Open for you.
Enjoy the best entertainment in the open air - that's what Wattenscheid's green living room, the Freilichtbühne Wattenscheid, is all about. Whether at large concerts or in a small setting in the cosy beer garden; whether a concert or theater, whether rock, pop or folk, the Freilichtbühne Wattenscheid stands for exceptional artists in an extraordinary atmosphere.
Built from 15 May 1934 to 30 June 1936, the open-air theater was inaugurated in July 1936 and served as a venue for political rallies until 1945.
In June 1945, the Bochum Municipal Orchestra moved into the arena, bringing with it dance and music. Since the other municipal theaters were damaged or destroyed after the war, the open-air theater was soon officially declared a theater venue.
After Heinrich Bergmann, Director of the Cultural Affairs Department, had contractually agreed that the venue was to be headed by Artistic Director Erich Paul, the first season officially opened on 1 June 1946 with the operetta "Der Vetter aus Dingsda" by Eduard Künneke. Henceforth comedies, shows, and other forms of light entertainment comedy made the open-air theater a magnet for open-air theater fans.
But sports fans also regularly got their money's worth when the arena served as a venue for local clubs’ boxing matches.
In the 1970s, the open-air theater was to be elevated to "regional importance" based on the plans of the Office for Transport and Economic Development.
The ambitious plan to stage at least one performance every day for six weeks made Wattenscheid the leading open-air venue in NRW just behind the Sauerland town of Elspe. As a result, initial discussions about a roof construction commenced. However, as the cost of this roof was estimated at 3.5 million euros, the project was finally rejected by the city council in 1980. The popularity of the open-air theater however was not affected by this.
Quite the contrary: Visitors from all over the Ruhr area come in droves to see pop and singer-songwriter festivals, theater and comedy, choirs and dance groups.
In 1993, the stage in Wattenscheid Stadtpark had to be closed for safety reasons and the events had to be moved to the adjacent lawns. For two years, subsidized by the state of NRW, it was renovated and rebuilt and was able to shine in new splendour in 1995. The grand reopening on May 1st of that year was celebrated by the whole city of Bochum together with Lord Mayor Ernst-Otto Stüber and prominent well-wishers like Thomas Gottschalk.
Whether jazz or classical music, children's or musical theater, sports facilities or jokers - the arena's range of offerings will continue to be unparalleled, with no limits. The open-air theater remains true to itself in its "new robes" with a tent roof.
Today, small concerts from the "Matinée im Biergarten" series bring exciting artists and acts to the beer garden of the Freilichtbühne Wattenscheid and great music shows such as "Rock Classic Allstars" fill the ranks of the large stage.