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The Ruhrtriennale 2020 cannot take place due to the Coronavirus pandemic

Press release   •   Apr 24, 2020 10:55 BST

The Ruhrtriennale 2020 cannot take place due to the Coronavirus pandemic

The Board of Directors of Kultur Ruhr has decided unanimously to cancel this year’s festival – the health of our public, artists and staff has absolute priority

Bochum, 24 April 2020 – This year’s Ruhrtriennale festival has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This was the unanimous decision made Wednesday, 22 April 2020 at an extraordinary meeting of Kultur Ruhr GmbH’s Board of Directors. The decision has been confirmed by a meeting of the partners. Last week the federal and state governments agreed to ban all large scale events up to and including 31 August 2020. The Ruhrtriennale was scheduled to take place from 14 August to 20 September 2020.

“The cancellation of the Ruhrtriennale 2020 is a bitter loss for the cultural life of North Rhine-Westphalia that also pains me personally. However, I am convinced that in the current situation major events such as the Ruhrtriennale must fulfil their special responsibilities. Protecting the health of the public, the artists and our staff is our principal concern. As a consequence, the cancellation of the Ruhrtriennale 2020 is sadly unavoidable,” says Minister of Culture and Science Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen in her role as Board Chair of Kultur Ruhr GmbH.

The ability to rehearse and travel in preparation for the numerous productions is already severely curtailed as a result of the current restrictions on international travel. As the extensive planning for the Ruhrtriennale’s comprehensive programme with some 700 participating artists from around 40 countries would soon have entered its “hot” phase, it was necessary to make the decision to cancel the Ruhrtriennale at this point.

Tickets that have already been bought will be refunded. To do this, tickets can be returned to the advanced sales outlets where they were purchased. Online customers will be contacted directly by Kultur Ruhr GmbH in the coming weeks in order to process their refunds. Any other questions can be directed to our ticket hotline: 0(049)221 280210. Further information will be available shortly from:

The Ruhrtriennale has taken place since 2002 under an Artistic Director whose position changes hands every three years. Every year the festival invites international contemporary artists who work in areas where music theatre, drama, dance, performance and the visual arts intersect to present artworks within the monumental industrial architecture of the Ruhr metropolitan region.The Ruhrtriennale attracts an average of 60,000 visitors per year. Its current Artistic Director is Stefanie Carp, and the seasons from 2018-2020 have the motto “In-Between Time”. This year’s programme had planned 33 productions and projects – including 12 world and European premieres – in 17 different venues in Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gladbeck and Wuppertal. Public funding for the Ruhrtriennale 2018-2020 is approx. 13.7 million Euro per year, of which the State contributes 12.65 million Euro and the Regionalverband Ruhr approx. one million Euro.


Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Press office
T +49 (0) 211 896 4791
F +49 (0) 211 896 4575

Kultur Ruhr GmbH
Press office
T +49 (0) 234 97 48 33 37
F +49 (0) 234 97 48 33 49




Board of Directors

Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen

Vize Chair
Dr. Hildegard Kaluza, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert

Dr. Arnim Brux, Dr. Hans-Dieter Fischer, Karola Geiß-Netthöfel, Lothar Gräfingholt, Gerhard Heilgenberg, Dr. Michael Henze, , Peter Landmann, Bettina Milz, Jörg Obereiner, Monika Simshäuser, Dr. Christian von Kraack, Petra Zielazny

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