“It’s not our private lawn. There is an Arts scene in Bonn and we are a part of it.” With that sentence Co-Promoter Martin Nötzel described perfectly the wide-ranging and ambitious plans for Bonn’s Open Air Venue Kunst!Rasen in the coming Season at this weeks’ Press Conference. If there isn’t something for everyone it will clearly not be for want of trying. Top Rock musicians have almost become expected, but Open Air Opera, Picnics, Comedy, Classics, Cinema… The biggest headache might just be fitting it all into a ‘mere’ four months – early June to late September. From BAP to Beethoven and everything in between.
Worldclass Musical attractions such as Crosby Stills & Nash, Santana (one of only two German concerts), and Zaz are the most well known and talked about aspects of the new Open-Air Season down by the Rhine this year of course. Surprisingly (or not so for local music fans) the current big sellers are local bands Brings who open the Season on 7 June, and BAP who play on 29 June and whose leader, Wolfgang Niedecken, was almost a constant presence at shows last year as an enthusiastic spectator. This weeks Press Conference showed though that these evenings on the giant main stage are only the tip of a Cultural iceberg that promises to offer something to everyone who enjoys live entertainment in a wonderful location.
A new attraction, indeed a new venue, will be the ‘Kunst!Palast, which will open it’s ‘Gates’ for a month, beginning on 18 July with the celebrated Radio Bonn/Rhein-Sieg After-Job Party. The Kunst!Palast concept promises the imaginative flair reminiscent of the Sommergarten Sundays on the Kunsthalle roof that make the City special and could well become a new symbol of Bonn in Summertime. It will offer audiences of up to 2000 a wide spectrum of entertainment From XFactor favourites Mrs Greenbird, through top Blues-Rock singer Beth Hart (who recently shared a CD with Joe Bonamassa) to ‘The World’s best Party-Band’ The B52’s. German favourites Helge Schneider and Heino will be performing in the Kunst!Palast too – the latter on a wave of unexpected success following the release of his modern Rock Song CD ‘Mit Freundlichen Grüßen’. The legendary Folk Star Heino himself was on hand at the Conference to defend the doubters. “A lot of people have laughed at the idea, and then said to me – ‘Can I have a copy please'” he recounted. And continued “Rammstein is really not so different to my mind. The songs that are remembered now will be tomorrows Folk Music”.
Other highlights of the coming Season are likely to be the return of Cinema to the agenda – weatherproof undercover which might well be a Godsend in view of the weather so far this year, A Picnic Day ‘KLASSIK!PIKNIK’ (7 September) where all that’s needed is a blanket, a fruit salad and a bottle of wine. In fact local investors can book a table or two and have all that brought to them as they listen to the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn do their thing. For Jazz fans on 30 August Ten Top Trumpeters (try saying that three times quickly) will be appearing alongside New York singer Ken Norris, Brazilian Edson Cordeiro and Hamburg Jazzsinger Ulita Knaus to present ‘The Richard Wagner Project’ (30 August). On 9 July ‘Best of Schooljam’ will be the main attraction at ‘Tag der Offenen Tür’. 17000 Schools took part from all over Germany and the winners from three years of Schooljam’ will be playing. A handsigned Fender Telecaster guitar from Wolfgang Niedecken will also be a prize for visitors, with money raised going to Bonn schools. Carl Orffs Cantata Carmina Burana is an ambitious project that will feature a complete Choir in Middle Age costume as part of a 120 strong ensemble that is described as ‘A scenic open air spectacle’. In between the main attractions there will be live entertainment from up and coming entertainers regularly at the Kunst!Garten for free, so anyone interested in playing contact the organizers.
I’m sure there is lots I’ve missed out, so check HERE regularly for updates and Roll on Summer!