Barmbek's factory-turned-art space, Kampnagel, never ceases to amaze. It's a big part of Hamburg’s cultural landscape all year round, but the cultural centre really picks up the pace in summer when it hosts its international festival for modern performance art. For three weeks, visitors can see countless events and performances, ranging from music acts to drama and from dance to film. With its stylistic diversity and the multitude of concerts, plays and screenings, Kampnagel’s Summer Festival can be counted amongst the great performance art festivals on European soil.
Kampnagel's summer festival looked a little different in 2020. This year, there were no packed exhibition halls and performances. Instead, the extensive programme offered a the usual variety of concerts, screenings, performances and exhibitions, but at a more limited capacity. At the same time, as many of the events as possible were moved outside to allow more visitors to enjoy them. While some indoor events still took place with limited numbers allowed in at once, many more still were held outdoors, including the Avant-Garden.
Additionally, many performances and events were available to ticket holders online, meaning event fans who couldn't visit Hamburg in 2020 could still participate in the festival.
As for the content, the festival organisers were aware that the pandemic was on everyone's minds, and this was apparent in the programme. According to the Kampnagel's website:
'SARS-CoV-2 will still be a topic for a while — and with this special edition of the Summer Festival we try to show a perspective on how theater can be possible under pandemic conditions. Our finger stays on the pulse of the present and our gaze is directed towards the future. Therefore, the program’s content is also shaped by the current situation. Plays about isolation, pandemics, evil or the end of the world react to the present in terms of content; and with three very high-profile “Pandemic Talks”, we expand the perspectives on the new ground of facts.'
Thank you, Kampnagel, for leading the way and trailblazing a path towards accessible modern theatre in troubled times!
For more information, visit Kampnagel online.
Summer 2021 dates TBA
And across the city!
U3 trains to Borgweg or Saarlandstrasse, 172 and 173 buses to Jarrestrasse
For further information, please see the International Summer Festival’s official website.