After the festival is before the festival

When the passengers in the rides are cheering, the visitors are enjoying the salty festival beer and eating crispy knuckles, then place master dieter brandmeier is already planning next year's lichtenfelser schutzenfest. During a tour of the site, the experienced organizer told of his worries and troubles, of the wishes of the exhibitors, of the unforeseeable and of a heavy responsibility that will weigh on his shoulders for ten days.

Search with coburg and kronach

He has been doing the job for 37 years, 19 years as second and 18 years as first groundskeeper. And all this on a voluntary basis, in addition to the medium-sized business he runs. No sooner are the stands dismantled than the exhibitors are sought by advertisement for the coming festival. "We advertise together with coburg and kronach in two show newspapers", according to brandmeier. The cooperation with the two strongholds of the schutzenfeste works well.
The companies were able to travel to all three festivals within two weeks of each other and thus had short distances to travel, because transport is an important cost factor, he said. The warden already has about 15 applications for the next year. "By the end of october, four or five folders will be full."
The three groundskeepers then meet at the beginning of november to discuss the selection of the rides. At the end of november, it will be decided who will come to lichtenfels. By the middle of january most of the contracts are signed. Some are still missing, as the exhibitors are still deciding if they want to go to another place. In march, everything must be under wraps.

"Night style" is new

This year there are 46 exhibitors. Including highlights such as the "night style", a ride in a completely new dimension. The "heibe rader" round trip vehicle, the "bavarian seesaw, the autoscooter or the "break dance" are on it. The "aqua-velis" is also new, a run with water effects. For the children the "jumbo-jet" will start again, the "orientation and infinite journey and the children's railroad "marchenland express.
1.5 megawatts supplied by two transformer stations for the power-hungry monsters. Last year, the "flick-flack" had a very positive effect a connected load of 270 kilowatts. The transformer stations, one at the muhlbach and the other at the city hall, are connected with distribution boxes scattered all over the square. The very rough vehicles are connected directly to the transformer stations. So far, the site manager only has the plan in his head. "I have to avoid that the same kind of shops stand next to each other", brandmeier makes it clear. For example, snack stands, children's rides, or sliding booths. The very rough had to stand near the transformer stations anyway. It is also important that no other ride is placed opposite an attractive elevated ride. Then the visitors turned their backs to it. There will be something for children, which is populated only during the day.
The groundsman is unable to fulfill the wish of many exhibitors to be placed at the entrance with their creations. "Then they all had to stand on top of each other", according to his comment. About six weeks before the start of the festival, everything is put on paper. An architectural office helps. The plans then go to the district office, the energy supplier and the fire department. Four weeks before the starting shot, the flat areas are measured on site with the mabband and the boundaries are marked in color.

The first caravans roll in

14 days before, the first exhibitor's trucks roll in. From now on the groundsman will be there every day. He marks out the pitches and takes care of the distances. The front line at the main rescue route, the left road to the town hall, must be maintained so that the rough rescue vehicles such as the turntable ladder of the fire department can pass as well. "Everybody has to joint, I don't know any pardon", according to the site manager.
250 people will then live in the wagenburg in the middle of the square. They need electricity, water and a drainage line into the canal. The sewer system has to be rewound, as sand and gravel settle there because the site has not been used for a year. Then there are mountains of gauze to be disposed of, which is also the responsibility of the groundsman. "In total, the trucks drive down 20 rough troughs", he added.
On thursday all the exhibitors gather for the last instructions. On friday morning, the district office will come to approve the work. This is not a technical inspection like the tuv, which all rides have to do once a year. The office only checks the stability, the proper construction and watches out for tripping hazards or protruding corners.
The groundskeeper makes one last round and checks that the corridors between the buildings are closed to prevent visitors from entering the living quarters. When the amusement machinery starts moving, the fire department and sanitary facilities must be on site. Now the park master can breathe a sigh of relief. "Most of the time everyone is good, only now and then someone turns up the music too loud, then I intervene", he said.


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