Interview with the band manager from Brings, Stefan Kleinehr / Musik / Kultur / /

How are you currently experiencing the situation in the pandemic?

Stefan Kleinehr: The past year and a half were marked by hope, defeat and existential fears. But there were also things that moved us forward. This includes the idea of ​​Brings drummer Christian Blüm to offer drive-in concerts. That brought new momentum and the band’s crew made money again, which was very important to us. In March 2020 no light was seen in the tunnel. That has changed again with projects such as the Autokinotour, the Autokinofestival in Olpe, the classical album with the Beethoven Orchestra and various TV appearances. Shortly before the renewed lockdown last year, we brought the Brings-Revue at Tanzbrunnen onto the stage and later celebrated Christmas and Carnival again in the drive-in cinema with many other bands. Brings also organized the first concert on site with an audience at the Tanzbrunnen. It was important to us to take the other bands with us again. The “Summer in the Garden” tour is currently running and will also be a guest in Düsseldorf at the beginning of August.

How did you deal with the challenges yourself?

Kleinehr: My creative thinking got me through the crisis psychologically well and kept me alive. I’m looking for solutions, not problems. I think it is right that one is considering only admitting convalescent and vaccinated people to events or restaurants in the fall. This is the only way to keep the event industry and gastronomy open and thus alive with increasing incidence figures. You have to motivate people to get vaccinated. At first we had too little vaccine available, now there is enough and people no longer go to vaccinate. I can not comprehend that.

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How is the mood in the band at the moment?

Kleinehr: The mood is good, even if cancellations or postponements are a bit depressing. Nevertheless, the band was and is in a permanent mood of optimism. The boys won’t let themselves down. That was the case before the pandemic and has not changed now. The band and their team are like a family in which you always motivate each other. There is also great continuity with Brings. After the driver, I’m the youngest member of the team in terms of time in the team – and I’ve been with them for five years. At Brings, team members are selected very carefully so that everything fits.

How did you become the band manager at Brings?

Kleinehr: The contact was made through the ADVK and then continued through my work as a writer in the CC. Later the band played at my wedding and Brings was the surprise guest. Before and after that there were two “Tanz in den Mai” concerts in what was then the Philipshalle, in which I was involved, after the second I was asked by the band if I would like to take over the management.

How did you get into music yourself?

Kleinehr: I started playing the trumpet when I was six, and when I was 15 I started at the Swinging Funfares, where I took over the leadership when I was 19. As a big band, the Swinging Funfares were already a musical great at carnival in the 1970s and sold more than 100,000 records. For example, the singing was added under my leadership. It was important to me to keep the standard and still go with the zeitgeist.

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You have your own company in the event sector, you work as a band manager at Brings, you run the Swinging Funfares, you are the president of the oldest Düsseldorf carnival society, the AVDK, and you are the chairman of the television session and the vice-president of the CC. They have also already taken on the role of the carnival prince. How do you get all of this regulated?

Kleinehr: You have to divide up the tasks and then concentrate on them. Brings is a full-time job for me. In the company I have withdrawn from day-to-day business, my employees do that. In addition, there are rehearsals twice a week with the Swinging Funfares as well as the board meetings at the CC and the AVDK. Music is an important balance for me and I just enjoy being involved in the carnival.

As a Düsseldorf resident, what is your relationship with Cologne?

Kleinehr: I have a good relationship with Cologne. There are good and bad carnivals in both cities. I was always open to the Cologne Carnival not only because of the AVDK’s “Fool’s Tuesday”, even though I represent the Carnival from Düsseldorf. The most important thing in both cities is to have fun at the carnival. There is also a good exchange with the active people in Cologne. I maintain a good relationship with the Cologne Prince Guard and with the Grandes of 1823. At the CC, too, we regularly exchange ideas with the Cologne Festival Committee. This is very important in difficult situations such as the pandemic now.

What will the carnival look like in the 2022 session?

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Kleinehr: I hope that events at the hall carnival will be possible if only those who have been vaccinated and recovered are admitted, thus minimizing the risk. It is still very difficult to judge what happens to the street carnival.

How does Cologne’s music scene differ from the Düsseldorf music scene?

Kleinehr: There are definitely more bands in Cologne. We at CC have often asked ourselves why this is so. You can’t force anyone to play music. That is probably also a question of mentality. The people of Cologne have a closer relationship with their carnival. This applies to the bulk of the population, which produces more active people in the carnival. In addition, the songs are promoted and lived more. Carnival in Cologne is the chance for good young bands to bring their own music to many people in the shortest possible time. Otherwise you can’t get a faster hit. In addition, the many bands also drive each other on.

Are there favorite places in Cologne and Düsseldorf?

Kleinehr: I find it difficult to say for Cologne because I am almost exclusively in the city for work. In Düsseldorf, my favorite place is Niederkassel, where I also live. It’s very village-like and very beautiful. At the same time, one is very quickly in the middle of the city from Niederkassel.