“Bonn is a young, dynamic City that needs young and dynamic concerts. Such music belongs to Bonn as much as that of Beethoven” Martin Nötzel.
On the same day as the Museumsplatz tent was folded up for the last time, new plans were being unfolded for live music just down the road. Here are the what’s, where’s and when’s behind Bonn’s new open air venue, the ‘Kunst!rasen’…
In the folder accompanying Kunst!Rasen’s Press Conference, Bonn’s Culture Minister Martin Schumacher thanks the local ‘neighbourhood’ for allowing the coming concert season to go ahead. For what he refers to as this ‘Experiment’ at a new concert location to take place. A sort of ‘going where no musician has gone before’ as James T Kirk would have said. Promoter Ernst-Ludwig Hartz put it more boldly – “The first question you get when asking acts to appear anywhere is “Who played there in the past?” In the case of Kunst!Rasen that is tricky to answer. It says something for Hartz’ standing as a promoter that despite this ‘Catch 22’ question some big names have already said yes to the ‘experiment’.
Final agreements for the new location were made so late that many acts pencilled in for Bonn had to be re-located – Toto and Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp) amongst them. Then came the further limitation of only a five week window for the ‘Season’ (last years Open-Air shows stretched over three months from July to September), then a further limitation to avoid incurring complaints of noise – only eight shows permitted. Then of course a 10pm finish.
Why all these constraints? As one reporter pointed out – down the road in Cologne people get permission to play in churches (Kulturkirche) and even opposite Cathedrals (Roncalliplatz) seemingly without anyone batting an eyelid or mentioning the ‘L’ word (Lärm = noise). How is it that in Bonn We have to build noise barriers for shows next to busy traffic zones and railway lines? Seemingly, Cologne says “We want it, let’s make it happen” Whilst Bonn says “Oh wait, lets not chance annoying anybody”.
In the event there seems to be an agreement that will suit everybody. peace lovers will be thankful that the new Open-Air location is tucked away in a field near the Deutsche Post Tower where, in addition to the trees offering natural soundproofing, there will be additional sound baffles. There will also be a stand down the side of the arena for seating 1000 people which will further reduce noise and the stage itself will be facing the Süd-Brücke so any noise that does still manage to escape will just join that of the evening traffic. Certainly none will escape the arena after 10pm because that is curfew time for the shows themselves. Nature lovers will be pleased to hear that the grass will be protected and the installation of toilets will ensure that the trees are protected too.
For music lovers the pure further existence of a major venue in Bonn is worth celebration in itself. It also promises to be something ‘a bit special’: The new arena will accommodate up to an estimated 13.000 people or some 6000 people seated. (twice that offered by Museumsplatz). There will be stand tickets (costing an extra 15 Euros) and there will also be a special area front of stage for early ticket buyers. There is also a possibility of using the arena for live viewing of the coming European Football Championship, although that is dependent on sponsors coming forward and agreement from Bonn Council to extend the 8 days of events currently agreed.
So, we have a new Open-Air venue in Bonn. We have some major acts playing there (two still to be announced). We have two men, Ernst-Ludwig Hartz and Martin Nötzel, dedicated to bringing top musical entertainment to Bonn. We have proven International stars Zaz, Lou Reed, Pattie Smith. We have Germany’s Europop King Jan Delay. For younger pop fans there is Finland’s ‘Sunrise Avenue’ and for older music lovers there is the retro sound of Caro Emerald… but, most importantly, we have hope that top live music will survive in Bonn. Lets not be complacent though: Nötzel and Ludwig-Hartz admitted to receiving many requests to take their open air stage elsewhere. They wanted it here in Bonn, they worked hard to keep it here in Bonn but they are ultimately running a business. In the words of Martin Schumacher: “Thank you for allowing us this experiment”
Hartz and Nötzel have their hearts in Bonn and and want ‘Kunst!Rasen’ to be a long term part of Bonns music calender. Now it’s up to the concert-goers to make sure ‘Museumsplatz’ doesn’t happen again. Let’s show Bonn we WANT top live music in our City!
Latest addition to the Kunst!Rasen schedule…