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Stefanie Carp on the cancellation of the Ruhrtriennale 2020

Press release   •   Apr 24, 2020 10:59 BST

The Board of Directors of Kultur Ruhr GmbH has decided unanimously at an extraordinary meeting Wednesday, 22 April 2020 that this year’s Ruhrtriennale festival will be cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Artistic Director Stefanie Carp on the cancellation of the festival: “I regret the decision of the partners and the Board of Directors and feel above all that it has been taken far too early. Of course the health of all concerned – whether they are artists, the public or members of staff – is our highest priority. We have been working for weeks on a programme for the Ruhrtriennale that would have complied with all the necessary hygiene measures. In recent weeks I have been in frequent contact with Ruhrtriennale artists. It has been incredibly inspiring to see the enormous creativity and sensibility with which each one of them is incorporating the experiences we are currently going through into their own work. But also above all the creativity and flexibility with which the artists were dealing or would have dealt with the restrictions. We could have experienced amazing, unforgettable productions. Sadly this opportunity has been wasted due to an over-hasty cancellation. The Ruhrtriennale staff has demonstrated great creativity and flexibility in adapting the artists’ concepts through the changing circumstances – for which I would once again like to thank them. I would have wished to see more of this flexibility and imagination from my Board of Directors and partners. With its large spaces, the Ruhrtriennale would have been in a position to guarantee the safety of its audiences and still find notable artistic solutions.

I very much regret that we, the artists and the audiences have not been given this chance and that so much creative work by the artists and staff has been negated.

It appears that the theatres will be allowed to open once again in September. I will attempt to find new venues in North Rhine-Westphalia for some of the Ruhrtriennale’s projects in order to be able to present a few of the productions after all.

I would like to thank all my colleagues at the Ruhrtriennale, the artists and our artistic partners represented in the programme for their trust and for their creative willingness and openness.”




Music, dance, theatre, performance and fine arts in the former industrial buildings of the Ruhr Area: that’s the Ruhrtriennale. The venues of the Ruhrtriennale are the region’s outstanding industrial monuments, transformed each year into spectacular sites for impressive arts productions. At the centre of all this are contemporary artists seeking a dialogue with industrial spaces and between the disciplines. World premieres and new works are the essence of the programme which makes visiting the Ruhrtriennale an incomparable event. Every season, festival productions from the Ruhr region go on tour around the world.

The artists and themes featured in the programme are chosen by Artistic Directors appointed in three year cycles. The Ruhrtriennale’s Artistic Director for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020 is the dramaturg and experienced theatre and festival director Stefanie Carp. The Ruhrtriennale 2020 cannot take place due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Local district court: Bochum | HRB 16669, UST-ID Nr. DE 223 424 543 | Chair of the Supervisory Board: Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen | Artistic Director of Ruhrtriennale and Managing Director: Dr. Stefanie Carp | Managing Director: Dr. Vera Battis-Reese