Dear guests and friends,
With a heavy heart from all of our team, we unfortunately have to close Overmorrow early, The performances that were supposed to take place this weekend (before the lockdown on November 2th) cannot take place because we have to deal with unreasonable repression from the Police and the Ordnungsamt, which not only means the end of this segment of this wonderful project, but also could result in severe and possibly irreparable financial damage for us as a cultural location.
Before we go into the incidents of yesterday evening, we would like to apologize to our guests and for the inconvenience. We would of course be very happy if you would like to continue supporting the artists and to donate your already bought ticket we would be very grateful.
Of course, we fully understand should you want to cancel your tickets and have them refunded. In this case, please send us the Paypal data you used for the purchase to the following email address. firstname.lastname@example.org We will take care of the refund immediately. Yesterday we had a visit from the Police and Ordnungsamt. During the last 3 inspections we had, the Overmorrow project was not found to be violating any rules put in place by the government and our operations were not disrupted during the inspection. And even tho a large police force has been there in the past, only two to three officers carefully inspected the premises.
However During yesterday's inspection on October 30, 2020, the ordnungsamt came with a reinforcement of around 20 police officers. We had to pause the entire exhibition for two hours, which resulted in considerable financial damage and stress. This action mainly affects the artists, as all profits are distributed directly to the artists Unfortunately the strength and attitudes of the police suggested that the authorities were expecting a large group, party or rave. They were disappointed to find guests peacefully enjoying an exhibition with some of our amazing performers in their Halloweeen themed costumes.
After the officers could not find any violations of the COVID 19 regulations, there was initially uncertainty among the employees of the Ordnungsamt, probably due to the unusual project and the unexpectedly low number of guests.
As a result, hypothetical visitor numbers and scenarios were used that are far from reality, suggesting there ‘could have been’ 500 people there - even tho at this moment the exhibition was at maximum capacity and it was clear that all guidelines were being followed.
The regulations were ticked off point by point by the responsible Managing personal of the Wilden Renate. This resulted in the Ordnungsamt repeating the ‘potential’ failures of the distance rules and the threat of fines of € 25,000. But having seen that we were clearly not doing anything wrong the Ordnungsamt had to determine that they had come across a well enforced hygiene concept they started to search for violations of other Regulations they thought could be a „success“.
OVERMORROW is and was absolutely compliant during the entire season and in particular under the tightened regulations to amend the SARS-COV-2 infection protection regulation, which has been in force since October 29, 2020.
As already mentioned, the regulatory office was repeatedly able to find no violations of the Infection Protection Ordinance, as in this case, when the exhibition was at its maximum capacity.
Even after 3 exemplary checks carried out in the past, yesterday's action by the Ordnungsamt and the police felt strange and different.
The officials were unnecessarily aggressive yesterday. This mission in question had the character of a raid rather than a control to ensure compliance with the infection control. The number and sheer strength of the uniformed officers was threatening.
At least two of our artists who belong to marginalized groups and who have to deal with mental stress in contact with police officers in the past, suffered from panic attacks and were not okay.
When asked to proceed as carefully as the officers who had carried out the first checks in the summer and a few weeks back , we received the answer
“One can't disguise as a secret shopper, and best of all come to visit by appointment ".
At this point we would like to make it clear again that controls on our part are not only tolerated, but even welcomed.
However the threat of more checks and more officers has made us feel intimidated. When we were more than clearly well within all guidelines.
Our Hygiene protocol -
Here is a brief explanation of our processes: Only two people from two households are allowed into the exhibition every 5-10 minutes. The exhibition is divided into 16 stations with 16 stages. The shows of the performance artists that take place on these stages last 5 minutes each. After 5 minutes the guests have to switch to the next stage. the artists keep the prescribed distance of 1.50 m at all times. We also employ employees who are solely responsible for meticulously enforcing this rule.
we all have a common goal. The Ordnungsamt is welcome at any time. We have nothing to blame. However, we would like the authorities to take action that does not directly threaten our existence and our artists and us as a cultural location. Overmorrow was a lifeline for so many artists and cultural workers. With this project we were able to distribute over 94,000 € to our artists and production staff in the last 3 months. It is important!
Overmorrow is a project that was launched together with the Bad Bruises and Trash Era collectives to support artists who have no income, no stage and therefore no voice during the pandemic. The cast of the exhibition consists of 95% LGBTIQ * artists.
We absolutely understand that in times like these, controls have to be carried out. These controls are in our interest and we are ready to make sacrifices. We all want to leave this pandemic behind us as soon as possible. In order to achieve this goal, we have developed alternative concepts to support our artists and to keep the cultural landscape of our city and ourselves alive as a cultural location.
Unfortunately this has now come to an early end. We cannot bear the risk of the threatened repression. Thank you and stay with us.
Your OVERMORROW team