It was one of the first major events to fall victim to the Corona pandemic in spring 2020: the Luminale in Frankfurt and Offenbach, which has accompanied the world's leading trade fair for lighting and building technology, Light + Building, held every two years in Frankfurt am Main since 2002, was cancelled last year virtually hours before its scheduled opening. The public event, originally initiated by Messe Frankfurt as a "bridge from the exhibition grounds to the city", has in the meantime developed into an internationally renowned light and culture festival with over 250,000 visitors. The installations make especially well-known places appear in a completely new light again and again.
Now the hope was high that this beautiful event can take place again in 2022 in its usual form. But that hope, unfortunately, will not be fulfilled. This also has to do with Corona, because Messe Frankfurt is the organiser of the Luminale, holds all brand rights and finances the project office, the promotion of the Luminale and a lighthouse project. Due to the economic situation of Messe Frankfurt caused by the pandemic, this is not possible for 2022. Therefore, the Luminale in 2022 will be suspended.
Wolfgang Marzin, Chairman of the Board of Messe Frankfurt regrets the decision, but sees no other option due to the current situation: "Over the years, Messe Frankfurt has continued to build and expand the Luminale brand together and in the closest conceptual coordination with its partners from the lighting industry, the Central Association of German Electrical and Information Technology Trades, Tourismus- und Congress GmbH and, above all, the City of Frankfurt. Last year, shortly before the start of the tenth Luminale, the painful decision had to be taken to cancel the event due to the pandemic, just like Light + Building. Unfortunately, after one and a half years of the pandemic, Messe Frankfurt is not in the financial position to handle this project. We are forcing cuts and maximum efficiency management in all financial areas in order to secure the company's liquidity. In 2022, we have to concentrate on our core business - also at the request of the exhibiting lighting industry: And that is the staging of Light + Building."
Further, Marzin says: "The project office Studio Rekkab has developed a convincing conceptual and sustainable new approach for the Luminale 2020 - namely, away from the classic light festival towards a biennial for light art and urban design with high artistic standards and relevant topics such as light, architecture, technology, ecology and social interaction in the city. In this way, the Luminale differs significantly from other light festivals in terms of quality and has cemented its international reputation in the scene."
An event like the Luminale is actually a perfect fit for a city like Frankfurt, which likes to present itself in a colourful and diverse way. With its artistically high-quality programme and intellectual discourse, it is attractive for the people of Frankfurt and makes an important cultural contribution to people and society. It thrives on the cooperation of many - not least the artists from all over the world who shape this great festival with great projects, innovative and fascinating light creations, an exciting programme in the festival centre and with a lot of commitment. "Nevertheless, we have to face reality," says Marzin, "we respect the exhibitors' wish to focus all their energy on resuming the event and exhibition business. Equally, we are aware that Luminale is of immense importance to the cities of Frankfurt and Offenbach. We look forward to a Luminale 2024."