The pandemic posed a great challenge to organisers, cultural workers and artists. Numerous events and concerts had to be completely cancelled or postponed indefinitely. In order to give the people of Munich access to culture, a creative idea was born in the Werksviertel-Mitte and a short time later a very special experience took place: Bavaria's first Ferris wheel concert in the Umadum with a fantastic view over Munich - corona-compliant with a limited number of participants, sufficient distance and sophisticated technology.
In Munich's Werksviertel-Mitte at the Ostbahnhof, the world's highest mobile Ferris wheel turns its rounds. Since last summer, it bears a new Bavarian name: Umadum. At 80 metres high, the Ferris wheel is one of the biggest attractions in the Bavarian capital. In 27 gondolas, visitors enjoy a breathtaking view of the Frauenkirche, the Olympic Tower or the Allianz Arena and, with a bit of luck, even the Alps. There is plenty of time to admire all the sights at leisure, as one round takes just under 30 minutes. Under normal circumstances, there is room for up to 16 people in one gondola.
In addition to a special view, the Umadum offers numerous possibilities for use, which can be individually arranged and realised depending on the current development of the pandemic. For example, the Umadum is perfect for incentives, as a special end to an event with a dinner in the gondolas, a Weißwurst breakfast at the weekend - or even for concerts.
Everything is possible! That's exactly what the operators of the Umadum thought and put together something very special with two partners. Together with the PR agency Urkern, also based in the creative Werksviertel-Mitte, and Bayern 3, Bavaria's first Ferris wheel concert was brought to life. The basic idea was to make art and culture possible for the people of Munich, especially in these difficult times, and to give them joy and a bit of normality - but under very special and, of course, corona-compliant circumstances.
The most important technical prerequisites were already in place, as all gondolas have a built-in radio receiver. In addition, before the reopening of the Ferris wheel in summer 2020, the boarding platform was enlarged, which now offers enough space for the necessary health safety distance.
An artist for the concert was quickly found. Rea Garvey was immediately enthusiastic about the idea. The Irish musician - like many other artists - had to cancel all his concerts last year So Bavaria's first Ferris wheel concert also became Rea Garvey's only concert in 2020.
In the next step, tickets for the concert were raffled off via Bayern 3. These were in great demand, because there were only 50 tickets to be won - according to the number of participants allowed for events in Bavaria at that time.
On 30 October 2020 the time had come. The square was cordoned off, the stage was set up for Rea Garvey and his musicians, and the enlarged platform was equipped with numbered bar tables at sufficient space between them. One by one, the lucky ticket winners arrived in the Werksviertel. In order to guarantee the distance, the winners were sent a number in advance, which was also the number of the table and the number of the gondola. Disinfection dispensers were available accordingly. Until boarding, it was compulsory to cover mouth and nose. Four people from two households were allowed per gondola. Thus, a total of 16 gondolas were loaded one after the other. The concept for this had been worked out in detail beforehand, as the Ferris wheel had to be loaded in a balanced way.
Afterwards, the winners listened to the sounds of Rea Garvey in the gondolas and admired the spectacular view over Munich at the same time. Meanwhile, the Ferris wheel shone in green, the colour of hope. The concert could only be heard in the gondolas to avoid large crowds.
The result: an all-round successful experience of a special kind with enthusiastic visitors and an overwhelming press response.