Luminale, the Biennale for Light Art and Urban Design to pause in 2022

Since 2002, the Luminale festival in the German cities of Frankfurt and Offenbach has accompanied Light + Building, the world’s leading trade fair for light and building services technology, which takes place every two years in Frankfurt am Main. Initiated by Messe Frankfurt as a “bridge from the exhibition grounds to the city”, the public event has since developed into an internationally recognised light and culture festival with over 250,000 visitors. Messe Frankfurt as the organiser holds all trademarks and funds the project office, the promotion of Luminale and a beacon project. Due to Messe Frankfurt’s economic situation, this is not viable for 2022. Therefore, the will not take place in 2022.

Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Messe Frankfurt, regrets the decision, but sees no other option: “Over the years, Messe Frankfurt has continued to build and expand the Luminale brand together and in the closest conceptual coordination with its partners from the lighting industry, the Central Association of German Electrical and Information Technology Trades, Tourismus- und Congress GmbH and, above all, with the City of Frankfurt. Last year, shortly before the start of the tenth Luminale, the painful decision had to be made to cancel the event due to the pandemic, just like Light + Building. Unfortunately, after one and a half years of the pandemic, Messe Frankfurt is not in the financial position to handle this project. We are forcing cuts and maximum efficiency management in all financial areas in order to secure the liquidity of the company. In 2022, we have to concentrate on our core business – also at the request of the exhibiting lighting industry: And that is the staging of Light + Building.” Marzin continues: “The project office Studio Rekkab has developed a convincing conceptual and sustainable new approach for the Luminale 2020 – namely, away from the classic light festival towards a biennial for light art and urban design with high artistic standards and relevant topics such as light, architecture, technology, ecology and social interaction in the city. In this way, the Luminale differs significantly from other light festivals in terms of quality and has consolidated its international reputation in the scene: Artists from all over the world apply to participate in the Luminale. We will hold on to this unique USP – even if Luminale unfortunately has to stop next year.”

Luminale suits a colourful and diverse city like Frankfurt. With its artistically high-quality programme and intellectual discourse, it is attractive for the people of Frankfurt and makes an important cultural contribution to the people and society. It thrives on the cooperation of many – not least the artists who shape this great festival with great projects, innovative and fascinating light creations, an exciting programme in the festival centre and a lot of commitment. “Nevertheless, we have to face reality,” says Marzin, “we respect the exhibitors’ wish to focus all their energy on resuming the event and fair business. To the same extent, we are aware that Luminale has immense significance for the cities of Frankfurt and Offenbach. We look forward to a Luminale 2024.”

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