Lucerne Festival Releases Statement Regarding Climate Change Protest

By Francisco Salazar

The Lucerne Festival has released a statement after Climate Activists from Renovate Switzerland interrupted a performance on Sept. 8.

The statement by Lucerne Festival Director Michael Haefliger said, “We regret that yesterday’s concert was interrupted by ‘Renovate Switzerland’ climate activists. In general, we support standing up for environmental issues. However, we have no sympathy at all for the way the two activists acted. They disturbed our audience and artists. Conductor Vladimir Jurowski reacted calmly and constructively and gave the activists the opportunity to briefly express themselves. In order to avoid escalation, they were not forcibly removed from the hall. Thus, it was possible to continue the concert after four minutes.”

In a video that Renovate Switzerland released, Jurowski is seen calm and tells the audience, “Stop! Let them talk! Please. And then we’ll play our symphony, otherwise, I’ll leave the stage now.”

This is the latest protest from climate activists at a classical music concert. Last year in Amsterdam, Verdi’s Requiem was interrupted and before the opening night of the Teatro alla Scala’s 2022-23 season, the theater was vandalized by climate protests hours before the premiere of “Boris Godunov.”