The organisers reported extremely positive results: 5,750 visitors attended the 42 events at 30 different stages in Flensburg and the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, compared with 5,500 visitors to 49 events last year. On the German side of the border, the 23 concerts were completely sold out, some even oversubscribed. So was year's ARS BALTICA special concert with Benedicte Maurseth (Norway) and "Fiolministeriet" (Denmark). A fantastic evening in cooperation with Nordkolleg Rendsburg and Kunstwerk Carlshütte in Büdelsdorf!
With 150 participants, the 5 workshops also were a great success.
North of the border, 1,900 visitors also indicate the growing popularity of the festival in Denmark, where the festival launched at the Sønderborg Alsion with "Vocal Capitals of Culture", attracting an audience of 800.
"This overwhelming audience responses hows that folkBALTICA's concept of communicating new listening experiences has been a great success with a very broad based audience", says the artistic director Jens-Peter Müller. "The seventh folkBALTICA was intended to be something special, and it has more than fulfilled our expectations as far as audience response and artistic quality are concerned."
For the first time there was no focus on one particular country. "The wide-ranging theme of 'European Capitals of Culture in the Baltic Region' struck a chord with the public", continued Müller, "and shows that Sønderborg's candidacy, together with Flensburg and the Sønderjylland-Schleswig region, as European Capital of Culture 2017 is something that motivates people on both sides of the border."
The highlights of the festival programme were the German premiere of "Åresong", which is based on the texts of the Norwegian dramatist Jon Fosse, and the performances by the Nordic Mastersfrom the group "Blink", and the two main theme concerts "Vocal Capitals of Culture" at the Sønderborg Alsion and in the Marienkirche in Flensburg.
Lisa Lestander, singer with the folk quartet "Kraja" from the Swedish town of Umeå, who also took part in the final concert, summed up the feelings of the artists involved when she told the audience that "being on a stage with so many singers who make such different music really is a once in a lifetime experience".
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)