The vollehalle team at work around a long dinner table

Dropping ‘Climate’ From Our Tagline

Soon after we started vollehalle, the show’s tagline became ‘the climate show that provides courage’ (sounds excessively clumsy in English, but it’s a decent slogan in German). By the time 2019 rolled around, we fit right in. The Fridays for Future movement was getting plenty of attention. Greta had become a star. Everyone was looking for ideas, stories, and initiatives that could provide encouragement and insight into what to do now with this massive threat on humanity’s horizon. Our project gained momentum — we went from a handful small experiments in 2018 to doing fifteen paid shows across the country in 2019. That took us into 2020 which began with high hopes. We prepared an ambitious new show for an even bigger year that was going to take us places.

Well, we all know what happened next. Covid derailed countless lives and countless projects, vollehalle among them. You cannot do a stage format during a pandemic lockdown.

When we returned from the pandemic in 2022, we soon realised that the world had clearly changed in one particular regard. Well, it had obviously changed in countless ways, but a central aspect for us was that the word ‘climate’ — which had been a non-partisan news term before Covid — was now loaded and broken. People responded to it negatively in two ways. Either they were on the conservative side of the issue. Then they felt that the attention for it was exaggerated and over-hyped, and they were sick of it. Or they were (very) concerned about the climate — which created a new problem for our show: If you’re really concerned about the climate, you may feel reluctant to go see a show in the evening about it. Instead, you’ll likely need a welcome break from your fear and anguish.

And then there was another realisation: If you want to properly address the climate crisis, you can no longer afford to reduce your focus to solar panels, wind turbines, inner city mobility issues and the astoundingly evil ways of the fossil fuel industries. You soon begin to see a bigger picture — the large variety of disastrous ways in which our economic model is wreaking havoc on this planet. Sooner or later, you’re no longer producing a show about the climate crisis — you’re producing a show about humanity’s multi-crisis that has most of its origins in our current economic model.

All of this led us to changing our tagline. We have not really found one that works super well. But for the time being it’s “the show to provide new courage”. Again, this sounds way worse in English than it does in German.