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International Summer Festival 2020

Dear guests,

the good news is: The Summer Festival 2020 will take place — as a special edition built on three secure key elements. These are a somewhat reduced indoor program, a big program outside in the garden, and performances off Kampnagel in the city of Hamburg and in the World Wide Web. The full program has been online since 14 July, further updates are not impossible.

That's because this year everything is different. In March, we had to discard an almost completely finished program with international and national premieres of many non-European artists. All over a sudden we found ourselves in aseptic home offices, trying to develop a vision and a plan, always “on sight” with virologist’s podcasts in our ears, dealing with various future foresights and new contacts at the public health department. Meanwhile, other summer festivals were moved to the Internet or cancelled at all. Supported by Hamburg Senator for Culture Mr. Carsten Brosda, we kept on developing new plans and security concepts.

As a result, we are reducing capacities in the halls to place our audience at a safe distance — whilst presenting an international program with some world premieres and award-winning shows, that points towards the future of live art. To avoid few people sitting on single seats, we encourage you to buy multiple tickets in one ordering process — for people with whom you want to and are allowed to sit together (at the moment a maximum of ten people is granted).

This time, also our Festival Avant-Garden will have a security concept. Capacities are also reduced, while the program is extended: On all days of the festival, there will be outdoor installations and performances as well as music, literature and Las Vegas shows on three stages — a total of over 50 contributions to summer happiness. Since capacities are generally limited even in the open air program, there will be tickets on sale for the garden at a symbolic price of 3 euros. People who have tickets for performances in the halls on the same day will still be able to enter the festival garden free of charge if there is sufficient capacity.

Outside Kampnagel, there will be performances in the city and on the internet, the latter mainly with antidotes for the zoom-fatigue and streaming overdose: elaborate productions for the digital space that are smart and entertaining, require a ticket to participate, and proof that online theater does not primarily cause the desire for theater offline.

OK, as of mid July, all this is on safe ground. Instead of an extensive program booklet, there is a short program flyer available. And we will update and inform you in advance about unexpected and practical aspects of your feel-good stay with us, our newsletter keeps you updated best. SARS-CoV-2 will still be a topic for a while — and with this special edition of the Summer Festival we try to show a perspective on how theater can be possible under pandemic conditions. Our finger stays on the pulse of the present and our gaze is directed towards the future. Therefore, the program’s content is also shaped by the current situation. Plays about isolation, pandemics, evil or the end of the world react to the present in terms of content; and with three very high-profile “Pandemic Talks”, we expand the perspectives on the new ground of facts.

We look forward to you and the summer!

The Best optimistic wishes,

András Siebold & Team


Theatre & Performance