Bayreuther Festspiele

The Richard Wagner Foundation

It was only after complex negotiations lasting many years that the Richard Wagner Foundation was established on 2 May 1973, providing the Bayreuth Festival with a new and more solid basis and safeguarding its future prospects. One basis for the foundation charter was the joint will drawn up by Siegfried and Winifred Wagner in 1929. Both documents are reproduced below:
• The joint will signed by Siegfried and Winifred Wagner on 8 March 1929
• The foundation charter of the Richard Wagner Foundation of Bayreuth, 2 May 1973.


Like every cultural organization, the Bayreuth Festival is dependent on public subsidies and private sponsorship. As long ago as 1953 a committee was set up to decide how the Bayreuth Festival should be subsidized. It proposed the following ratio of distribution:

Federal Republic of Germany    one third
The Free State of Bavaria   one third
The City of Bayreuth
The District of Upper Franconia
The Gesellschaft der Freunde
4 ninth
2 ninth
3 ninth


one third

It is worth noting that more than 60% of the total budget comes from Festival income and from private donations from the Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth, so that the amount of public subsidy received by the Festival has always remained substantially below 40%.

Bayreuther Festspiele GmbH - Festspielhügel 1-2 - 95445 Bayreuth - Germany
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