Not only university operations had to switch to online teaching due to the Corona pandemic, but also student projects were affected. These included the annual Ilmpuls Festival, which is organised by students and is one of the largest graded student projects at TU Ilmenau. UNIonline spoke to Lea Dauborn, a member of the association's board, about the challenges the organising team had to overcome in times of the pandemic.
Ilmpuls-Festival in times of the pandemic
Stop after contact restriction
For a long time the Ilmpuls Festival was planned further, in the hope that in 2020 small events would still have a chance during the Corona Pandemic. Then, when the contact restrictions were set, the entire Ilmpuls team also had to stop further planning. Immediately, contact had to be made with cooperation partners and sponsors in order to dissolve contracts and discuss how to proceed. Since the Ilmpuls Festival lives on sponsor income, all financial matters had to be clarified immediately. For those visitors who had already purchased a ticket, a ticket platform was made available within a few weeks, which made it possible to return the tickets.
The impact of the Corona pandemic has been a particularly difficult time for independent artists. "Of course, we offered the artists to include them in the program again for the next year," reports Lea Dauborn. "Fortunately, that worked out for many of them as well." After the respective departments got the ongoing planning under control it was now important to do crisis communication on social media and to offer alternative offers to the visitors. Since unfortunately all events in Ilmenau and the surrounding area had to be cancelled it was still important to create concepts to remain present. "For us as the board, it is also important to keep the association itself alive - even if you could not meet. That's why we looked for creative ways to keep all departments busy with exciting tasks."
Alternative offer on Youtube
Therefore, an official YouTube channel was founded in order to remain active on social media with creative content and also to ensure the life of the association. The YouTube channel was divided into three sections with various workshops, tips and tricks on the topic of sustainability and the association itself as a topic. An attempt was made to offer the same workshops that would have been available at the festival. So the yoga session or even crafting a lamp could be done from the comfort of your own home. But also cooking videos were produced for the Ilmpuls channel. Sustainability is the central theme at the Ilmpuls Festival. That's why many videos and contributions give tips and tricks for a more sustainable everyday life. If you would like to get more insight into the association itself, the different department heads talk about their tasks and functions within the association. A look behind the scenes of the association is very rewarding.
Not only the YouTube channel was founded by the association members of the Ilmpuls-Festival as an alternative offer, also the planning of a small concert session at the Haus am See is already in the starting blocks. Artists who could not play at the Ilmpuls-Festival due to the pandemic will perform there. For this, too, a hygiene concept and a maximum number of visitors have been worked out in order to spend a nice afternoon, accompanied by live music outdoors.
Planning 2021 already started
Since the Ilmpuls Festival is also a project integrated into the studies for many members of the student organization team, the question naturally arose as to how the project would be graded. "We put a lot of work into planning it all year, so it would have been a shame if we didn't get a grade for it. That's why I'm glad that everything goes into the grade as far as organizing the festival. So there are no problems with the grade."
Even though the Ilmpuls Festival had to be cancelled in 2020 and cannot take place in the usual form in 2021, the members of the association have given a lot of thought to remaining present as an association. A YouTube channel and a music session help to maintain the club life internally but also to create anticipation for Ilmpuls 2021. The planning for this has already started and the members are looking forward to the festival summer 2021.
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