After many and emotional discussions, we have decided with a heavy heart to cancel the International Nature Photography Festival in Lünen again this year due to the pandemic.
We did not take this decision lightly, especially as at the moment all signs point to "opening" and "normality". However, the experts' warnings against too much opening are clear and the delta variant is spreading. Even at this stage, we are not allowed to fill the theatre, where all the lectures from international photographers take place. About 1/3 of the usual visitors are allowed at the moment. Economically, this would be a big loss for us. For the photo market, a hygiene concept with controls, limited entry and a guidance system could help. But a photo market without the lectures by international photographers, without the crowds at the stands, without the great festival atmosphere, without the many nature-loving people from near and far, for whom discussions and an exchange across all factual, professional and emotional levels are the heart of the festival, a photo market without all that would not be a real festival.
Apart from these facts, other considerations also play a role, of course. Do we really want to celebrate our 50th anniversary with just a few people? And who should these people be? Those who were able to get hold of one of the few tickets first? Could we embrace each other full of reunion joy? Toast with each other? This is not how we imagined it.
And so we have now decided to cancel. And are full of hopes for a true celebration next year. Certainly with Corona, but also with a lot of experience in dealing with it and with plannable "what if" scenarios. Plannable also because politics can perhaps set clear guidelines with defined incidences.
That is what we hope for. Let's celebrate 50+ next year!