Rough times for the Bayreuth Richard Wagner Festival. Since a couple of days prosecutors are looking for irregularities in the ticket distribution system of the Festival. Has public money so far not been used in a propper way? Were there too many free tickets?
Worse now: Over night SIEMENS after four years has stoped the very successful sponsorship for the popular life screening summer feast downtown Bayreuth. This life transmission from the Festspielhaus had attracted some 10.000 music lovers, families with their children and young people every year. Neither talks, nor information from SIEMENS in advance. This is a punch for the Wagner ladies and the Festival management. And it’s a bad punch for the city of Bayreuth and all music lovers, too. The sponsorship was worth 1 Mio € a year. Anyone at the horizon to step in for 2012?
This is the real danger of financially big sponsorship relations: Imagine the Deutsche Bank would quit its sponsorship for the Berlin Philharmonic, which is 6 Mio € a year. Education department and the Digital Concert Hall would have to stop operations very soon, if they won’t get a substitute funding. Sponsoship very often is highly acclaimed by politicians when they talk about cuts in the public budget and want sponsors to step in filling the gap. Honestly speaking: no sponsor wants to fill this gap. The SIEMENS case shows some more risks.
On the other hand: Was it a managment failure? Big sponsors want a direct contact to the CEOs. They do want a direct approach and personal involvement. Did the Wagner ladies recognize this enough?