Fusion is drawing closer by the day. Spring has sprung and with it our appetite for the summer, and for our Fusion Festival, grows and grows. Despite the dark times in which we live, we have every reason to party!
For two years now, the pandemic has wreaked havoc with the festival and many more things too. And now, just when we think we’re coming out of it and will party this summer without restrictions, Putin has invaded Ukraine. He’s unleashed a murderous war that suddenly confronts us with the fact that the peace bubble, in which we have been living in for several generations in Central Europe, has been brutally burst.
War, whether to maintain power, to serve geopolitical interests, or as a means to pursue politics, is always a crime and brings destruction and death across the globe. This has been true long before the invasion of Ukraine.
The wars of the past years were mostly far away and our horror, indignation, and solidarity was often kept within certain limits. Suddenly, war is very close and Germany and Europe are becoming a more active part of this war as each day goes by. Yesterday, the German government sent anti-tank weapons, today tanks and other heavy equipment were sent as well.
These are primarily so that the people of Ukraine can defend themselves and stop Putin's advance. But they also are delivered with a desire for revenge for Putin's war crimes and with the calculated assumption that these delivered weapons will result in Russians paying the maximum price for their war of aggression. Hope is deliberately built up that the Ukrainian people could win this war, but every weapons delivery fuels a conflict in which there will be no winners aside from the arms industry. Everyday, people are dying or left traumatised by their destroyed existences. Nobody seems to have an idea how this war should end, nor how things will continue afterwards.
So what is the alternative to a destructive war that could go on for years? Negotiations and diplomacy! This war can only be ended, and the complete destruction of parts of Ukraine averted, at the negotiating table.
Meanwhile, pacifism in Germany is being consigned to the scrapheap of history. Scholz announces a "turning of the time" in the Bundestag and The Greens morph into neo-Bellicists and, without batting an eye, wave through €100 billion for the armament of the Bundeswehr - to be frittered away senselessly. The Bundeswehr is to be stationed in Latvia. Finland and Sweden want to join NATO... In politics, on social media, and across other forms of media, it’s not just language and rhetoric that is militarised. A military solution to the Ukraine conflict is openly discussed with abhorrent enthusiasm, and politicians and commentators welcoming escalation without scruple.
People might feel like the world has been turned on its head - everything seems irrational or increasingly crazy. Within a few weeks, the world, which has long been taking a wrong turn due to the global climate crisis, is even more blatantly running off the rails and we are on the brink of meltdown.
And despite all this, we want to party and celebrate at Fusion again? Yes! That's exactly what we want. Because after two years of the pandemic and during such dystopian times, it is more important than ever that we come together, live dreams together, and formulate demands for a peaceful and just life. It’s all the more important that we nurture our ideals, develop our utopias, and draw strength for the struggle for a better life... Or… it’s important just to party and dance together one more time in our bubble of peace and joy, as if there is no tomorrow.
All more than legitimate given that the world is changing and sadly not for the better. There’s no guarantee that this Fusion won’t be the last or that we won’t soon be living out a nightmare in which there aren’t any festivals, nor much else for that matter.
That’s it for our take on the political situation. After this gloomy prologue, we now come to the more pleasant festival-related topics.
No Testing Concept 2022
Although the pandemic is not over, we firmly believe that by the end of June all government restrictions and measures will have been lifted, and that it will be everyone’s personal choice whether or not to wear a mask to protect themselves. We called on everyone to get vaccinated in our December newsletter and chose very drastic words for those who did not. We want to apologise here to those who felt that this was an unwarranted attack on them as they had good reasons for not getting vaccinated. We also wrote at the time that we did not know if unvaccinated people would have access to events this summer. Obviously, that fear will not be realised. In any case, we will not require vaccination status for our guests or our crews. Admission will be decided solely on the basis of a valid ticket.
We will not set up a testing concept for the upcoming fusion, because a) we assume that this is no longer required of us and b) we could not afford a meaningful testing concept for 70,000 guests. We therefore have to point out that the risk of infection while attending Fusion cannot be ruled out, and we have to ask you to consciously bear this residual risk, or to protect yourself by prudent behaviour and wearing a mask. If you do not feel comfortable with this and ultimately do not want to come, you can resell the ticket at any time since May 4 to June 26 through our Kulturkosmos Ticket:Bourse.
Update 25.6.22: The Ticket:Börse will remain open until 23.00 on 01 July to give people who want to hand in their tickets at short notice due to Corona the opportunity to do so.
Pfandraising! A communal recycling concept that provides a sustainable solution to the glass waste problem.
This year, we will abolish the Pfand (deposit) system and instead put the return of bottles and cups bought from our bars as well as those brought in by guests, in the hands of all Fusionists.
Moving together from being part of the problem to part of the solution!
Glass waste, Pfand (deposit) and recycling
We have always sold our drinks in glass bottles and we want to keep it that way. Our guests can bring their own drinks and we want to keep this that way, too. However, we have been partying on mountains of glass bottles for two decades now and this should not remain so - it needs to change in 2022. In all these years, we haven’t found any satisfactory solutions for glass.
Almost all of us are part of the problem because we all like to leave our bottle where we finished it. The €0.50 deposit did ensure that at least bottles and cups with Pfand attached to them were mostly returned to the bars, but only if there was a deposit for them. The rest simply remained lying around and usually had to be collected by our trash crew.
High profit margins on Pfand collection have also led to an increase in people coming to the festival solely to collect Pfand professionally. The complaints of Pfand theft, people being inconsiderate, and over-zealous collection practices have increased in recent years. After difficult experiences last year, and in fear of a further aggravation of this situation, we decided we have to find a solution.
We were in search of a sustainable concept which meant that our bottles and cups were returned to our bars, but also one in which everyone feels jointly responsible so that also the glass brought in from the outside finds its way into the glass recycling containers.
We will therefore abolish the Pfand system and divide all glass into two categories. All bottles that are bought at our bars should be returned there. All other glass bottles are collected together with the broken glass and are recycled.
To increase motivation and to give the glass collection an additional meaning, we directly linked it to a donation collection campaign, which we call Pfandraising!
Each bottle picked up from the floor and either brought to the bar or disposed of in a broken glass container generates €0.10 in donations. By disposing of the glass waste and returning bottles to our bars, a handsome sum of donation money can be generated collectively within a few days.
The money is provided by Kulturkosmos, but it is activated by all Fusionists collecting bottles. The Pfandraising! money will be donated after the festival to organisations and projects that work in the context of migration and displacement. Together, we can raise donations of over 100.000€ with Pfandraising! for people in need.
More info about Pfandraising! will be coming soon on www.fusion-festival.de
All those who were able to get hold of a ticket are full of excitement and anticipation. But something can always come up.
In order not to expose ourselves to the risk that many people cancel their ticket at the last minute and we’re left carrying the can, we have activated our Ticket:Bourse since May 4 until June 26. Here, you can offer to sell your ticket and also search for tickets to buy as well.
To our Ticket:Bourse
We could and would like to write so much more about what's new in the Kulturkosmos and which wonderful programme highlights we have in store for you. But we’ve outlined the current situation in quite a lot of detail so will leave it there for now.