For the second time, SOMMERWERFT, the theatre festival on the banks of the Main, has to take place under the difficult pandemic conditions. This year, for the twentieth anniversary, more people are allowed on the festival grounds. But in order to ensure this, a sophisticated hygiene concept had to be developed, which the festival's managers worked out in close cooperation with the public health department and the event professionals from AES Konzept, and adapted again and again to the constantly changing situation. On the first weekend of the event, we took a look for ourselves at how a large event can function under pandemic conditions.
A long queue awaited us at the entrance, which initially seemed a little daunting. However, the processes were so well coordinated within the team that things proceeded swiftly. At the entrance, contact details are taken from all visitors (either via the Corona Warn app or via a contact form, which can also be downloaded in advance via the festival website) and checks are made to see if you have been tested, vaccinated or recovered. Only then will you be allowed onto the grounds. They also count exactly how many people come in and how many leave the area, so that the number of allowed guests is never exceeded. On Sunday we also visited the FLOWmarkt. Again, they were careful about how many people enter this area and that everyone here wears a mask.
The festival area is very well divided: The footpath on the Wesel shipyard's Main riverbank is used only as such, while stages, a small art exhibition, various international gastronomic offerings and events such as the FLOWmarkt are spread across the meadow. Even with the seating, attention is paid to the distance and there is always a protective screen between the staff and the guests. A lot of care is really taken to make sure that you can feel safe here and that nothing stands in the way of a relaxed cultural experience.
The mood during our first visit to this year's Sommerwerft was correspondingly good! The people were all in a great mood and the staff very friendly. The organization convinced us completely. And the fact that there is basically no mask obligation and you only have to put them on if the distance can not be guaranteed (as for example at the FLOWmarkt), we find very well solved.
In the program there is really something for all ages. This year there is even a children's stage. The fact that all of this is free of charge makes a visit even more recommendable. If you would like to support the Sommerwerft so that it can continue to take place in the coming years, you are welcome to do so by making a donation. Volunteers are also always welcome. More info is also available at: https://sommerwerft.de/