Just before the turn of the year, we’re sending out this newsletter with a partial summary of the past Fusion, information on next year’s festival, and the latest information on how to get tickets for it from January1 at our website.
It’s only a partial sum-up because there are still various topics that we have not finished evaluating and we don’t want this newsletter to be so enormous in length that you don’t reach the end of it!
From what we have heard, experienced and observed, Fusion 2022 was an absolutely brilliant festival with countless wonderful experiences and magical moments.
The fact that we were able to put on and rock such a multifaceted festival after two years of Covid is primarily thanks to the many people who busted their asses and contributed both large and small and often in difficult conditions as crews or supporters, as volunteer time donors or low-paid employees.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge, huge, thank you to them!
But what should also not be missing is a big thank you to you: our guests and our great community of party people! Despite all the indulgence after such a long break, you all truly made it a wonderful festival. Despite all the celebrations, there was comparatively little stress for the paramedics and security personnel.
Even beyond the stages and dance floors, the programme in all its diversity was well received everywhere and again showed that Fusion is much more than listening to and discovering good music or partying hard. It was interesting to see an increase in the average age of Fusionists in 2022: 32 years old - an increase of 6 years over the past 10 years. This is a really nice testament to your continuous engagement and attachment to Fusion, which of course we are very grateful for.
The thing that sadly did not work out as we had thought and hoped for was the Pfandraising project. Admittedly, it was an ambitious goal for all Fusionists to collectively solve the problem of glass bottles on the festival grounds by all pitching in and disposing of the broken glass and returning all used bottles to the bars. We also had the goal of raising at least €100,000 or more for the organisation People on the Move.
*The good news is *that a *donation amount of €120,000* was actually collected and we were able to donate €100,000 to the Safe Passage Foundation. This foundation supports various projects that work in the context of flight and migration. We were able to donate a further €20,000 to the Medibüro Berlin for medical aid for refugees.
*The less-good news, however is* that two thirds of this sum came from the solitaires - that’s to say the €0.50 surcharge placed on each bottled drink for all those who did not bring an empty bottle to the bar, and unfortunately not from the diligent help with collection of all the Fusionists.
The amount donated would have been much higher if more guests had participated more actively in the project. But in the end we had to put in a huge amount of work with our Crew to get the vast quantities of glass on the site at least somewhat under control.
In moments it looked as if we were going to lose this battle and lots of bottles from our bars ended up in the broken glass containers and the deposits were in danger of being lost. In the end, through weeks of manual work by diligent helpers, we were able to achieve a deposit return rate that was only 5% lower than the rate in 2019 when the deposit on bottles (Pfand) was still in place.
Unfortunately, the truth is also that the brewery subsequently destroyed a massive number of beer bottles because they were too dirty to be reused, like if they were used as ashtrays, or because they had been lying in the dirt for a long time, or because they had to be collected from the broken glass container...
But we don't want to go around pointing fingers at those who didn't support the collection effort, because the truth is that we’ve asked ourselves why it went down the way it did and what we should have done differently.
We have to realise that we misjudged many things in advance and that some ideas turned out to be impractical during the festival. Many Fusionists were not really engaged with the project. This could have been due to insufficient information, because it was new, or due to a lack of interest in the information we communicated in writing several times beforehand. Some may even have deliberately boycotted it because they thought it was stupid that we were depriving professional bottle collectors of their core business.
We have not yet decided how to proceed in the coming year, and there will be further discussion about the criticism of the new system. However, no real alternatives are yet apparent and all major innovations in our history have usually taken more than one festival to become established.
Therefore, it seems that we want to try to learn from our mistakes, and because we know that it’s the hope that dies last, we’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
This is a chance for all of us to perform much better in the coming year.
There are many insights and ideas. More bottle info displays and the setting up and regular exchange of empty crates at all broken class containers, at the edge of the dancefloors and along all main routes would have made the effort a lot easier.
The fact that there was no possibility for people who had no money but were still thirsty to get drinks by collecting bottles was also a problem that we have to correct. Here, for example, free drinks for handing in sorted deposit boxes at a bar could be a solution. This would allow full boxes from the paths or the floor to find their way back to the bars.
Lots of ideas and lots of room for improvement... We'll keep you posted on where we’re up to in 2023.
Fusion only for over 18s
For the first time, we have set the entry age for next year at 18. This means that under 18s will no longer be able to buy tickets and children and young people will no longer be admitted to the festival, even if accompanied by an adult.
This is a tough decision that we have been putting off since 2019. The reason is that we we’re not really able to comply with the relevent youth protection regulations on the festival site without identification of young people and without their separation of the event grounds and camping areas. What had been tolerated for more than 20 years had increasingly become a problem for The Youth Protection Office (Jugentamt) and the Regulatory Authority (Ordnungsamt) in the festival approval process of the last few years.
Strict controls, many youth-protection experts provided by us, extra wristbands for various age groups... were the demands of the last few years. We are not willing nor able to expand the control system even further and in such proportion. The fact that more measures would be to come, and that the Jugendamt has already threatened to put its own base on the festival site were the main reasons for the decision: Fusion only for over 18s.
Maybe it was the people who were at Fusion for the first time and didn't know the rules of the game, perhaps it was the ignorance of the few rules we set…
But it was alarming and annoying to see how many photos were taken on the dancefloors and how many photos with recognisable Fusionists ended up on social media.
For all those who haven't yet got the message: we and the majority of our guests do not want photos to be taken while partying where other people are recognisable to third parties and end up on the web! Fusion is a free space where we can be who we want to be - free and uncontrolled... and we don't want to find that documented on Insta or Tiktok or anywhere else.
Solishop second round - Issues with postage
After the successful first round, which we packed and shipped ourselves with a lot of effort (but were also stretched to our limit), we decided to outsource the printing, packing and shipping of the second round to third party.
The timeline was clear and we were promised that everything would be produced in time and shipped in the first week of December. In mid-December it turned out that only part of the orders could be shipped because some of the items were delivered too late or were on the road for some time in the shipping chaos. On top of that, our partner was also supposed to take over the mail support with the customers, which only worked to a limited extent and many customers had to wait a long time for an answer. All in all, it was a pretty silly situation, for which we are terribly sorry and can only apologise to all those whose orders did not arrive in time for Christmas.
We have written a lot about our financial deficit in the past newsletters so only want to mention this topic here very briefly. Private supporters have lent us €800,000. This and the advance sale of 10,000 tickets has kept us solvent.
Through the temporary online solidarity shop we were able to generate about 300,000 € after costs and before taxes. (Paypal has since paid out the money that was frozen for no reason, but we will no longer use Paypal).
We have received a total of over €200,000 in donations from you. There were many small amounts but also some really big ones. Your donations and the propaganda shop have helped us a lot and plugged part of the financial hole.
A big thank you to everyone who lent or donated money to us and to everyone who shopped online.
There was a lot of interest in our silverware for sale, in the form of building plots in Lärz, and it is foreseeable that Lärz will soon get an influx of young families and a nice community will settle there. In contrast, nothing concrete has come of the sale of our house in Wesenberg, despite lively initial interest. Times have probably been better for the sale of real estate, but we are still looking for potential buyers for this beautiful house with its five two-bedroom flats.
We already sold 10,000 tickets at the end of September, which were sold out after a few minutes. This early sale also enabled Kulturkosmos to remain solvent.
The regular pre-sale for the 2023 tickets will not take place in December this time, but in January 2023.
The remaining 60,000 tickets are traditionally allocated through a raffle. For more than 10 years, the demand for tickets has exceeded the number to be drawn several times over. In order to make the chances of access as fair as possible for all fusionists, chance will decide who can buy a ticket in our raffle.
The *price remains €220 *including €10 rubbish deposit.
The r*egistration phase for the raffle begins on January 1 and runs until January 14* 2023. This takes place in the Ticket Shop on our website.
The *raffle will take place on January 19*. Everyone will be notified by email whether they have won or sadly ended up ended handed. The lucky ones can then pay for their ticket.
As always, all tickets will be personalised and checked against ID details at check-in. Multiple orders per person will be disqualified and cancelled.
In recent years, the majority have bundled their ticket orders in a clique. This means that all clique members are on the same ticket and win or lose together. Whether as an individual or as a clique, all tickets have the same chance of winning.
For the first time, all Fusionists must be at least 18 years old.
Jobs at KULTURKOSMOS
Do you fancy a varied and challenging job on the festival grounds in Lärz or in our office in Berlin? In order to start the Fusion planning at full throttle, we are currently looking for reinforcement in four different Crews: Artistcare, Technical, Accounting and Ticketing.
All information about the jobs can be found at our website.
The newsletter has become a bit longer again and to all those who have made it this far, we would like to end by getting you in the mood for the upcoming festival.
Even if the temperatures don't promise it, the days are already getting longer again and next summer is coming sooner than we think. The programme for 2023 is growing daily and our bookers are busy collecting some absolute gems for our many stages and floors.
We want to create a really diverse programme again, so that your synapses are massaged properly. Now it's just a matter of having a bit of luck with tickets and then, already from mid-January, the course will be set for next year’s Fusion.
Looking forward to Fusion 2023…
The Fusion Crew
Newsletter Dezember 2022