It’s 7.30pm at Bonn Kunstrasen and I meet some friends out back in the audience. “This is still the support act? Right?” one of them asks. By this time Wolfgang Niedecken and his band the legendary BAP have already been onstage for an hour and I have to explain that there ARE musicians out there who play according to their feelings and not to a 90 minute stopwatch – and yes, these guys were due to remain onstage until 10 pm. Fortunately they still had another two and a half hours to move up front in the audience and enjoy the finest Kölsch-rocker that ever trod the boards at Chlodwigplatz.
Sorry Zaz, but on Wednesday you won’t be the first musician on the Kunst!rasen stage to have played at the Rheinau before. Wolfgang Niedecken’s BAP played at the 1979 Bundesgartenschau here as one of the band’s first ‘outings’ away from ‘Kölle” (Cologne) and thirty four years later they were back on the banks of Father Rhine in Bonn.
“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.