No. 8: 3-5 July 1998
Unfortunately, the Festival is suffocating on it’s own success! Pushing, nudging and shoving like on the motorway on a bank holiday weekend. In many venues people couldn’t enter at all at all or only with great difficulty. Dancing on Günther Fountain? Forget it, the folkies were crammed too closely together, so Christian Ruf said in the Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten. And the team responded by moving the Children's Festival to the HeinePark and the interactive dance to the Stadthaus (Deutscher Krug). In the Castle Park there was also dancing and in addition, two beautiful Rudolstädter courtyards were opened for the street music groups on Saturday. Country in focus was Portugal (especially impressive were the Balada do Atlântico and Viagens dol Fado projects), the magical instrument was the Banjo, the Kerberbrothers Alpenfusion won the final round with the German Folk Award (before Micha Dümpelmann and the Rolling Drones), and the German songwriter Christof Stählin was overwhelmed by the Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov.
It is not often in life that you are really deeply moved by a concert or fall in love. And one of those times is, with certainty, now. The embittered German word 'Volk' has two unsuspecting meanings: ‘Folk ', a musically enriched Anglo-American import, and ‘People'. What is gathered here on the marketplace, so to speak, is the ‘Befölkerung’, because at this location there have been coincidences next to the East-West unity: a union of two cultures whose contrast divides the whole country - the artistic -intellectual-youthful counterculture on the one hand and the broad popular culture on the other hand, which otherwise only sniff or anxiously surprise each other with lost love. (Christof Stählin, Stuttgarter Zeitung)