Created in 1979 under the umbrella of a non-profit organization called Terrapin (tribute to Syd Barrett's Madcap Laughs), with Béatrice Macé, Jean-Louis Brossard, Hervé Bordier (then owner at Disc 2000, he left in 1996) and Jean-René Courtès (who left in 1989).
In 1985, the Association Trans Musicales (or ATM) replaces Terrapin.
In 1990, a money pit in the cultural activities of Rennes almost signed the bankruptcy of Ubu, Rennes, then a non-profit organization largely depending on public subventions, where ATM was also staying. In fear of putting the project to an end with the closing of Ubu, and hopping to gain financial freedom, the team created a company called Trans Actions, in charge of the incomes, and found a new house in Jean Guy street. Nowadays, the concert venue is still managed by the ATM.
Somewhere in the late 80's, a musical revolution was rumbling, and in March 1992, Manu Casana a Punk music activist and promoter of the ascending rave scene will meet with the programmers of the Trans, during the New Music Seminar in New-York. He is known for Rave Age Records, the first French Techno label. Casana and Bordier will go to a club where are mixing Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez from Masters At Work and Frankie Bones. Bordier got a real shock and the next day meeting Brossard, they both agreed on the artistic necessity to have an electronic event during the Trans the same year. Casana will be joining the project, for his knowledge in organizing rave and free parties all over Paris since as early as 1987 was valuable. Antoine Ressaussière a.k.a DJ Kenobi (son of Luc Ressaussière, former drummer of Les Atlas one of Rennes' first rock band) a DJ working at Café Carmès in Saint-Malo street, will manage the venue of Laurent Garnier. All over summer 1992, the 4 will work over the program of the first official rave party in France: Rave Ô Trans was held in Salle Omnisports, Rennes (now known as Le Liberté). 4000 people successfully gathered that night to watch 808 State, Pills, Underground Resistance or The Orb.
The next edition Rave Ô Trans II gathered big names such as Orbital. The 3rd edition was called Ethnics To Ethnics, to underline the rising crossover between electro and ethnic sounds. It brought together Rockers Hi-Fi, Juan Atkins, Transglobal Underground but most importantly The Prodigy. That year Portishead at Ubu, Rennes, and Massive Attack at the night club L'Espace are both sold-out. The rave ended up with Lama Gyurme singing sacred Tibetan chants and organist Jean-Philippe Rykiel at 9 a.m. At the end of this 3rd rave party, it was obvious that a larger open space out of the city was required. The 4th edition in 1995 was moved to Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, about 10km South of Rennes and was called Planète. Casana left the adventure early 1995 replaced by Laurent Garnier and about 15000 ravers came! The following years saw sets of Roni Size / Reprazent, Dimitri From Paris, Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Kid Koala and even Mo Wax nights at Salle De La Cité, Rennes.
In 1998, the management of the Trans wanted to focus on smaller structures again, the pure rave parenthesis was over, the festival was brought back to the center of the city, and again Rock took the lead.
Since its creation, Brossard is in charge of the artistic part while Macé manages the production of the festival. Over time, the Trans gained a worldwide recognition for it usually programs lesser known national and international artists. Lenny Kravitz in 1989, or Björk and Ben Harper, both in 1993, played live for the first time in France. The festival literally was a springboard for artists such as Daft Punk in 1995, Etienne Daho in 1980, Justice (3) in 2006, St Germain in 1995 and many more.
Note this festival occurs in the same time as Bars En Trans.