Dear Feel Friends,
After more than a year of writing, rejecting and rewriting applications, we are tired. We are resigned, but also angry and uncomprehending.
We have done everything in our power to come together with you again at Bergheider See and celebrate with you while adhering to our hygiene concept. We have responded to the feedback from the authorities, refined our concepts based on the guidelines, restricted ourselves, backed off, waited.
But if all this is of no avail and the politicians can’t/won’t take a step towards us, we are left with no other choice but to put our feet on the break. Also with regard to the emotional and physical health of all those involved, we cannot continue to justify producing until the end despite all the uncertainties, only to hope that it will not all have been in vain.
We would have loved nothing more than to simply put an exclamation mark behind this year’s festival motto “restart possible?!”.
Instead, we now have the sad certainty that a new beginning will not be possible for us this year and it is with a heavy heart that we have to announce that we have to cancel Feel Festival 2021.
We were in contact with the responsible authorities right until the end. However, despite the current extremely low incidence rates, the rising vaccination rates and the progressive opening strategies, they were only able to offer us the possibility of organising several small events in September, each with 1000 visitors.
However, this is not an option for us, as we find it unfair to exclude so many of you who have been waiting for more than two years to finally experience the next Feel Edition. We also didn’t want to solve this with a lottery that would only make a fraction of us happy.
Moreover, we don’t own the site and we would have to lease it for every single weekend. In the scenario with several smaller events, starting in September it would have also taken us too far into winter, so a festival with camping and shivery ground temperatures is not the experience we have been looking forward to for so long now.
The authorities were also unable to go any further with our concepts of two split events in July due to the federal emergency brake – although these events could have been carried out well and safely with our meticulously elaborated safety and hygiene concepts and would have given us another lightness in this pandemic summer, even if only for a few days under secured conditions.
After all the months of compromise, waiting, understanding, consideration, hoping and so on, we are just empty, at a loss and wouldn’t know what we could have done better.
We need politics that communicates transparently, is on our side and has understanding for the situations of cultural workers. A policy that does not leave an entire sector hanging for months – denying it relevance and leaving it to its own devices.
We finally need perspectives again. Perspectives that go beyond the number of spectators at European Championship matches. Perspectives that finally give interpersonal exchange at (sub)cultural events the importance it has for our society.
Perspectives that finally not only open up a horizon, but also broaden it.
As resigned as we may be at this point, we of course don’t want to forget that we wouldn’t have made it all the way to this point without you. We thank you so much for your understanding, emotional and financial support over the past months and for always signalling that you wanted to face all these challenges together with us. Your motivating messages and comments have given us the necessary drive to feel confident even in these uncertain times.
And of course a huge shout out to all our artists, crews, collectives and service providers, who have gone through this complete rollercoaster ride of cancellations, postponements, splits and cancellations again, and who have never lost the motivation to get the next Feel Edition going, together with us.
We have fought right to the last point of no-return and are now simply exhausted and without alternative.
We hope for your understanding in this situation, but of course we can also understand if you, like us, are simply very disappointed and angry.
The world is still in a state of emergency and everyone’s health is far from being fully secured. Until we reach this state, politicians will not bring themselves to make major events for our industry possible. There is nothing we can do but let time pass again and hope that next summer we can finally fall into each other’s arms laughing and dancing at Feel Festival again.
Of course, all payments that have already been made can now be reversed. You can use this tool, which most of you will still be painfully familiar with from last year:
All those of you who have only had a ticket reservation for Feel 2021 and have not yet paid, do not need to pay attention to anything else.
Neither tickets already paid for nor ticket reservations will be transferred to Feel Festival 2022.
After all these tiring weeks of constantly hoping and reacting, we are now simply exhausted and want to use the coming months to gather new energy and inspiration for a future festival season that will hopefully already be a little closer to what we once called “normality”.
Until then, all that remains is for us to continue to help shape social change, to be loud wherever we need to be and to be silent where it is appropriate.
Let’s not forget that we have already been through so much together and will also overcome the coming hurdles together. We as a society, we as the Feel family.
Dearest greetings from the lake <3