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The first ATLANTIC FESTIVAL took place on the occasion of the foundation of the "Atlantic Academy" (February 22, 1996) in Kaiserslautern from September 7 to 15, 1996 and was initiated and planned by Sigune von Osten. It comprised music (predominantly of the 20th century, jazz, popular music, traditional non-European dance, scenic and multimedia-based material, electro-acoustic music), exhibitions, film, speeches or lectures by Americans or with a reference to America.

Native American dances at the Zink museum, Kaiserslautern. On the one hand, it was meant to show and deepen the particularly strong ties between Rhineland-Palatinate and America; on the other hand, the interesting program served to make people aware of Rhineland-Palatinate and attract them from further away, on an interstate level. The places for the events in 1996 were the two Palatine cities Kaiserslautern and Ludwigshafen. The program ended with the exhibition "Andy Warhol"

and the multimedia-based music theatre "The Cave" by Steve Reich (with Steve Reich himself and his ensemble). This work, which had premiered at the Volksoper in Vienna in 1993, and was performed in Berlin, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Brussels, could not be seen anymore in Europe ever since. Due to recent developments in the Middle East "The Cave" is very up-to-date because it talks about Hebron, the only place in the world that is considered holy by Arabs and Jews alike and which is also bound by tradition for Christians.
Further agenda items: German-Franco-American jazz concert with Robbie Ameen / drums, Howard Levy / harp and Michael Riessler / clarinets/saxophones, music and dance of the Crowindians, concert for 4 drummers and a prepared piano with pieces by John Cage, movies by Woody Allen and an exhibition "John Cage, Terry Fox, Gudrun Wassermann" at the Pfalzgalerie, Kaiserslautern.