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Further blows to Germany’s 2021 festival season

Germany’s 2021 festival season has diminished once again after the cancellations of Zelt Musik Festival Freiburg, Rudolstadt Festival and Rock Hard Festival.

The 38th edition of Zelt Musik Festival Freiburg (ZMF) was due to take place from 21 July to 8 August but, according to a statement from the organisers, the financial risk of going ahead this year is too great.

“We are heartbroken, but the seriousness of the situation forces us to make this step. Due to the ongoing corona pandemic, the Freiburg Tent Music Festival is not possible this year either.

“The restrictions would not do justice to a ZMF as we know it. We have thought and reckoned a lot and have come to the conclusion that we cannot bear the financial risk. We would like to enable our favourite festival and Freiburg’s most beautiful place in the summer to have a future, which is only feasible due to the lowest possible economic risk,” the statement says.

The festival has taken place since 1983, attracting around 120,000 visitors to the ‘tent city’ in the countryside of Mundenhof. Pixies, Agnes Obel and Black Pumas were slated for this year’s edition.

Rudolstadt Festival, which would’ve taken place from 1 to 4 July in the Thuringia town of Rudolstadt, has also been called off for a second consecutive year.

“Our hearts feel heavy, but the head knows it is the right thing to do. We have decided to cancel this year’s festival. Even a festival in miniature with a responsible hygiene concept cannot be planned reliably under the current circumstances,” says a statement on the festival’s website.

“Even a festival in miniature with a responsible hygiene concept cannot be planned reliably under the current circumstances”

“Now it’s certain. And disappointing. Leaving behind a deep longing for live music. But what uplifts our minds in all this mess: The way is open for new ideas and a fresh program 2022, which is living up to the festival’s spirit.”

The four-day festival typically hosts around 300 performances by 150 artists on 20 stages around the town and welcomes up to 25,000 visitors a day. The festival will celebrate its 30th edition next year.

Elsewhere, Rock Hard Festival, which would’ve taken place between 21 and 23 May at the Amphitheater Gelsenkirchen in Dortmund, has also pulled the plug.

“It had been evolving for a long time, but now we have to finally announce the transfer of the festival to 2022. The fact that there won’t even be any conditions for open-air events this spring is a heavy blow for the entire live industry, of course, for us too. We have put a lot of love and work into a great billing 2020/2021 and will strive to convince as many artists as possible to be available for an appointment next year,” the organisers have said in a statement.

Earlier this month, some of Germany’s biggest music festivals, including Eventim Presents/DreamHaus’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, FKP Scorpio’s Hurricane and Southside and ESK Events’ Deichbrand Festival, were called off for a second year running.

Days later, Goodlive pulled the 2021 editions of Melt, Splash, Full Force and Heroes.

The cancellations come in spite of Germany’s €2.5 billion fund for underwriting events held later in the year, as the country lags behind its neighbours in its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.


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