Oh no, is that really true, there is no Genius Loci Weimar Festival this year?
Yes, that is unfortunately true.
Why is that?
Unfortunately, as always: the budget was not enough. The main sponsor has somewhat surprisingly cut the funding amount in half, i.e. from over 200,000€ to 100,000€. Unfortunately this is not enough.
100,000€ is an insane amount of money, isn't it?
Yes, that's true, but it's not enough for an event like Genius Loci. You can see that very quickly: if we allocate almost 50,000€ for the competition, and a single employee costs 4,000€ a month gross with a workplace, then that's almost 100,000€ gone for one year. And that's not even a meter of cable laid or a program printed. We are able to work from about 200.000€, and that only because of the many supporters.
Can't you collect donations or sell drinks?
Yes, we do that too, but Genius Loci is not an Zwiebelmarkt or Oktoberfest. The event is very short, not even ten hours in total over three evenings, and there is a lot to see. Visitors simply don't have time to spend big money.
And what was that about Erfurt?
There was then briefly the idea of holding the event in Erfurt as part of the citizens' festival for the Day of German Unity. There would still have been budget available for the design of the citizens' festival. A brilliant idea, Genius Loci could have breathed soul into this civic festival, exactly what one likes to miss at such 'official events' as Buga or Expo.
The State Chancellery was very generous, and would have replaced almost the entire missing budget. We were already very close. But little or nothing came from the city of Erfurt. Then, for the second time, it wasn't enough, and at some point the time for planning the event ran out - we have to put a competition out to tender and carry it out, and that all takes time.
And what happens now?
We have to talk to the state of Thuringia again. Maybe there will be funding after all, or we'll put two years together. It would be a great pity if Genius Loci were to be discontinued. Genius Loci has become a real magnet and a real brand nationwide, even the ADAC refers to us, and at festivals as far away as Tokyo and Budapest and elsewhere, Genius Loci is considered a reference for video mapping and facade projection. Just in March we won a video mapping award at the facade projection festival in Lille (For the work 'Blessing to Misfortune' on the Bastille).