Plettenberg – Despite the vaccination campaign that has started, the corona situation – due to the mutations, for example – remains too difficult to assess to reliably plan a festival. That is why the organizers of Immecke Rock have decided to postpone the festival for another year.
“We decided on the board not to let it take place,” says Carsten Langenbach from the iRock eV association, which has been organizing the festival that has been taking place on Whitsun for a good three decades. “That makes absolutely no sense with the current situation and the vaccination progress.” The question of whether a festival can be carried out or not will be asked by many organizers of large and small music events this year. The later they take place in the festival calendar, the more people could theoretically be vaccinated by then. This will also increase the chance that implementation will be possible if the conditions then applicable allow it. But for Immecke Rock, which is well at the beginning of the festival season on Whitsunday, Langenbach sees no possibility of holding it this year. “Since it would be our turn in mid-May, we have no chance, sorry we are.” With that, the 30th anniversary of Immecke Rock, which actually takes place in 2020 and should be rescheduled on May 23rd this year, has to be one postponed for another year.
“In principle we have a situation like last year,” says Langenbach. Without planning security for the planned anniversary festival, the decision was made early in 2020 not to allow it to take place, even before politics had decided to ban major events. The advance booking had not yet started either. Now the organizers have again made the early decision to postpone. The end again is annoying for the Immecke Rock, but implementation in Corona times is simply not possible, explains Langenbach: “That would not work from start to finish.” The logistics alone would fail. Possibly setting up up to 70 Dixi toilets and disinfecting them constantly – hard to imagine. “We also don’t know what helpers we would get together,” says Langenbach. With regard to one’s own health and that of relatives – for example because they belong to risk groups – there would probably not be so many volunteers at the festival.
Anniversary festival in June 2022
In the coming year, on Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022, the 30th Immecke Rock will be made up for. For the anniversary festival, the organizers had put together a best of bands. In addition to bands from Germany such as Planlos or Shirley Holmes, bands from abroad should also be there, including Ze Gran Zeft from France and Driven by Harness from Scotland. Langenbach hopes that the same line-up that had already been promised for this year’s catch-up date will also be there in 2022. “If everyone agrees again, it should, if possible, take place with the bands that would have played last year.” However, it has not yet been determined whether an alternative program can be set up this year, possibly online. “We’ll come up with something else,” says Langenbach. That also depends on what is feasible under Corona conditions. The organizers also have to deal with a completely different question: the consequences of Brexit. That made touring in the EU much more difficult for artists from the island, especially for the next generation of musicians. Musicians from Scotland would probably also be in the lineup at Immecke Rock 2022, so that the question arises here as to whether and how much the costs could explode as a result of Brexit.
Brexit is causing problems
But that’s not the only thing. “The question is also how the exchange will proceed,” says Langenbach. Because the Eurogig band exchange, which is intended to enable young artists to make their first international appearances, is supported by the University of the West of Scotland in addition to French and Dutch partners – and iRock eV. As a result, Scottish bands also come to Immecke Rock repeatedly. How strong the Brexit would affect the exchange or the possible appearances of individual bands in 2022 cannot yet be estimated. Since the Corona problem is currently more pressing, it is not surprising that Langenbach and his colleagues from Immecke Rock have not yet dealt with the Brexit issue in more detail, as he admits. When the time comes, when it comes to the planning for the festival 2022, it will be dealt with. “We have to see how that can work,” says Langenbach. “By then, a lot of ambiguities about Brexit will perhaps have been resolved,” said his hope for progress in terms of musical exchange between Great Britain and the EU.