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Thank you for a succesful KUNSTFEST 2021!

The second covid edition of KUNSTFEST WEIMAR was completed last weekend: In 2021, more than 200 events took place in around 50 venues in Weimar and throughout Thuringia, including 23 premieres and first performances. A total of around 27,500 spectators attended the KUNSTFEST events, a slight increase on the previous year.

And this is despite the fact that - as in the previous year - only about 25 percent of the capacity of the main venues of the Deutsches Nationaltheater could be used. The two concerts by Chilly Gonzales and the symphony concert by the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra alone were in such high demand that, under normal conditions, full occupancy of the Großes Haus could have been expected. Unfortunately, this was not possible this year either, so that the ticket sales of 5334 tickets plus around 800 spectators for the free NSU trial re-enactment alone proved to be correspondingly pleasing - especially in view of the fact that KUNSTFEST WEIMAR was the sole cultural organiser last year, while this year the parallel offers were diverse due to the Köstritzer Spiegelzelt, the Wine Festival and various other concert and stage offers. The press reactions to the KUNSTFEST were numerous and predominantly positive to euphoric. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung on September 3rd, chief critic Christine Dössel summed up her reflection on the KUNSTFEST in the shadow of Goethe's birthday: »He would certainly have liked it.« Katrin Bettina Müller praised the »clear positioning of the festival« in the Berlin TAZ of September 8th, which made use of its status »as the largest interdisciplinary festival in East Germany« and attested that most of the KUNSTFEST's projects had a »longer echo in the memory space«. The festival also received a lot of international attention: as in the previous year, BBC Radio 4's Culture Channel reported in detail; the Italian »nachtkritik« counterpart to »teatro e critica« published an enthusiastic festival report, as did the Russian webzine Oteatre. Marina Davydova wrote about the festival director: »Hemke has all the qualities a director of an international forum needs - he is a polyglot, knows Western theatre well, even better the theatre of the Arab East and Africa, he has the necessary intuition and willingness to take risks. The Kunstfest he directs consistently expands the idea of theatre among the rather bourgeois and less experimental Weimar audience. It expands, even in a purely geographical sense.«