My team and I are truly overwhelmed and infinitely grateful for the huge amount of support and solidarity on your behalf - thank you so very much!
We are truly lucky to experience such an enormous amount of solidarity and support, through the enthusiasm of our great audience and the many fans and friends.
Our first concert of "Poetry in Turbulent Times" took place on 22 March 2020, for which all the musicians, technicians and team staff worked free of charge for days without any financial support. In the meantime, this live concert was recorded and released on CD. It also contains the ‘Willy 2020’ version from our streamed concert on 11.4. This live CD can now be ordered or digitally downloaded exclusively from our Sturm & Klang Shop at https://sturm-und-klang.de/product/poesie-in-stuemischen-zeiten.
During this concert on 22.3., I already mentioned that I would continue to play the next two concerts of “Poetry & Resistance in Turbulent Times“ free of charge. The concerts in question were the anti-war concert on Easter Saturday, April 11, and on May 9, which was the 75th anniversary of the liberation from National Socialism. This latter concert had impressive guests such as the musician and Holocaust survivor Esther Bejarano and the wonderful singer Karla Lara from Honduras. I feel compelled to point out, however, that all the musicians, technicians and other members of my team desperately need to survive these difficult times somehow. This was the reason I wrote the following lines to you appealing for donations: "I am only too well aware that many of you are probably not doing so well at this very moment in time. Nevertheless, it would be hugely helpful if you were able to donate even small amounts of money. Should donations amount to more than what’s needed for my staff for these two concerts, we would utilise these extra monies for further live streams, to support colleagues in major distress and help with humanitarian projects. That is why we would be extremely happy about any donations – no matter how big or small".
We are very fortunate to have a great media partner on our side, the ‘KulturBühne of Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR)’, who streamed the two concerts live. These can be viewed on https://www.br.de/kultur/index.html, on the Facebook channel of the BR culture magazine Capriccio as well as on our YouTube channel weckerswelt.de. Further support was provided by our following cultural cooperation partners: Münchenstift (with its 13 nursing homes and homes for the elderly in Munich), medico international, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (RLS) - RLS Bayern/ Kurt Eisner Association -Association of the Persecuted of the Nazi Regime, Association of Anti-Fascists (VVN/BdA). In fact, after a short discussion within the team and in the spirit of solidarity, we immediately transferred back to the VVN their kind donation of 2,500 €, because as long as the VVN is denied non-profit status by the Ministry of Finance, our friends from the VVN need every Euro for their valuable work!
Our fundraising efforts finished last night at midnight, May 20, 2020, and the result is simply incredible: The donations from you coupled with the financial support from our cultural cooperation partners amount to the incredible total of €68.018,33!
With your kind support I was able to organize two concerts during these turbulent times together with Jo Barnikel and Fany Kammerlander. We also had the musical guests Tamara Banez and Sarah Straub, two young artists from my record label. Almost 155,000 people ‘paid a digital visit’ to these concerts so far, and more than 230,000 people viewed and heard them. Furthermore, during these concerts and, at times on the streets, we took part in demonstrations against social exclusions and contact bans, in solidarity with our relatives in in-patient facilities and nursing homes; we also got involved in rallies against the deadly arms trade.
Also, nearly 33,000 people viewed the various video clips of my songs Willy 2020 and Waffenhaendler Tango, of the interview with the two activists from the campaign "Disarm Rheinmetall!, of our press conference on the humanitarian initiative ‘Break Isolation’ as well as the livestream of the demonstration which took place on May 11th in front of the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior, where Sarah Straub and I spoke and sang.
We promised to keep complete transparency on the use of the monies donated. After deducting all expenses for the two concerts inclusive of technical equipment, studio rent, staff costs for the team of organisers, costs for public relations and the actual performances themselves, we are still able to support artists in need and humanitarian projects with a sum of €27,500 as follows: €19,000 will be used to help twelve musicians of our record label who are in distress and unable to survive the crisis without help. In addition, we will donate €1,000 to Heyva Sor A Kurd (Kurdisher Roter Halbmond) of medico international, our project partner and an aid organisation working in the self-governing areas of Rojava; a further €4,500 will go to the humanitarian initiative Break Isolation as well as to the humanitarian aid to Greece organised by the non-profit Initiative for a Humane World (IHW, keyword Greece Aid). Donors who wish to gain a clearer insight on how the monies are being used are welcome to contact us by e-mail.
My heartfelt thank you goes to you all for everything we have achieved together in these turbulent times. I am infinitely grateful to you for your support and for the fact that many excellent musician colleagues and team mates are now able to look to the future with a little more optimism and no longer have to fear losing their entire existence.
I hope that we all remain in good health! I wish and hope that we can survive this Covid 19 pandemic united in a human, health, economic and political solidarity. Let’s start immediately and search for a fairer world. Keep your spirits up and don't get brainwashed by demagogues, fascists, conspiracy theorists and racists, who do everything to cash in on the crisis with their anti-Semitic slogans and their shoulder rubbing tactics with the AFD and the Nazis. Let’s stand united and with determination against this looming right wing danger!
I am looking forward to playing many future live concerts and the start of our Utopia tour as soon as circumstances allow this again. We will then celebrate and toast to life together. Until then, look after yourselves!
Our three concerts “Poetry & Resistance in Turbulent Times” can be viewed here:
Concert 75th anniversary of the liberation of National Socialism
Anti-war concert 9.4.2020
“Poetry in Turbulent Times” of 22.3.2020
Waffenhaendler Tango & Interview with activists of the campaign “Disarm Rheinmetall”
Karla Lara special, concert 9.5.2020
Information, livestreams and videos about our humanitarian initiative Break Isolation in Solidarity with our relatives in inpatient facilities and nursing homes - together against exclusion and contact bans!
Live press conference streamed on May 6, 2020
Demonstration outside the Bavarian Ministry for the Interior on May 11, 2020
Video documentary of demo 11.5.2020