Hamburg cancels 832nd Port Anniversary celebrations next May

Lack of planning security amid corona forces cancellation
16 November 2020

The unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Ministry of Economics and Innovation to cancel the 832nd Port Anniversary celebrations originally scheduled for May 2021, a press release said Friday (November 13, 2020). The world's largest harbour festival attracts more than one million visitors every year. 

Planning security

Several state and private stakeholders are involved in the planning process. Many companies in the tourism and transport industries need planning security especially for the grand entry parade with around 300 ships. Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, said: "After 2020, I very much regret having to cancel the port anniversary in 2021. However, it would be irresponsible towards the many voluntary partners, the countless companies associated with the port anniversary, our service providers and all those who love the fest and continue to incur costs and effort, even though there is no realistic chance of it going ahead."

No safe execution of major events presently 

The stringent requirements including hygiene, social distancing, limited visitor numbers and controlled access could not be met safely given the scale of the celebrations. The venue in the middle of an urban area with residents, shops and offices and  traffic on water and on land does not make things easier.