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Major event in May cancelled: A ray of hope for Rhine in Flames in autumn 2021

Major event in May cancelled : A ray of hope for Rhine in Flames in autumn 2021

The city of Bonn announced at noon on Friday that the "Rhine in Flames" festival is also cancelled for next year. However, this might not necessarily mean a complete cancellation.

The Rhine in flames festival will not take place next May. The reason given by the city of Bonn is that "according to the view of the city, such a major event is unthinkable, even with an improvement in incidence values as well as stable infection figures, taking into account the necessary hygiene measures to ensure protection against infection". For this reason, it was decided to cancel the event at an early stage, also to "guarantee planning security for all participants and organisers".

Jürgen Harder, who is managing director of the Bridge Forum and has been the organiser of the event for over 20 years, said "Rhine in Flames has up to half a million visitors, and at least 150,000 people come to the Rheinaue alone". "We cannot develop a hygiene concept for such a large event". Either the event takes places completely or not at all, and that is why, with a heavy heart, Harder decided to cancel Rhine in Flames for the second time in a row. "This gives the showmen and groups the opportunity to do something different in a smaller way for the event."

The early cancellation also means that the preparations for Rhine in Flames 2021, which have already begun, should not be put under undue pressure, said Harder, who works with at least 300 service providers every year. For Harder, of course, it is a huge disappointment and also a huge financial loss. "Three stages were planned and the band was booked”. That will all have to now be stopped, "but the city has promised me that I won't be left out in the cold."

Concrete cancellations of further major events are not imminent at the moment, the city spokeswoman Monika Hörig said, on request by GA. "This may change if the spread of coronavirus cannot be contained in such a way that events will be possible again. The city is in contact with the organisers or each event. At the moment, we have to wait and see how the situation develops. "There comes a point of event at which the preparations incur costs, like now with "Rhine in Flames". This is this point when it must be decided whether events are possible, depending on the occurrence of infection.

The cancellation of Rhine in Flames in 2021 is, however, not absolute: "I still have a small hope that it can take place in the autumn, at the end of September or the beginning of October, if the infection numbers allow it," says its organiser Harder. The city of Bonn also still sees a possibility that the festival might be able to take place, "If the development of the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 makes it possible that major events in the second half of the year might be feasible, an alternative date in the autumn could be considered," the city press release said.

(Original text, Thomas Leurs; translation, John Chandler)