Festival makers discuss: Effects of inflation, staff recruitment and alternative energy sources – this was the Future of Festivals 2022 in the Arena Berlin!

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Last weekend, the second edition of the Future of Festivals took place in the Arena Berlin. More than 3,500 organizers, service providers, associations, decision-makers and trainees from the festival sector came together for the largest industry meeting of the festival scene in the German-speaking region, for the first time without Corona requirements. After a long and exciting festival season, the event was used by many participants for a great reunion, to inspire and make plans for the next season. 

The event, which is divided into the exhibition, congress and campus sections, began on Friday morning with a strong crowd of visitors. In total, more than 200 service providers and companies presented the innovative solutions and novelties for the next festival season on the 6,500 m² area (plus outdoor area). The event space was fully occupied and the Future of Festivals for 2022 was completely sold out. In addition to national exhibitors such as Zeppelin Rental GmbH, eps GmbH, Music Declares Emergency, LLeyendecker (eventsolutions) and HKES Eventlogistik GmbH, one could also admire the offerings of many international companies such as Lust For Live (Belgium), P!csane (Poland) or Lapee (Denmark). 

Managing Director Robert Stolt drew a positive conclusion after the two days of the event: “It was great to be able to hold this innovative format for the first time without additional requirements. We are delighted with the great feedback and the interest in the Future of Festivals, which has increased significantly in recent months. We have already had to put off some exhibitors until next year.” 

This year’s program included more than 40 sessions (panel discussions, master classes, keynotes and satellite events) with over 100 speakers. 

The diverse topics of the festival organizers were discussed in panel discussions on the three stages. The spectrum ranged from hydrogen generators as alternative energy sources, to “Recession 2023 – Will the festival become a luxury good?” to the redesign of recruiting processes in the panel “Gone with the wind? Bring on the next generation” or “Gender equality backstage and onstage”. 

Speakers included Cathi Krämer (Rock am Ring) and Andreas Groth Clausen (Rosklide Festival) Alexandra von Samson (Lollapalooza), Maximilian Broja (Wacken Open Air), Cindy Rosenkranz (Helene Beach Festival), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Carina Wagner (Parookaville), Felix Schon (Pferdefestival) and Michael Fritz (Viva Con Agua). Other program items were the Kids Space, the Workshop Area, the Podcast Studio, a Production Dinner and the Aftershow Parties. After two days, the Future of Festivals ended for the first time with a closing concert by Ukrainian artist Mavka. The entire

stage was broadcast on Alex TV and the content will be made available online on Youtube or Spotify in the future. 

For the coming year, the organizers would like to expand the innovative format even further, says Robert Stolt: We were able to try out many new formats and ideas this year. Many of them worked very well, but we can still optimize some of them. We will work on that. That’s why we are particularly pleased about the numerous feedback and impulses that we have already received from exhibitors and visitors”. 

Rebecca Dixon
Author: Rebecca Dixon

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