↓ English version below ↓
today there are few, but important things:
1. postponement of the presence event to Pentecost 2022
... detailed statement from Andy (as attachment)
2. announcement Virtual Walldorf Weekender 2021
These lines are very difficult for me.....
What has changed compared to Whitsun 2020?
Twelve more months have passed into the country, twelve months without sponsors and in addition we have not sold a single beer, not a one-way ticket. The same situation as in the entire catering industry, with the difference that we are open only four days every year.
For months we have been working on an additional online streaming concept to complement the Walldorf Rock'n'Roll Weekender as a presence event in the Astoria Hall Walldorf. With concerts, reporting, interviews and moderators on site from the Astoria Hall.
But in the meantime, the entire 2021 festival summer has been canceled in Germany.
All concepts where many people move, embrace, dance and celebrate together will not be able to take place this year either. An implementation without risk of contagion will not be possible and in the last instance no one other than the organizer would have to be liable.
At the same time, it is obvious that there is still no stable path back to normality. Instead, there is a permanent up and down, back and forth in all occupational, life and risk situations, there are constantly new forecasts and expert opinions.
Our event has a planning and organization period of 12 months. Immediately after the conclusion of the event, we start planning for the following year. The debriefings with the authorities, suppliers, partners and sponsors are also preliminary meetings for the following year.
From an organizational point of view, this means that there is a smooth transition into the preparation of the next year.
So also in 2019 for the year 2020: As you remember, for this you had bought tickets in the fall / winter 2019 and spring 2020, which are still valid. But we had to postpone 2020 to 2021, and then set up the "Stay-At-Home" Online Weekender at short notice and assumed without a doubt that everything would have long since returned to "normal" by 2021... far from it:
Unfortunately we have to suspend another year and postpone our event to 2022. Your paid tickets will remain valid until 2022 or until the weekender where you want to redeem the tickets. Alternatively, we will (if possible, please do not use this option) of course refund your money without questions and immediately upon request.
This means for you and us another year without in-, at or around the Astoria Hall to celebrate with each other and to spend a long, wonderful weekend together.
For us, this means that we will not sell any tickets for a total of 24 months, will not be able to serve a single beer and will not be able to organize any sponsorships. But still the storage costs for material and furniture have to be paid permanently, the operating costs continue unabated.
Likewise, personnel costs continue to be incurred, for maintaining communication and basic structures (we were on short-time work for 6 months), from June 2020 until today we have been preparing the next event Whitsun 2021 and from today we will be planning and working for 2022.
Please don't get me wrong: we are all affected by the pandemic in many different ways: As people, parents, children, employees, employers, self-employed, freelancers. Many businesses & people are suffering and struggling to survive. This newsletter today is specifically about us and our situation.
Every week we receive requests for tickets for May 2021, we are told of festivals that are already taking place again on a test basis, such as in Holland - 1,300 permitted guests in a stadium for 17,000 people. If we were to proceed in this way, it would mean in our situation that we would currently be allowed to admit a maximum of 80 people into the Astoria Halle - at 1400€ per person. This is the conversion rate to be able to host a Walldorf Rock'n'Roll Weekender under current circumstances - 1400€ per person, max 80 people - these 80 people would have to eat, drink and shop for four days like normally 1000 people to complete the scenario. I think we would be stuck with the tickets....
But there would be the problem with contact tracking anyway: If Weekender visitors stand in the parking lot, hug each other to greet them, then enter the event with day-old tests but have just recently contracted the disease in the parking lot, tracing the chain of infection is impossible.
Better yet, guests arrive, stand in the hotel parking lot (public area, anyone is allowed), greet each other.... some check into the hotel after greeting others....
Then, some time later, drive cars or our coach to Astoria Hall, stand in line for admission, greet friends and acquaintances in the parking lot and in line.
As soon as the first person tests positive, the event is immediately
over, all visitors, artists, bands, helpers would have to be quarantined.
What could be organized "without problems" is a seated "concert" on one evening in a delimited event room. But that would not be a Walldorf Rock'n'Roll Weekender, but a concert over one evening. But without everything that makes the Walldorf Rock'n'Roll Weekender. As already written, here we are looking for solutions where we can prevent that we then have to send ALL participants in Walldorf directly into quarantine and then home.
I took out a six-figure loan last year to get us safely through 2020 to Weekender 2021. To then be able to have a presence event again and hopefully leave this deep valley behind us. That was the goal we set out for the last eight months, and that is what our planning and our organization were geared towards. Now we have to face the reality that we will not be able to have a presence event on site again this year. For us, this means that we will not be able to make a single euro in sales this year either.
This is an existence-threatening catastrophe for our team and our event. I will make an effort, but at the moment I have no idea and no conception how we can survive economically the next twelve months without noticeable income.
We need (also) your help!
In the summer, fall and winter, we applied for various grants and also received bridging assistance and support. These helped us to bridge a few days per month. In combination with short-time work and the shutdown of the periphery not necessary for survival, cancellation of planned investments and productions have then brought us to the "now".
We received a funding commitment for our Walldorf RocknRoll Weekender 2021 from the “Initiative Musik”, the german funding and export office for musicians and music companies. This funding commitment means a 95-page contract, compliance with rules and conditions, and the receipt of funding against proof of use.
The main part of the project-linked funding is subsidizing the artists' fees as well as other services of the event industry that are necessary for the project. Our task as event organizers is to develop new, sustainable concepts that also work during a pandemic, for example, and are viable in order to pay organizers, service providers and artists.
Due to the planning uncertainty of presence events, we have decided on a purely digital concept for this funding project. This is also subject to smaller and larger fluctuations (musicians in a band usually don't live in the same household either 😉 ), but can take place in any case and thus the musicians can also receive fees.
And so, in addition to maintaining the structures for the presence event, we are working on ideas for digital concepts that can also work during a pandemic. For us, for bands & creatives and for you, guests and fans.
...which is actually counterproductive to our most ardent wish, because we are all going to Walldorf because we want to meet in person, hug and toast each other, spend a great weekend and put all our worries aside.
We are all not about consuming music digitally or watching bands on the internet, but about meeting friends and partying together and spending time together in the same place.
However, at the moment it's not about what we want, but what needs to be done to still be "there" after the pandemic. This is true for us as event organizers, as well as for every musician, creative and service provider in the event industry. It is imperative that we create opportunities to generate revenue in order to pay fees and cover our costs. Professional musicians should still be able to earn their living as musicians. And here we are basically subject to a de facto professional ban since one year - and the organizers, who "normally" pay fees, have to get back on their feet and plan before they can plan regular programs again.
Unser Virtual Walldorf Weekender: We are entering new territory here (once again), will (as always) have to pay a lesson and make (hopefully only a few) mistakes. And we cannot save the whole world (!!!). But we go ahead and try to make our contribution - so we will present a virtual Wallorf Rock'n'Roll Weekender with about 50 bands at Whitsun. Since nothing else works right now, we need your attention and support here.
The goal is to send a sign of life, but also to collect funds to cover the running costs and to plug massive holes. The above mentioned funding helps us currently, but not in the long run. I count on your support. Alone I can do it, we can not do it..
You know what you spend every year on many weekends for concerts / a Weekender: Gas, hotel, entrance fees, food, shopping. If you can, support us this year with this amount you normally spend on a Walldorf Weekender. We want to and will "deliver", but we have to make up for the missing income from the presence event (tickets, beer, sponsors). And we want to be there for you again, if not in 2021, then in 2022 as unchanged as possible.
We have a lot of good ideas, some great surprises, and we are looking forward to present them to you together with about 50 bands at our Virtual Walldorf Weekender.
Thank you for your trust and support!
Stay Safe & Keep Rockin‘
Andy Widder & the Walldorf Weekender Team