These are challenging times for party and event organizers. Alphatribe talked to Peter from Xtreme! Cologne about his forecast for the coming year.
The lengthy duration of the ban on partying is a heavy burden for many party-goers. But it must be even more so for party organizers. How are you holding on?
We are currently in the second lock-down in Germany which is initially scheduled until the end of January. It is currently being discussed whether to tighten the lock-down again. As changes to the approach of the pandemic by the government are made with short notice, it’s impossible to do reliable planning.
For 2020, in contrast to other organizers, we decided quite early – in April – to reimburse all tickets already purchased and to cancel the event. After the Cologne Pride was postponed, we hoped to offer an event in September (new date of the Cologne Pride). Unfortunately, that plan was canceled as the ban on major events continued.
Xtreme! would not have been feasible from our point of view, also because of health care and our responsibility. We are looking forward to offer our guests parties, but unfortunately due to the pandemic it is a time in which we are considerate and of course support everything which helps to get through the pandemic.
Economically, this is for us a worst case scenario. In addition to the party, we are also strongly represented in the area of business events which are hardly feasible beside of virtual meetings.
What is your ‘deadline’ to make a decision for the party to take place in 2021?
In theory, we don’t have a deadline. We have several concepts that enable us to react very quickly depending on how the situation evolves. Of course, the vaccination speed and willingness to vaccinate also play a major role. In the last few weeks we have had many discussions with those responsible and with the location operators and are sure to get something up and running at short notice if safety, security and the legal situation allow it. Traditionally, we start two weeks before the Antwerp Fetish & Leatherpride (Darklands) with the promo and ticket sales. Unfortunately, Antwerp will not be able to host a “class reunion of the fetish scene” this year. Jeroen has already announced that the event will be postponed to 2022. Advance ticket sales only make sense if we are sure that we can offer an event. We owe that to our guests. For me, that’s part of the basis of trust. Our guests will be informed via the newsletter, facebook or instagram as soon as something is ready to be announced.
When June comes too soon, are you thinking about a possible later date?
A postponement is off course also an option for us. We love the international atmosphere of our audience. The CSD in Cologne is predestined, as there are many visitors in the city. Anyone who has been visiting Xtreme! before knows that the very large outdoor area with its play facilities is a great attraction. Therefore, of course, we also need appropriate weather conditions. Something like this will be difficult to implement in November or December, but we are also looking for opportunities there.
What is your expectation in terms of visitor numbers if the ban gets lifted?
My expectation is that people want to celebrate and go out to party – especially after such a long dry spell. I assume that the number of visitors will be on a similar level or slightly above. We will certainly miss some visitors, who will initially avoid events out of caution. From my point of view, it depends on the circumstances. I could imagine that the vaccination and thus a kind of immunisation certificate will become a question of survival for all events. The development here is so fast that I can only hope but can hardly give an assessment.
Like all organizers, we miss our guests, the events, the fetish scene and our friends. We strongly believe in a “New Tomorrow” and look forward to seeing you all again soon, be it with us @Xtreme!, be it in Antwerp or Berlin. Stay healthy, take care of yourself. See you all again soon!