Nearly two years ago I was happy to announce that the LOFFT, the most relevant contributor to Leipzig’s independent theater and dance scene, was to have a new permanent space at Spinnerei. The space was planned to be ready at the end of 2017, ending years of uncertainty.
Due to unexpected construction delays, the date was moved to June 2018. The grand opening was planned for September. Unfortunately, this has had to be postponed yet again and it looks like it won’t happen before early 2019.
Unfortunately, the LOFFT’s contract with their current location in Lindenauer Markt ends in June 2018. This would leave them homeless and, let’s be honest, who knows if the current construction deadline will be met? It is always possible that there will be more delays.
Halle 7 will be renovated and converted by the owner, Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, on the basis of a contract with the city of Leipzig. The city of Leipzig is currently negotiating with the client about the further schedule.
The LOFFT finds itself in “wait and see” mode. All they can do is react.
“Either we can stay at the Lindenauer Markt or we have to try to make an interim programme at changing locations all across the city in a hurry, which would be very expensive and take money we desperately need for equipping the new building,” says Dirk Förster, LOFFT’s Managing Director.
This is about more than money; this would negatively impact people’s lives.
The delay places a heavy burden on the operation of LOFFT, with consequences for the entire independent dance and theatre landscape in Leipzig.
“We now have to cancel the opening festival planned for September 2018 and unload the booked artists from Germany and Europe. That’s a huge disappointment.”
“Even more dramatic is the fact that the premieres and performances planned for the new 2018/2019 season have now been called into question. The livelihoods of the freelance artists depend on this. We are also unable to make any binding statements to our cooperation partners such as the Euro-Scene Leipzig or the Tanzlabor.”
Discussions are now in progress. I, for one, join the LOFFT in calling for the Leipzig City Council to find a stable solution to the temporary problem, in order for the LOFFT to continue as seamlessly as possible. This needs to be settled by mid-February to avoid severe disruption.
C’mon, city of Leipzig. Show us you are genuinely invested in the arts!