R#77 with Holger Jan Schmidt, festival expert and general secretary at Yourope

Holger Jan Schmidt

Mental health and festival know-how. Holger Schmidt was responsible for the Rheinkultur Festival in Bonn's Rheinaue for years. Up to 200,000 visitors came to the free open air, which last took place in 2011. He books for Das Fest in Karlsruhe, is well connected in the live industry and is involved in a variety of ways, especially in ecological and social issues.

In an interview with Alexander Schröder, Holger Schmidt reports on his work at Rheinkultur and as General Secretary at Yourope (The European Festival Association). He reports on formative experiences in his career that also motivated him to focus more on mental health.

This ultimately led to his participation in the book “Stay Sound And Check Yourself” by Professor Dr. Katja Ehrenberg. In often very personal individual interviews, industry experts from over eleven European countries talk about their experiences with stress and mental illnesses, what they love about their job and what motivates them. It becomes clear again and again: “Passion and burnout go hand in hand”.

Started before the pandemic, the book research was continued and became a documentary work of the Corona crisis in the live industry.


(Photo: Volker Lannert)