About us

Festival profile

Sommerblut is a cultural pioneer. The Cologne cultural festival is always trying to anticipate developments in society.

Sommerblut draws the edge into the centre and brings the centre to the edge. The cultural festival lives the vision of cultural participation for all people, regardless of physical or mental disability, ethnic and social origin, age, sexual identity, gender and religion.

Sommerblut is experimental and touching. The cultural festival is risky, breaks with conventional ways of seeing and performing and brings together a wide variety of perspectives.

Sommerblut is cross-divisional. Dance, music, visual arts, performance, theatre and literature create a vivid and inspiring mix, combine expertise with innovative art forms and open up new dimensions of experience.

SOMMERBLUT, the „Festival of Multipolar Culture“, sees itself as an inclusive cultural festival that combines different social and political points of view and identities. The concept of inclusion is deliberately broadly defined here: physical and cognitive characteristics, forms of life, value systems, traditions, beliefs – everything that determines the identity of every human being and the daily discourse in our society. The festival invites you to a change of perspective, in the direction of a cross-border, courageous art and culture.

The patron of the festival is Jürgen Roters, former mayor of Cologne. The chairperson of the non-profit organizational body, the association “Sommerblut Kulturfestival e.V.” is Andrea Asch.

SOMMERBLUT is a cultural festival with an international flair. Guest companies from abroad enrich the festival schedule every year. From 2013 to 2015, the international theatre project TABUROPA dealt with cultural, historical and everyday taboos in Europe. Twenty theatre-makers, choreographers, actors and dancers from Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Germany explored the meaning of taboos in four performances. The premiere of TABUROPA took place at Sommerblut 2014 and the ensembles then traveled on to the participating cities of Brussels, Lisbon and Warsaw (www.taburopa.eu).

In 2019 SOMMERBLUT had around 15,000 visitors who participated in the 18th festival edition with 35 events and over 220 artists at 25 venues. Guests included local, national and international artists.

Festival theme 2021: NATURE


In the festival year 2021, SOMMERBLUT will focus on NATURE.

We will encounter nature with all its facets and opposites. Between growth and decay, harmony and chaos, vulnerability, and the regeneration of resources. 

From May 7th till May 24th, 2021, we will have a look into the climate crisis and topics related to it like migration and globalization. We will ask about our relationship to nature and celebrate the variety of the human body by  looking for the power and the beauty of nature in its diversity: In lots of different identities and points of view as well as in body images far away from common ideals of beauty.

Sommerblut will bring nature onto the stages of the city as well as theatre into nature.

In-house productions,  guest performances from dance, theatre and performance

dedicate themselves towards the wonders and the wounds of our planet but also to our direct surroundings.

Festival team


Rolf Emmerich
Festival Director


Anna-Mareen Henke
Artistic Director
& Program


Felix Dornseifer
Co-Festival Director


Raphael Spiegel
Festival Management


Hanna Behr
Festival Management


Hannah Bingen
Festival Management


Nicola von Jenisch

PR / Press


Alex Ketzer
Art Direction & Graphic


Maximilian Ruta

Nathan Dreessen
Photo / Video 

Billie Wempe
Diversity Officer

Kai Kullen
Art Direction & Graphic

Frank Reinmann
Our man for all cases…

Bilder: ©Nathan Dressen

The Festival in numbers

  • 2019: 13.500 visitors, 35 events and 24 venues
  • 2018: 6.000 visitors, 31 events and 24 venues
  • 2017: 10.000 visitors, 38 events and 24 venues
  • 2016: 15 years Sommerblut with 15.000 visitors, 80 events and 35 venues
  • 2015: 11.000 visitors, 80 events and 30 venues
  • 2014: 12.000 visitors, 80 events and 35 venues
  • 2013: 11.000 visitors, 70 events and 40 venues
  • 2012: 12.000 visitors, 60 events and 25 venues
  • 2011: 18.000 visitors, 120 events and 35 venues
  • 2010: 20.000 visitors, 150 events and 45 venues
  • 2009: 23.000 visitors, 150 events @ 40 venues
  • 2008: 20.000 visitors, 120 events and 25 venues
  • 2007: 26 venues, 62 events with more than 300 artists; estimated number of visitors: 15.000
  • 2006: 15 venues, 52 events with more than 100 artists, 14 Cologne premieres; estimated number of visitors: 10.000
  • 2005: 28 events, 50 artists, nine Cologne premieres and ten venues; estimated number of visitors: 8.000
  • 2004: 25 events @ Theaterhaus Köln, Limelight Köln, Gloria-Theater, Theater im Bauturm, Freies Werkstatt Theater; estimated number of visitors: 6.500
  • 2003: 16 events @ Theaterhaus Köln and Limelight Köln, ca. 5.000 visitors
  • 2002: 13 events @ Theaterhaus Köln and Limelight Köln; ca. 2.000 visitors