What is the Waterkant Festival?

As an annual event, our Waterkant Festival is part of opencampus.sh. As an independent educational institution, we promote new and forward-looking educational formats in Schleswig-Holstein and beyond.

As the Waterkant Festival, we make the future tangible by finding answers to major social changes such as sustainability and digitalisation with the help of exciting speakers.

We bring students, employees, decision-makers, citizens and the curious together with inspiring speakers and connect entrepreneurs with the innovative solutions of young start-ups from the North.

The festival brings together a variety of different people who inspire and learn from each other. Workshops, lectures and informal meetings take place in a relaxed atmosphere where everyone can get involved.

Here you can hear, see and above all experience how Schleswig-Holstein and the North want to make and will make the future. No matter who you are - founder, student, employee, entrepreneur - and what your exact profession is, at the Waterkant Festival everyone will find something that will bring them forward, inspire them and be fun.

Why are we a festival?

We call it a festival, because we are not a conference, nor a pure convention or frontal training. Not really, anyway. Learning, trying things out, getting to know each other, being fascinated, all this is possible at Waterkant, in a very relaxed and informal environment and always at eye level. And it also includes good food, a drink and good music. That's why: Festival.

What is a startup?

A start-up is a company founded with an innovative business idea. Although (or even because) there is usually no market for the business ideas of start-ups, they have a very high risk on the one hand and enormous growth potential on the other. Start-ups usually do not finance themselves through classic bank loans, but rather through crowdfunding or with the help of venture capitalists. Schleswig-Holstein promotes the start-up scene with a variety of events and networks, as start-ups make an important contribution to regional development and quality of life.

Do I have to have a start-up or be a tech geek to be at the Waterkant Festival?

No, you don't have to be a tech geek to come to the festival, have fun and learn something new. The festival is intended for the general public and there will be something for participants of all levels - workshops, lectures or simply trying out new technology. There will also be a social programme, including music, and food and drink will be provided. Waterkant Festival wants to bring together all kinds of people, so come as you are.

Is the festival accessible?

We try to make the content of the festival accessible to as many people as possible. Since our venue in particular presents a challenge in this regard, we are working together with experts on various formats and solutions to achieve our goal. As we are not able to implement all content completely barrier-free, we therefore explicitly offer people with disabilities to purchase a Reduced-Ticket.

People with disabilities can also bring a companion along free of charge. To do so, write to us at tickets@waterkant.sh.
Please note: Admission for accompanying persons can only be granted with a written confirmation from us. So please be sure to contact us as early as possible!

I would like to cooperate with Waterkant Festival, become a partner, present my start-up or give a lecture/workshop. Where can I get in touch?

If you feel like working out something together with Waterkant, please contact us with your idea or suggestion at info@waterkant.sh!

Is the Waterkant Festival a recognised further education programme?

Every year we try to register the Waterkant Festival as a continuing education event in as many federal states as possible. The official confirmations arrive in the weeks and months before the festival and are distributed via our various information channels. If you are unsure whether your employer's federal state is included, please contact us at: info@waterkant.sh!

How can I have the Waterkant Festival recognised as further training by my employer?

If Waterkant Festival is recognised in the federal state where you are employed, you can download the relevant certificate of recognition from our website and attach it to the application for educational leave, which you (usually) submit informally to your superior. The best thing to do is to ask your supervisor about the exact procedure at your place of work.

I would like to be a volunteer at the Waterkant Festival. Where can I apply?

Yeah! If you'd like to support us at the festival, we'd love to have you! For this year the call for volunteers is already running, you can find more information on the Get Involved page of our website.

But be patient with our feedback, we will send it out in May.

How do I register for the festival as a participant?

You become a participant of the festival as soon as you buy a ticket for the festival days. To do so, click on one of the buttons on the website and follow the further instructions. At the end of the ticket purchase process, you can either print out your ticket or download it to your mobile phone. In order to produce as little waste as possible, we recommend saving it on your smartphone. Show your ticket at the entrance of the festival and you're in.

What does a ticket for the Waterkant Festival cost?

There are different tickets depending on whether you are still a student, for example, or coming to the festival as an entrepreneur with your company. At the beginning of the ticket sales there is an Early Bird phase where the tickets are cheaper. If you missed it this year, subscribe to our newsletter to be informed in time next year.

Which ticket should I choose?

Are you studying, a trainee, currently without income, receiving state support, part of a startup or have a disability? Then choose our Reduced or Startup Ticket.

You come as an individual and not as part of your startup or company? Then the Regular-Ticket is made for you!
You come as part of a company or have an entrepreneurial background and think that we do something important for the regional economy? Then take the Business-Ticket!

What's the Soli ticket and who is it for?

Sometimes the money simply isn't there to buy even a reduced ticket. There are plenty of reasons for that. With the Soli-Ticket you enable us to bring one person to the festival for free. Just add the 50% soli part to your ticket purchase and we do the rest: we add the other 50% and give the tickets to people who otherwise couldn't afford it.

You are someone who is short of money right now? Then write to us at tickets@waterkant.sh!

And don't worry, everything remains anonymous!

How do I get to the festival site?

  • You can reach the festival site by bus, ferry, bike or car. As there is only a very limited number of parking spaces, we strongly recommend not to come by car.
  • The address of the site is:
       Waterkant #StartupSH Festival
       Hall 51, MFG 5
       Schusterkrug 25
       24159 Kiel
  • Bus connection: Take bus 12 or 13 from Kiel (Direction “Schilksee - Olypmiazentrum” or “Strande”). Get off at the stop Schusterkrug, and then walk to the festival site (approx. 10 min walk). Check the route here.
  • Bike/ferry connection: Ride north along Holtenauer Strasse to the canal ferry and take the (free) canal ferry. At the pier in Holtenau follow the signposted route to the festival site.
  • Car: As already mentioned, we advise against travelling by car. If this is unavoidable, take the B503 and the exit Friedrichsort/Flughafen Holtenau. Follow the road and look out for the Waterkant signs. Helpers will help you find a parking space.

Is it possible to camp on the festival grounds?

Camping is one thing that makes us different from music festivals. Unfortunately, we can not provide camping on the festival site.

What's the aim of the Waterkant exhibition?

Since 2020, the Waterkant Festival has been complemented by the Waterkant Exhibition. The exhibition brings together the innovative projects and startups from Schleswig-Holstein and beyond for one summer on the festival grounds to present the innovative spirit of the North to a broad audience. In 2022, we will thus enter the 3rd round from June to September.

Many but not all of the projects of recent years have been technology-driven. More important than the technological spin of a project is to show the diversity of innovative projects and to arouse curiosity.

What's a Call for Participation?

A Call for Participation is a call to join in. This year we would like to think of the exhibition in terms of _we & you_: together with you. Through a small questionnaire you can submit your project and with a little luck become part of the Waterkant exhibition.

Who's the target group of the Waterkant exhibition?

Expected target groups

The target groups to be expected in the exhibition are very different.

On the regular opening days, Saturday and Sunday, many citizens 40+ with children and grandchildren are expected to visit the exhibition with curiosity but without specific professional interest. On these days, the leisure aspect of the exhibition is in the foreground.

For smaller and medium-sized events organized by our partners and partner projects and/or guided tours of the exhibition, more technically specific interest groups can be expected. These range from students and teachers to entrepreneurs from various industries as well as associations and organizations. The focus is often on professional or technical aspects.

From when to when will the Waterkant exhibition be open?

The Waterkant exhibition opens on June 11, 2022 and is open every weekend Saturday and Sunday.  In addition, the exhibition is also open on other days (except Mondays) by appointment for groups of 10 people or more. The exhibition will go on winter break after the last weekend of September.

For how long will our project be part of the exhibition?

How long your project is part of the exhibition can be agreed individually in advance. Everything between a duration of at least 4 weeks up to the entire Waterkant summer until the end of September is possible.

What are the possibilities to present our project?

There are two different structural exhibition setups in which you can present your project.

The cubes
A cube structure consists of a total of 5 black cubes made of black MDF and can be arranged differently on about 1sqm. Two of the cubes have approx. the dimensions 50x50cm and three of the cubes approx. 25x25cm. The exact arrangement and location in the hall depends on the project and will be decided on-the-fly.
The cube setup is especially suitable for material exhibits.

The tunnel
The tunnel is a wooden construction through which visitors can pass. Exhibits and projects can be presented on the outside or inside of the tunnel. Per project you have a vertical area of about 2x2m with different possibilities (TV suspension, table/shelf, ...) and lighting.
The tunnel setup is suitable for material exhibits in combination with TV screens, posters or other artifacts that require a hanging structure.

Overall, your project can be presented in the form of a material exhibit, video, poster, audio file, app, website, etc. Keep in mind that all exhibits, digital and analog, require appropriate content and decorative framing to be fully effective.

Can you give us a firm commitment to one or the other exhibit setup?

You can indicate a preference (tunnel/cube) in the application. We try to consider this in any case, but can not make a 100% commitment in advance.

What are the requirements for the project in the exhibition?

Requirements for projects

The Waterkant exhibition aims to present innovative projects that provide new impetus to address the challenges of the day. The submitted project should therefore raise a new perspective, propose new solutions, present smart ideas or give a new twist to existing technologies. With the broadness of the exhibition's target audience in mind, the project should be presented in an engaging, interactive and easily accessible manner.


  • A minimum 300 and maximum 700 word text will describe and explain the project, its goals and approach (layout and printing will be provided by Waterkant).
  • The exhibition narratives 'What if...' and 'How might we...' frame the project and are part of the description.


  • The exhibited project should provide the opportunity for interaction. This can be digital (e.g. via touchscreen) or analog (e.g. with pinboard, note & pen, etc.)

Indication of contact options for the project (website, social media accounts)

Possible event on opening days (support with marketing and setup)

  • We would be happy if your exhibition project becomes tangible for the visitors in the form of small events, meetups and/or workshops. For this, you as the project team would be on site during the regular exhibition hours and bring the visitors in contact with your project and you. We will gladly support you with the setup and marketing of the event.

You are responsible for the installation and the setup within the set framework. We are always available with advice and, to a lesser extent, with a little help.  We can provide a basic stock of technology.

Is there any help from your side with equipment and setup?

For the technical staging of your projects we have a (limited) technical pool. This includes among others:

  • TV screen, tablets, smartphones, PC (+ keyboard, mouse)
  • limited selection of light
  • TV suspension, poster suspension if necessary
  • other: shelves, small and smallest furniture, decorative items

For installation and setup, we can also support you within the framework of common practical skills and light tools after prior consultation and coordination.


What info is needed on the application?

You apply with the help of a short questionnaire in which the following fields have to be filled in:

  • Project name*, Project website
  • project description*.
  • What if... & How might we... - please complete these sentences with your project in mind*.
  • preferred exhibition setup*
  • technology needed
  • Possibility to upload meaningful photos/logos
  • name & contact info of a contact person of the project*.

(*necessary details)

When will we know if we are in?

The deadline of the Call is April 14, 2022 and about 7-10 days after that you will get a notification if your project is included.

What's the next step once we're in?

If your project is eligible for the Waterkant exhibition, we will first contact you by email. In a further step you will choose one of two dates for an on-site visit in the exhibition hall, where you will get your space and we can discuss all further steps. Together we will think about what, how, when would make sense. In time with the Waterkant team you can then work on your exhibition space and stage your project.

Construction work should be completed by 05/24/2022.

Exhibition opening is June 11, 2022, 2 p.m.

What are the benefits for us?

As part of the Waterkant exhibition and festival, your project gets high visibility and is made accessible to a broad audience. By embedding your exhibition project in existing PR and marketing structures of the Waterkant Hub, you increase the media presence of your project. This can create a variety of contacts and new opportunities for cooperation with existing and new target groups, networks and also companies. Due to the vividness of the exhibited projects, which is required in the exhibition, their relevance is clearly emphasized. The exhibition hall and the overall set-up of the location allow you to promote your project in smaller events to specific target groups.

Was ist das Waterkant Festival?

Waterkant Festival ist als jährliche Veranstaltung Teil des unabhängigen Bildungsträgers opencampus.sh, der sich für alternative Bildungsformate und Gründungsförderung in Schleswig Holstein stark macht.

Das Waterkant Festival will  Zukunft greifbar machen, indem Probleme und Antworten auf große gesellschaftliche Veränderungen wie Nachhaltigkeit und Digitalisierung konstruktiv in die gesellschaftliche Debatte gebracht werden.

Dazu bringt das Festival internationale und insbesondere skandinavische Denker:innen, Macher:innen und Unternehmer:innen mit den innovativen technischen, handwerklichen und intellektuellen Lösungsvorschlägen junger Startups aus Schleswig-Holstein zusammen.

So kommen auf dem Festival eine Vielzahl unterschiedlicher Menschen zusammen, die sich gegenseitig inspirieren und voneinander lernen. In einer entspannten Atmosphäre finden Workshops, Vorträge, informelle Treffen statt, bei denen sich jede:r einbringen kann.

Bei Waterkant kann man hören, sehen und vor allem erleben, wie Schleswig-Holstein und der Norden Zukunft machen wollen und — machen werden. Egal wer Du bist – Gründer:in, Student:in, Angestellte:r, unternehmer:in – und was Deine genaue Profession ist, beim Waterkant Festival findet jede:r etwas, das sie:ihn weiterbringt, inspiriert und Spass macht.

Upcoming events


“I actually have to say I love Waterkant... I love the diversity and I love the fact that it is so approachable and it is very easy to meet new people and dialogue and learn about new ideas.”
Cathleen Berger, moz://a, 2019

Waterkant Newsletter

Don't miss any news and subscribe!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.