There was a lot of talk about Hoyerswerda, Germany being an unsafe town to explore, mostly due to rumors of a popular racist frame of mind. Our tour manager says this is not true, however, upon looking around our venue, I saw nothing to lure me on a walkabout anyway…just cement block buildings and closed stores (it was Sunday). I Googled the town and still found nothing I wanted to explore…”Since the town is far off the major motorways it is quite difficult to attract investors to come here.” Well, I agree. Here’s some basic town facts:
During the time of the GDR, Hoyerswerda became an important industrial town. Since 1957, the demand for new living space rose dramatically – in the following years, 10 new big living areas with tens of thousands of apartments were built. In 1981 the city reached its maximum number of inhabitants, with about 71,054 people living there. At that time, there was nowhere in the GDR where more children per inhabitant were born than Hoyerswerda. Upon reunification in 1990, the people of the city decided to become part of the reconstituted state of Saxony.
With the end of the GDR and the reconstruction of the East German economy, many enterprises in the industrial region of Hoyerswerda were endangered, closed, or had to lay off employees. The social situation in the city became especially dangerous: in 1991, for example, a xenophobic attack took place on a hostel containing refugees (which is probably where the “unfriendly” rumors came from). It became necessary to develop an anti-violence program for the city. Between 1993 and 1998, several smaller villages became part of the city, but the number of overall inhabitants declined rapidly, from about 70,000 people in the 1980s to about 41,000 people by the end of 2000. The population is expected to shrink even further, to about 20,000 or 30,000, by 2030.
And that’s pretty much all I found online! I saw a picture of a tower and a nearby fountain, but no names. Oh well…our show was an hour earlier anyway that day, so it worked out that I could use my time for other preparations this snowy Sunday.
I did snap some venue shots, which display the alarming contrast between the theater itself, and the rest of the facility. Below is the one and only ladies’ bathroom, located 3 floors above the dressing rooms…
Ugh…it’s one of those rare times when I ask myself, is it healthier to wash my hands or NOT wash my hands?!
The stage and theater was much nicer, and though our audience was small, they were SO supportive! We got a standing ovation after “Heal The World”, which isn’t even our fake last song (“Shake Your Body”)!
The audience was sort of scattered throughout the middle of the seating, and before the 2nd act, we encouraged everyone to move down closer to the stage…they deserved it!
Here’s my mic check perspective, with Travis and Rodney warming up…
I figured I’d include myself in today’s house shot, since I had especially cute pig tails today:)P
And joining us for the first time ever in the orchestra pit…Barry, ladies and gentlemen! How he can easily mix the house sound from down there, I dunno…
And that’s my Hoyerswerda experience. Short and slightly stinky…but a fabulous audience makes up for so much!
Love you all!!!