The KulturKaufhaus is a well-known institution in the capital city. It has established a reputation for numerous events - book presentations, mini concerts, workshops and book signings - there has been hardly an event in recent years where not every seat was taken. But in the past few months, events have been restricted all over the world and in many places, they have come to a complete standstill. Our colleagues Jenny Dünhöft and Laura Weidenfeller, event mangers at KulturKaufhaus know all about it; many events were cancelled in March, and the following five months saw none at all. “It wasn’t until August that the KulturKaufhaus began to open its doors again for on-site events - in compliance with hygiene regulations, of course. In order to be able to ensure social distancing and other regulations, events were limited to 30 people who also had to register in advance”, says Laura Weidenfeller. “By comparison, up to 200 people attended events here in the past and on average, 15 readings or concerts took place each month peaking in March, April, September and October.”
New challenges, new formats
The event sector has been badly hit by the corona virus and that has affected the work with labels, artists and publishers. Jenny Dünhöft is happy about it: “There is now a great deal more understanding and cooperation. There is open exchange and uncomplicated solutions are sought for new challenges.” This constructive approach has led to the occasional surprising result; without corona, the autograph event with Campino would probably not have happened. The new situation has resulted in new formats and target groups; for example readings are given online “from the reading room” conveying the charm of the KulturKaufhaus from a distance. However, events with international performers and artists cannot take place in the current situation and are sorely missed.
What is really important
Asked what is important in their (working) lives, the two event managers agree; “The KuKa has always given us the feeling that we are needed. For many in the sector, the current job situation is uncertain. We are grateful that this is not so at the KuKa and that we have had the opportunity to try out alternatives.” People are affected by the crisis privately too; there are many aspects of everyday life that have been slowed down, the two are telling. "What we miss are the lively evenings when everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.”