What to do with a soccer stadium during off-season? Make it an art gallery that hosts an international festival for art, music and culture: The Millerntor Gallery.
The “Come to Hamburg”-team checked out this year’s Millerntor Gallery which took place from 5th until 8th of July. Already being the 8th edition, the festival has now somewhat turned into an annual institution. Besides its unique setting, it’s the festival’s good cause that makes it special: All the money generated through it is donated to Viva con Agua de Sankt Pauli e.V., an association that helps to provide clean water in needy countries. 200 volunteers are involved in organizing the Millerntor Gallery – the Viva con Agua family is even bigger than that and supports various projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, Uganda, and much more.
The Millerntor Gallary welcomed its visitors with a large outdoor area where one could listen to live music or enjoy a snack in bright sunshine. One of the many entertaining stages was the “Flag SHIT Store” of the sustainable toilet paper manufacturer Goldeimer (translates into „golden bucket“).
After discovering the outdoor area, we walked up the stairs towards the corridors of the stadium. What is usually flooded by fans during home games, now turned into to an art gallery. All over the walls, there were either colourful paintings or other exhibition pieces. One could even get a spontaneous tattoo laying on the bar where they usually sell beer on match days.
These paintings on the wall stay for one year until everything is painted white again to serve as canvas for the next Millerntor Gallery. Thus, one is able to marvel a year only at the unique pieces. New artists are then allowed to create their work. Create. Destroy. Recreate. That’s the pattern.
There is a wall for the so called Millerntor family – resident artists such as Rebelzer, who supported the art event since the beginning. As a thank you, every year they get a spot at the Millerntor Gallery to showcase their work.
Every piece of art has a story to tell. A wall painting by a Sankt Pauli football fan especially raised our attention. During football season he assists the fans in wheelchair in the stadium. He always wanted to paint one of the walls for Millerntor Galley. When one of the artists heard of it, he left half of his own spot to him. So the Sankt Pauli fan made a collage including photos all the wheelchair user fans. Now all the people in a wheelchair entering the fan area – the wall sits right next to the wheelchair entry – are able to see his tribute to them.
Alongside the stadium, one could find many booths. One of them belonged to the „Körperfunkkollectiv“, who offered guests a 20 minutes auditory journey named ‚Körperklangballet‘, (body sound ballet). While having headphones on and listening to instructions, one became part of a play that addressed water pollution – great symbiosis of fun and education.
Millerntor Gallery, we will be back next year for sure.
Check out this page for further information – looking forward to meeting you at the Millerntor Gallery #9 in Hamburg 2019.