Because of the delays in the construction work in the Beethovenhalle, the Beethovenfest also needs an alternative venue in 2021. The problem: The WCCB is not available for the period between September and October.
The construction site crisis in the Beethovenhalle has had a massive impact on the Beethovenfest. According to the current state of affairs, the renovation of the monument will take until 2022. And the World Conference Center Bonn (WCCB) is obviously out of the question as a substitute venue for the festival due to scheduling problems.
Due to other bookings, the 2021 and 2022 conference centres will only be available from mid-August until mid-September each year, say the city administration in a memorandum. However, the Beethoven Festival traditionally takes place in September and October. According to the city administration, the management of the festival takes a critical view of the „moving-up of the Beethoven Festivals 2021 and 2022 to August". And further: "From the point of view of the International Beethoven Festivals gGmbH, other municipal and non-urban halls of comparable size should be checked for their suitability and reserved as a precautionary measure.“
Festival spokeswoman Barbara Dallheimer confirms this: "September has established itself as the festival season for the Beethovenfest Bonn," she confirms. In August the dates overlap with those of other festivals. "In addition to the halls and rooms regularly used for concerts in Bonn and the region, the churches, for example, are also suitable venues," the spokeswoman said.
WCCB main stage this year
This year, the Beethovenfest is planning eleven events at the WCCB. The congress centre is the main stage. The Opera House, which already serves the Beethoven Orchestra as an alternative venue for the Beethovenhalle, will probably not be able to fill this gap in 2021 and 2022. "Of course, our planning envisages a return to normal performance operations from 2021," emphasizes General Director Bernhard Helmich. "The planning is very advanced and we have reserved the usual capacities for the Beethoven Festival in recent years.“
In a special meeting on Monday evening, the Bonn Council commissioned the city administration to work out a concept for the completion of the Beethovenhalle that would be as cost-effective as possible. In addition, "substitute solutions" for the orchestra and Beethoven Festival are to be found. From 2021, the festival is threatened by another imponderability: the contract of artistic director Nike Wagner expires next year and has not yet been extended.
(Original text: Andreas Baumann, Translation: Mareike Graepel)