Hello dear children of the Wurzelfamily,
we have been working on festival production for 2020 since August 2019 because after the festival is before the festival! We were in the middle of the preparations and the hot phase had just started when the Corona crisis pulled the rug from under our feet with all force. An unprecedented situation that affects us all. Each individual is just about to understand the extent of the situation and to assess it as it goes on. We are now facing a huge hurdle that we as Wurzelcrew definitely can’t overcome alone:
The festival has been canceled by the authorities and will be postponed to 2021.
Even if the cancellation is a hard blow for us, we support this decision. After all, the whole Corona subject is about human lives we can all help save and that remains our perception, always, without any ifs and buts. # ellenbogenrunter (#elbowsdown)
And what’s next? We need you!
Your tickets remain valid for next year 2021 but there is also the option to donate them. Every euro counts so that our Wurzelfestival can survive.
In this statement we want to give you an insight into what was going on in the past month and what challenges we are facing and how exactly it is going to continue.
Since our first open-air events, we have overcome a number of hurdles with the help of our friends, partners, families, helpers, supporters and acquaintances and of course with the help of your contribution! THANK YOU, because without your help we wouldn’t exist! Thanks to you we were able to build the Wurzelworld out of nowhere. Through this we’ve grown every year. And some former supporters have now become employees.
March – a month full of questions
We’ve all been in home office since the beginning of March. As on March 13th, the first clubs in Berlin closed. At first we thought that there was still time until the festival, 3 months to be exact. By then the virus would’ve been contained and the situation would have normalized. So we continued to plan as before, but simultaneously started considering the worst case scenario. On March 15th it was said that „dancing days are over“. Tightened measures were implemented, life changed completely for us all. We set up a Wurzelteam Task Force to address everything in a structured manner. It felt like thousands of new information was pounding on us every day. The authorities made no binding statements regarding our festival date.
However we dealt with the option of an alternative date at an early stage.
We know how many of you are looking forward to the festival and that you have been planning way in advance. Therefore, we wanted to be sure that an alternative date can be realised. Our booker Danny started making option contracts with our booked artists and we tried to move planned projects to that specific “option” date. But a few days later the overall situation had worsened again. Events over 50 people have been banned by the government. The work load soared. Several questions rose: How can we be sure that the festival can take place on the new date with the planned number of guests? We were in constant contact with the authorities, went through all possible scenarios.
Hundreds of questions but no answers: Can the festival take place in June? Should we continue as planned? When do we finally know more? Should we make a statement, even though we don’t yet know what is happening or should we wait until we have more clarity? Will the authorities make a decision on the festival date or is it up to us to decide in advance whether we want the festival to take place or not? Can the festival take place in June with a clear conscience? If we cancel it: do we have to file for bankruptcy at the end? Will the dream be over by then? We went through all options and worked it out. Then the news arrived from the authorities.
We can understand if you are angry and sad, and so are we. For each of us, the corona pandemic is turning our world upside down, some are losing their jobs and for others it means increasing work load. We all worry about our loved ones, know people who are considered at risk. And Festival visits, trips, projects that you have planned for spring and summer for which you may have saved money, have now been abandoned and no one really knows how to proceed.
What does this mean for us?
We now have bit more clarity in regard to the planning of our festival but we are facing a huge challenge. Will we survive this year’s cancellation and how do we manage to save the Wurzelworld over the next year?
There’s a huge infrastructure behind a festival. We have fixed costs which continue to run every month, regardless if this year’s festival will take place or not: wages, office rent, storage rent, costs for the tax office and website.
We will all go on short-time work as long as necessary to cut costs as much as possible. Nevertheless, some fixed costs and costs that we already had remain „lost money“ that has already flown into production and can no longer be recovered.
We have already dealt with government aid and loans. For now, we cannot rely on state aid. The state aid bank’s rescue fund of the Landesförderbank, through which we could have obtained an interest-free loan, has been decommissioned and it remains to be seen what other new aid options there will be.
„This is a **** situation for us. Every day we lie between despair and hope. Our weekends are full with work and countless sleepless nights. Is it all over now? We don’t want and cannot accept that! For almost 9 years the “Zurück zu den Wurzeln” is our lives, from free-open-airs to the Wurzelfestival. We are angry about the fact that big companies will be rescued and that small ones will go empty-handed. We are sad and exhausted. ”(Chris and Dragan, founder of Zurück zu den Wurzeln)
The time of year in which we all come together and live the utopia of a better world is now at stake. But we don’t let this be taken away from us so easily! Even if or precisely because this will be a difficult year for many, we want to come back next year and continue where we have to stop now.
What does that mean for you?
By making a decision, each guest can help to preserve the Wurzelworld as we know it. We want to make up for this year’s festival so we will hold the festival we planned for this year in the next year. We want to take all projects, partners, artists and collectives who help build and define our festival into next year.
Some of you have already written to us and offered our help in this difficult situation. That touched us very much and once again showed how strong the ties of the Wurzelfamily are.
Since we cannot rely on the help of the state, you are actually our only chance to survive. Any single one of you can help us out: keep your ticket and come to the festival next year. This will save the festival and give you the opportunity to continue celebrating with us. The tickets from this year remain valid. If you have a question please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently converting our ticket system. Ticket sales for 2021 will continue soon. Anyone who doesn’t have a ticket yet and buys one in advance also helps us. Unfortunately, we have to adjust the ticket prices a little to compensate for this years cancellation. Nevertheless, we will continue to offer a limited contingent of social tickets, we still will offer the inclusion tickets and for the very first time also solo tickets. As soon as everything is technically implemented, we will inform you about all our channels.
Finally, a shout-out to current politics
We hope that we will not be left by our own devices. Not just us but the thousands of freelancers and small businesses, some of whom are already on the verge of not being able to pay their rent. We do not want alms but a predictable chance to survive this situation economically and to look to a reasonably confident future without the constant stream of bad news.
In addition, we sincerely hope that all the respects paid to system relevant careers, care, infrastructure, waste disposal, cleaning and social work, etc. will be followed by actions. That wage levels will be raised and working conditions will be improved. Because without these people out there who risk their health for us, we would have already gone down in silence.
Dear Wurzelchildren, let us also stick together in this crisis, so that everyone can continue to dream together afterwards, because: Nobody leaves the dream!
Greetings from the home office, Chris, Dragan, Julie, Moritz, Inga, Danny and Dave
#ellenbogenrunter #keinerverlässtdentraum #stayhomeifyouhaveone