We are looking forward to two festival weeks, to a full program where Hamburg's independent scene will show its diversity and where we will celebrate art together collectively.

For our third and last festival edition as a team, we have chosen the theme "Continuation". To continue means to go on, despite all adversities. Continuing also means leaving, saying goodbye, leaving behind. In view of the crises that are unfolding very closely, our aim in issues HF#7 and HF#8 was to highlight the strengths and diversity of Hamburg's independent performing arts scene. During the Corona years, the scene in Hamburg has grown, new collaborations with institutions have been established. Artists have become more professional and the Hamburg scene and the festival have gained in radiance. It became clear that the scene had to expand and become more diverse. The artists of the Hamburg scene confront themselves and the audience with the barriers and contradictions of our society in order to enable new approaches and perspectives.

The ninth edition of the festival comes at a time when the future of the independent scene in Hamburg is at stake. The current precarious funding situation in Hamburg means that Hamburg artists, some of whom tour and are known beyond the region, rarely receive funding for their projects in Hamburg. As a result, Hamburg's independent scene is affected by high fluctuation, as many artists leave. The gain in professionalism cannot be maintained in any way. The scene, which is said to be indispensable, is on the verge of disappearing.

At the festival, we want to keep all the grievances in mind while celebrating the performances that make up the upcoming festival program: A casually approachable evening of musical theater (DEIN OXY). An exploratory journey into everyday objects (DIE VERSAMMLUNG DER DINGE). A dance production that opens up a variety of perceptions (PHRASES). A tear-jerking agit-pop collage (NAH AM WASSER GEBAUT ON TOUR). An action-packed dance performance in a running car workshop in St. Pauli (AUTO-FIKTION: DER STRUGGLE SO REAL). A philosophical-political dance installation in an air sphere made of balloon silk (VOID). A Kurdish circle dance on techno beats (RETOUR-KILAMS AN KOFFERKINDER). A multi-sensory poetic time travel through the Kurdish past (QBX - SAD BIRDS PAVILION). A world full of fantastic creatures (SNITMØNSTER). A racy and feminist computer game humorously staged on stage ((SAVE ME) NOT) as well as a criminal search for clues in family biography and a musical homage to Freddie Mercury (INNUENDO).