»On the Move« An editorial about the central idea of the 2020 festival
Being alive means being on the move. We live in a mobile world, a world that challenges many of the things we used to think were here forever. We ourselves are challenged to move with the times. Our festival, the Heidelberger Frühling, is no exception. In its 24th year, we have chosen the motto »On the Move« to epitomise this progress into a new, open-ended future.
For Heidelberger Frühling as a festival, »on the move« has a very real meaning in the year 2020. The doors of our main concert venue, the Stadthalle, will remain closed for the next couple of years to ensure that this venerable hall, so loved by many, will be equal to the demands the future holds. This means leaving home and moving right into the centre of town.
Our new home from home is in the heart of Heidelberg’s Old Town, so temporarily at least we’ll be giving the city a new place to meet. It is what we’re calling the Festival Centre, an interim structure on University Square. It links our two new main concert venues, the Neue Aula and the Alte Aula of the University, with the other central concert locations in the Old Town: the Jesuit Church, the Church of St. Peter and the Church of the Holy Spirit. What we have now is a veritable Festival Campus. We have taken our bearings from the history of University Square to give it an additional, and a different, dimension.
We had little choice in the matter of whether to move house or not. But being on the move gives us the unique opportunity to add a new facet to the urban history of the city. All this has been made possible by the University of Heidelberg, which has generously opened its arms to embrace the festival – as have so many other partners and supporters, chief among them the City of Heidelberg with all the assistance they have given us in switching venues. Our sincerest thanks to all concerned!
The Festival Centre is a place for everyone, not only our concert audiences but also the inhabitants of the city and the region, Heidelberg’s guests from all over the world, passers-by on their way to work or lectures. The new Centre is open for all. It is a standing invitation to come in, find out, enjoy and communicate. A home for a season or two – ours and yours.
What luggage are we taking with us? The spirit of our festival has inspired the event since 1997 and it will continue to guide us. The year 2020 will bring with it new places of encounter leaving their mark on the face of the city, accommodating our audiences and providing a temporary home for everyone interested in what we’re doing. Music makes us alive to the past, aware of the present, sensitive to the future. It promotes aesthetic, societal and political exchange, it provides new impulses and gives us something to identify with.
In short, Heidelberger Frühling is not just on the move, it’s really going places. The opportunity is unique: one of the best things about travelling is that you’re never alone. I look forward to spending the next few weeks in your company, at and outside the many concerts and events, in stimulating exchanges and intriguing encounters, all in the spirit of the festival.