Due to the Covid pandemic, the 2020 and 2021 editions of the festival were canceled.
The beginnings in Biesdorfer Park in 2003
Since RESIST arose from a common problem (which affected the entire family at the time), the idea of unity was always primarily important.
Over time, it was no longer just old park visitors who helped out at the festival, but increasingly more and more helpers from different corners of the country. A DIY organizational structure emerged almost casually. The entire crew of the punk festival now consists of several hundred people. All on a volunteer basis, all just for fun. Therefore Resist to Exist can be loudly called the biggest DIY and non-profit punk festival in Germany. Because the idea of creating a common project that also has a lot of ideals and attitude in its luggage has become a matter of the heart?!
The relocation to the Berlin-Marzahn site on the Nordring (from 2007)
And who organizes all this?
In advance, we regularly make appointments and sit together with 20-25 people and plan the festival. The entire crew of Resist to Exist consists of almost 500 helpers. All volunteers – no one earns money from the festival.
The relocation to the Berlin-Marzahn site on Hornoer Ring (from 2011)
The punk festival Resist to Exist is non-commercial. The costs for bands, equipments, catering, etc. are covered by grants, donations and benefit events as well as income from ticket sales, counter sales and stand rentals. Remaining deficits have been offset in recent years through private donations and the support of various associations.
For us, volunteer work means that we don't get any money for our work, nor any compensation for expenses or anything else. On the contrary, we also put private money into the festival (telephone expense, fuel cost, etc.). We calculate ticket prices in such a way that we cover all costs.
We don't have sponsors. We cooperate with some labels and other festivals, e.g., cross promo flyers. That's it. No logo placement, no advertising subsidies, absolutely nothing. Our secret sponsor is the scene itself with its annual support. We don't put any big advertising logos on the flyer or on the grounds.
The relocation to the site in Kremmen on Oranienburger Weg (from 2016)
Looking for an amazing punk festival in Germany? Come over to Resist to Exist!
Anyone who is open-minded enjoys partying and music, also is interested in politics and is not an aggro idiot is more than welcome here. We don't care about genre, we are open to everything and everyone.
Racists, sexists and other intolerant people are unwelcome here.
What kind of music is played at the festival?
We primarily focus on punk and hardcore to be played at the festival Resist to Exist. But there is always a pinch of ska. Since 2015 we have also had various types of rap.
On the stage at Resist to Exist have been a lot of amazing bands among them are DRITTE WAHL, TOTAL CHAOS, DISTEMPER, OXO 86, RASTA KNAST, POPPERKLOPPER, GET THE SHOT, SCOWL, WAVING THE GUNS, AUDIO88 & YASSIN, THE BABOON SHOW, EXTREME NOISE TERROR, OI POLLOI, FEINE SAHNE FISCHFILET, TIEFENRAUSCH, REDSKA, LOS FASTIDIOS, SHAM 69, WHAT WE FEEL, LOIKAEMIE, ZSK, RAWSIDE, KOP, SIBERIAN MEAT GRINDER, WOLFBRIGADE, A+P, MAID OF ACE, BUSTER SHUFFLE, TOXOPLASMA, SKANNIBAL SCHMITT, SKAMPIDA, THE CASUALTIES, ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, NEON SCHWARZ, NON SERVIUM, RESTARTS, RAZZIA, KRAV BOCA, THE BRIDGE CITY SINNERS, TERRORGRUPPE, RYKERS, DAYS N‘ DAZE, MAD SIN and, and, and …
At night there is an after-show tent with live punk rock karaoke. A band accompanies you while you sing well-known punk hits! Among the first actions to start the day, there will be a political information and cinema program in the above-mentioned after-show tent. In addition to the food stands, there are also merch and information stands from various projects on the festival area. This way you can find out about everything current and exchange your thoughts with others.
If you have forgotten to take a toothbrush, deodorant or anything else with you, you can stop by „Onkel Emmas Kramladen“ (Uncle Emma’s general store). You can also send postcards via Fieldpost there.
So there is something for everyone! 🙂
What makes Resist to Exist different from other punk festivals?
That we both collectively and in our crews are open to everything, and give everyone who is interested the chance to be part of the whole. Almost 500 volunteers from all parts of Germany (and some beyond) host the festival year after year and receive no money for it. Resist to Exist is the biggest DIY and non-profit punk festival in Germany. The thing comes from the scene, is for the scene and if it goes well, additional income flows back into the scene. A symbiotic circulation.
Unfortunately, there are many organizers who milk the scene but don't feed it. Who take from it but give nothing back. Those who benefit from it but do not invest in it. We don't want to demonize fundamentally the ugly business face of our genres, but in the end, these are often exactly the ones who book questionable combos into their line-ups for commercial reasons.
We think it sucks! We simply prefer “with each other” and “for each other”. And that's exactly what makes the Resist to Exist festival different.
Everything your heart desires: stands with merch, info, beverage and food (meat and vegan) invite you to snack, drink and munc. Since 2016 there has also been a breakfast stand on the campsite in the mornings.
In order to reduce the noise pollution of our festival for the city's residents, we have turned up our stages, invested a lot of money in dispersion-reducing speaker systems and have a noise-reducing tent on the square especially for the nightly aftershow.
In recent years, our noise monitors have often personally visited residents when complaints have been made and exchanged thoughts with them. In 2016, we were able to reduce the noise dispersion to such an extent that we caused almost zero nuisance and even - listen and be amazed - received praise from the police. This has never happened before.
We would also be as happy as a dog with two tails if a few Kremmen residents stop by to spend a nice weekend with us.
Not just a party: in the after-show tent there are information events with discussions and film screenings in the morning.
What was the craziest experience so far?
When the Scottish band “OI POLLOI” called our resist booking team and reported that our driver had just picked the wrong band up at the airport. It turned out that it was the well-known Scottish band “REDNEX” (“Cotton Eye Joe”)!
Because our driver didn't know who was it, he dropped them off in the middle of nowhere with the words “There's a taxi rank up ahead - GET OUT OF MY CAR!” The story not only traveled across Europe, but even made it into US radio interviews. 😀
What was the craziest request from an artist so far?
Not wanting to accept any money until two bottles of schnapps have been drunk with the organizer... In the end they're all likeably crazy anyway.
Do you want to know more?! Then take a look at the interview with the dude !🙂