When a rush of euphoria is abruptly followed by disillusionment, it is always difficult to draw anything positive from it.
This is exactly where we are now, after only having received a permit for an event with two households, despite our fully comprehensive hygiene and test concept, for our planned Artlake Festival in August we still haven’t given up.
We kept on planning, kept on contacting the authorities to maybe make the event possible at least at a later date. We then optimistically postponed the Artlake to September, with the prospect of being able to rely on more courage and willpower on the part of the politicians.
But now we have to face the truth that we are not allowed to host an Artlake Festival 2021 in September 2021 either.
After seemingly endless rounds of talks with the authorities, negotiations and revised concepts, the only offer that the authorities could make is that we will be allowed to organise a few small events with a maximum of 1000 people in September. This is definitely an improvement compared to the two households. However, such a drastic reduction in the number of guests contradicts our understanding of an open discourse space that should be accessible to all.
Moreover, even now, no authority in the world is able to guarantee us that we will be allowed to hold a gathering of this magnitude in September, considering the progress of the Delta variant. Thus, in the scenarios currently on offer, we still lack the planning certainty that is so urgently needed. In the worst case scenario, we would now invest months of intensive work, only to receive another cancellation from the authorities shortly before the festival. That would be very difficult for us to cope with.
We completely understand your anger, your sadness and your despair in having planned holidays, the long-lasting anticipation that is cancelled so shortly beforehand. We feel the same way. We stand there with complete incomprehension that huge illegal raves are taking place in parks and the only solutions to this are a cat-and-mouse game with the police or ideas to close off the parks. It has become evident that there must be opening strategies and that these are more than superfluous after more than 1.5 years of pandemic. Safe exchange and meeting places based on test concepts and a Safe Bubble must be allowed in order to give people a perspective. To not push them further into private spaces or public parks without any precautionary and protective measures.
Furthermore, we, as the Artlake Crew, must finally be given a future and a prospect of recovery. For more than 1.5 years we have been banned from our profession, which then vacillates between hope, confidence and the unfounded crushing of it. We understand the situation and it is far from easy. But after such a long time, still having no solutions or only being offered solutions that are not implementable by us, make us both angry, sad and frustrated. It robs us of our lifeblood which we have put into our events year after year. The energy and passion and attention to detail that we invest in our work every day.
For this reason, we also want to make a clear cut at this point as far as ticket redemption is concerned. Unlike last year, this time the tickets will not be transferred to a possible Artlake Festival 2022.
From now on you have the possibility to apply for a refund of the ticket price via the following tool:
Since this naturally means an enormous additional administrative effort for us, we ask for your patience if it takes a little time until you receive your money back.
Until then, we hope that you will be able to use this time of festival silence, just as we have, to deepen the thought processes that have been initiated and to emerge strengthened from this difficult time – until we can hopefully come together again soon at Bergheider See for a joint exchange. In the meantime, we will continue to use the networks we have built up in times of pandemic to strengthen and educate each other, to drive a shift from many directions, which our society needs so much right now.
Shape, create, participate!
Your Artlake Crew