Cancellation 2020

Dear Artlake Community,

Higher, faster, further – these were the principles that have driven our society in recent years. We have exploited not only ourselves, but also our planet, and have focused on false values. This is the mirror that is currently being held before our eyes. Professions that are underpaid are classified as critical to the system. Health care structures that have been cut back for years are crumbling. Those who have often regarded people in need with arrogance only now realise that they are in a privileged situation.

All this should lead us to question our actions. What conclusions can we draw from this crisis and what changes can we initiate to change our society for the better? We will come to terms with a new normalcy. So let us use this opportunity to help shape what this new normality can look like. It is particularly important that we also keep in mind the people in developing countries and emerging markets, who have been hit hardest by the crisis. More than ever, we must stick together and show solidarity. Instead of protecting borders, it is time to protect people.

Together with crews, artists, activists, scientists, initiatives and utopians, we have been working since our last year’ s Artlake Festival to fill the platform with life for creativity, discourse and interdisciplinarity. Together at Bergheider See we wanted to discuss current social tensions and develop alternative approaches for everyday life under the motto “Act Wow”. Now more than ever, it is essential to highlight the positive conclusions from the crisis and to develop strategies together with a focus on “how to act wow”.

But it is clear that we will not take place as a major event this year. We have been giving a lot of thought to whether a postponement of the Artlake Festival might be an option for us. However, after evaluating all options we decided to let Artlake take place again next year, because we don’t believe that it will be safe enough to gather at the Bergheider See this autumn.

Even though we are aware that the crisis will hit countries with a lack of infrastructure and comprehensive medical care far harder than we have been hit, we must not stop fighting for the values we stand for as a festival of art and culture. Together we are committed to a tolerant and open society. We are creating a framework in which there is no room for discrimination of any kind and we are actively working to integrate these principles into everyday life beyond the festival. Culture is crucial to the system, because a society needs creative and respectful exchange to work on making the world a better and more sustainable place. This is only possible due to the high diversity of the various art and cultural organisations. Culture determines our lives and is indispensable in our socio-cultural existence.

Politics must not surrender the cultural scene to the crisis and has to finally acknowledge the urgently needed support, otherwise the scene will collapse. This would have disastrous consequences, as without an intact art and cultural scene, no return to normal life is possible. In addition, diversity as well as exchange at eye level on current socio-political issues would be endangered. In the current situation, we cannot rely on political support because our very existence is at stake. After all, a festival that takes place only once a year still has running costs throughout the year. To give you a transparent insight into these costs we have listed the exact cost structure below.

Long-term development at Bergheider See

As some of you may know, besides Artlake Festival there is also Feel Festival, which is also held at Bergheider See. There are already some rumours circulating saying this year, Feel Festival would have been the last one at Bergheider See. With this background, some of you might wonder if this also applies to Artlake Festival. Therefore we would like to take the chance to explain the situation to you and to disclose it as transparent as possible.

In order to develop a festival location, a solid and long-term cooperation with the community and the respective regional political structures is essential. We are very thankful that our cultural project was supported in the region at all times. At the same time, we were aware that there are existing housing projects at Bergheider See and that the festivals are seen as temporary use. In order to ensure that both events continue to have a home at Bergheider See, we are working towards a collective commitment to see culture not only as an interim use to activate and enhance the region for future tourist or commercial uses. Rather, projects such as festivals in rural areas are necessary to provide a variety of cultural offerings and to regard them as a positive nucleus for further projects. In the cartography of the Lausitzer Seenland as a “sport and event lake”, Bergheider See fulfils the best prerequisites for a project like ours and we expect that this realisation will also gain political acceptance. We are very confident that we will be able to build on the trust we have earned and find an integrative solution that is compatible with the development plan. Especially for Artlake Festival a good solution should be found, as this is a smaller festival. Compared to the much larger Feel Festival, the requirements for space and infrastructure are very low. For this reason, we have decided that the tickets for the Artlake Festival will remain valid for next year and we are already looking forward to seeing you again with full enthusiasm.

Ticket price refund

The tickets for this year’s Artlake Festival remain valid for our festival next year, which will take place from August 5-8, 2021.  No further action on your part is required. We very much hope that you share our anticipation and the common vision of our utopia of exchange, discourse and cohesion at Bergheider See and that you hold on to your tickets. However, we are also aware that some of you are also facing an existential crisis and have your own worries and fears in this uncertain situation. Therefore we want to give you the opportunity to return your ticket and get the price back. Please send us an email to with your first and last name, the ticket number and your order ID so we can allocate the order. A high reclaim of tickets can lead to liquidity problems on our side. Therefore we hope for your support by holding on to your tickets for next year. Let’s fight together for our freedom, because we have to protect and keep this privilege despite the current challenges!

Costs already incurred

A discourse with different views and experiences is only possible if this diversity is also present among the participants. For this reason, we calculate each year a tight budget to give as many as possible the chance to be part of our platform. However, this year’s cancellation does not mean that we have no costs. A festival also has running costs, which are not matched by any income this year. Personnel costs are the biggest item in our calculation. In addition to the office team, which is responsible for the entire organization, planning and realization of the festival, we have an internal construction team, which takes care of on-site management including deconstruction and clean-up, repairs and security. For us it goes without saying that we will continue to pay salaries in the form of short-time work – even if it is still uncertain when these will be reimbursed by the employment agency. We have reduced all other positions as far as possible in good conscience in order to keep the financial impact within a manageable range. Possible synergy effects, which result from double use of the location with the Feel Festival, have already been eliminated, so the costs explicitly refer to the Artlake Festival. You can see them in the charts below.

It remains clear that we are facing an enormous financial burden. To counteract this, we have decided to start the ticket pre-sale for Artlake Festival 2021 from August 5-8, 2021 right away on our website. Due to the current situation and in order to compensate for the loss of this year’s ticket sales, we are unfortunately forced to raise the ticket price for Artlake Festival 2021. The ticket price will be 109 Euro. We believe in the strength and solidarity of our community and are convinced that we can overcome the crisis together.

Unfortunately, it is clear that even if many of you hold on to your ticket for next year, the high financial burden of the cancellation will not be completely cushioned. Nevertheless, we want to give all those who are currently dependent on a refund of the ticket price and still want to support us with a small donation the opportunity to do so. Therefore we have launched a crowdfunding campaign. Here you have the option to support us with a donation and make our continued existence more secure. You can even get hold of a few treasures from our festival fund and some gems from befriended artists. We will update the list of little thank-yous from time to time so stay tuned!



Let us overcome this hopefully unique, difficult and strange time together and be there for each other, even at a distance, and care for each other.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us directly at

Stay positive and safe!


Shape. Create. Participate

Your Artlake Crew