Dear Fusionists und Friends,
Four weeks have passed since we celebrated the magnificent Fusion of 2022.
We’re not quite ready yet to formulate a detailed summary of the festival - s we still need a bit of time to reflect. But before doing so in detailed fashion later in the summer, we have a pressing matter to share with you.
Firsty, though, we’d like to thank all the contributors who, together with our team and after quite the three years, have managed to put on a Fusion Festival so big, so diverse, and so wonderful.
The downside to all this is that we now have a very large financial deficit and need to act very fast, to ensure that the entire Kulturkosmos project does not slip into an existential crisis.
It was always clear that there would be a deficit, but we’re not really sure yet just how big. At the moment, we’re expecting a shortfall of 1.5 - 2 million Euros. That is considerably more than expected.
As soon as we have all the figures, we want to publish our expenses on our website in order to make the situation transparent and to show what has been spent on what.
How did the deficit get so big?
At the end of 2020, when we increased the ticket price by €70, we couldn’t foresee the enormous price hikes over the past few months. The price of almost all materials, services, technology, and infrastructure were often 20% higher than the previous year, and sometimes even much more than that. We also underestimated the additional work and associated costs for setting up the festival and its infrastructure after two years without a festival.
Over the past 36 months, some of our running costs were covered by federal and state subsidies. But not all our costs, not by far. There was still a lot more that had to be financed from ticket revenue. Most of the costs were associated with the new Turmbühne and here we hugely underestimated the construction costs.
In the past three years we needed ca. €3 million to come in from ticket revenue to cover our costs and to fund new projects.
There was a further problem. Since the 2019 "Police Fusion", the licensing process has set the total number of people present on the site at 80,000, regardless of whether they are Crew or guests. We accepted this cap, knowing full well that we had sold at least 70,000 tickets in the past and that this cap would become a problem sooner or later, given that there are also 15,000 contributors and all the additional tickets needed.
But we didn't want to push this maximum capacity right to its limit after two years without a festival, and so we purposefully only allocated 65,000 tickets in 2022. We knew that many things would have to be adjusted and accounted for after two years.
In the end, we had 64,000 paid tickets, and of the expected 6,000 Sunday guests, only 3,000 came.
So if we had sold more tickets… shoulda, coulda, woulda….
Now the point is: we have to generate money quickly so that we don't become insolvent. We also have to balance the deficit from 2022 as far as possible so that these debts do not burden the financing of the coming Fusion.
In terms of short-term fundraising and in order to generate money quickly, we have the following options:
We go to the bank. But banks generally do not want to lend large sums over the short term. We were put off by an overdraft facility with high interest rates and for not enough money in terms of the amount we needed anyway.
We find private lenders who loan us sums of €100,000 and more over a limited period of 6 months. Anyone who has quick access to large sums of money and is maybe getting nothing for it in terms of interest in a bank account, could loan it to us for a bit more than this.
We’re starting an early presale of tickets for Fusion 2023 on 26 September with 10,000 tickets. First come, first served.
With these options, we will certainly be able to prevent insolvency, but we will not be able to compensate for the deficit that has come about.
Given the severe and rapid increase in the cost of living and the limited financial means of many of our guests, another increase in the ticket price is out of the question. Given the financial instability that has arisen and the unpredictable prices, we also see no possibility of lowering the price either.
What remains for us is the sale of our "silverware". We are parting with what was previously booked as reserves, or what we can sell without affecting the work carried out by Kulturkosmos. There is not much, but we are selling:
Our house in Wesenberg. In 2015, we bought a three-storey house in Wesenberg, 20 km from Lärz, and completely renovated it to create living space for refugees. The 100-year-old house in Wilhelminian style has 5 two-room flats, each with 45 sqm living space. Quiet location, 5 min walk to the lake. So if you are looking for a nice property directly at the lake, please contact us at Tafelsilber@kulturkosmos.de.
Plots of land on "Freier Himmel", Lärz.
We are selling several developed building plots on the outskirts of Lärz, with a day-care centre and youth farm in the immediate vicinity. Ideal for city-dwelling, pandemic-weary, Fusion-loving home builders with children. The plots are about 1500 m from the Kulturkosmos site and 1000m cycle away from our lake. We bought a field there in 2019 to form land to build on, primarily for the new construction of the Lärz day-care centre and for the realisation of the Kuko children and youth project "Jugendfarm Lärz". In the process, 12 building plots were created, between 700 and 1600 square metres in size. Nine of these plots are now preferably sold to people with family ambitions who want to live permanently in the countryside and are willing to build in Lärz in the near future. Again, interested parties can contact us at Tafelsilber@kulturkosmos.de and profiteers are again excluded.
Unfortunately, we don't have any more sellable silverware, but if we can sell what we have, we will make up part of our deficit.
If you don't want to buy a house or a plot of land, you can of course support us in other ways.
For all Fusionists who want to donate money to us, or who want to give us a little extra for the festival they experienced, we have set up a donation account. We really appreciate any and every donation, no matter how big or small.
Account: Kulturkosmos Müritz e.V.
IBAN.: DE90 1505 0100 0530 1009 40
Payment reference: Spende Fusion 22
Or click here to donate via PayPal
In the next weeks, we will open a temporary online Fusion Propaganda Shop, where we will offer shirts, hoodies and other solidarity items with Fusion motives for sale. As soon as the shop is up and running, we will let you know. After a two-week order period, production will start and you will receive your soli clothes about 5 weeks after ordering.
There are certainly other ideas to support us or to generate more money. But we have to keep in mind that after this fusion and in preparation of the upcoming at.tension Festival our forces are limited and we should only start something that we can handle. I.e. no crowdfunding....
What else could you do to support us? Good question! How about this:
Get rid of some shit you don’t use – sell your treasurers and your crap – and donate to us whatever you get for it!
We all own things that we will never use or need again. If you want to support us financially but are short of money, you could sell some of it. Just let it go, take a photo, post it on Classifieds (Kleinanzeigen) or a portal of your choice and transfer the proceeds to our donation account.
Maybe you have other ideas too. And don’t let us stop you… just go for it.
We are optimistic and confident that with your support, we will overcome this crisis and continue to focus on the creation of parallel worlds in the form of extraordinary festivals.
Admittedly, it is stupid that this newsletter is all about money - or, rather, the lack of money - as there is still so much to tell about the recent festival. As we said, we need a little more time to collect our thoughts. We’ll write a detailed newsletter in late summer. At this point, we say goodbye with many greetings and good wishes. We'll be in touch soon when the Propaganda Webshop is up and running.
Until then, have a great summer.
The Kuko Crew