Free, outside and for everyone – that’s how Kiel Week wants to present itself again this year. Therefore, it will not take place at the end of June again, but will be postponed to the date 4 to 12 September. In 2020, Kiel Week had set a mark for sailing and the event industry in Corona times under the motto #Zusammenalt. This year, Kiel’s unique sailing and summer festival wants to create much more: more encounters and more spontaneity, more lightness and more events.
For Kiel’s Lord Mayor Ulf Kämpfer, the rescheduling is the logical decision in view of the current corona situation: “With the expansion of the test strategy and the progress in vaccinations, hopefully we will be in a situation in September where a Kiel Week closer to the ‘original’ will be possible. The ‘KiWo’ lives on spontaneity and special community experiences. We would like to offer these to the people of Kiel and our guests in September – but of course we can’t guarantee that a cancellation won’t be necessary despite the rescheduling.”
“Now, we have a planning horizon. And I am optimistic that we will get back a lot of typical Kiel Week feeling this year. I’m really looking forward to it – and to having my dedicated crew and our loyal partners accompany me on this course,” explains Philipp Dornberger, head of the Kieler Woche office.
City President Hans-Werner Tovar hopes to be able to welcome delegations from Kiel’s twin cities this year: “Kiel Week is characterized by its international atmosphere and its international character. We will be hosting the International Cities Forum digitally for the first time this June. In September, we hope that personal encounters with our friends from all over the world will once again be possible.”
Support also comes from Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister President Daniel Günther: “The prospects of a ‘real’ Kiel Week grow with each month. This great festival will therefore be able to offer a lot more in September than in June. Kiel Week will take place. That is a good signal.”
“The great response from sailors underlines that the sailing world trusts us to host Kiel Week in June after last year’s successful event. But the Corona situation makes it much more difficult to safely realize an event of this internationality. And a separation of sailing week and festival cannot be an alternative”, says Dirk Ramhorst, Head of Organization of Organizations of the Kiel Week regattas. Carsten Krage, chairman of the Kieler Yacht-Club, is in the same line: “By moving the Kiel Week to September, world-class sailing can take place on the Kiel fjord again this year. And the regatta sport and the festival simply belong together to make it a ‘real’ Kiel Week.”
With this rescheduling, the information of the active sailors who have already registered and the intensive exchange with the classes that were announced for June will now begin. We don’t know if all classes will be able to move with us in terms of scheduling, although we have taken into account the very busy regatta calendar of course,” says Ramhorst. By mid-April, the adjusted class concept is planned.
The Navy is also back on board as a long-standing Kiel Week partner. “Unusual times call for responsible decisions. The navy also supports everywhere we can. We will then organize everything that is possible in the situation. Together we will make the best of Kiel Week 2021,” explains Admiral Christian Bock, Commander of Operational Flotilla 1.
Already in February, the main committee of the state capital Kiel had decided to waive rental income for all municipal areas and stands (except for promotion stands) during Kiel Week 2021 and to charge only the infrastructure costs. The funds will thus benefit the numerous regional partners, for example stand operators and organizers, and thus promote the regional economy. To implement this, additional budget funds of up to 1.5 million euros have been approved.
The economic consequences of the Corona pandemic may continue a significant impact in the coming years, especially in the event industry, so the state capital Kiel is also planning to restructure the various contracting systems of the Kiel week. The existing statutes as well as participation and awarding models will be made more transparent for potential partners of Kiel Week in the long term, and the cost pressure for areas and stands will be reduced.
The concept for Kiel Week 2021 in September still has to be confirmed by the Kiel City Council at one of its upcoming meetings. In preparing Kiel Week 2021, the city and all partners will constantly monitor the development of the infection situation and modify the plans accordingly. In the preparation of Kiel Week 2021, the city and all partners will constantly monitor the development of the infection situation and modify the plans accordingly.