Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
Despite a gamble with more capacity in 2017 resulting in provisional insolvency for SSC Festivals GmbH, New Fall Festival will go on, MD Hamed Shahi-Moghanni tells IQ
By Jon Chapple on 30 Jan 2018
Hamed Shahi-Moghanni, managing director of Germany’s SSC Group, has confirmed all future New Fall Festivals will go ahead as planned, after its SSC Festivals GmbH subsidiary was put into preliminary bankruptcy.
New Fall Festival has taken place in Dusseldorf since 2011, with a successful spin-off event in Stuttgart launching in 2016. Speaking to the Stuttgarter Zeitung last week, Shahi-Moghanni explained that the 2017 editions of the festivals failed to meet expectations and that SSC Festivals, the company behind the event, had been forced to file for preliminary bankruptcy.
Speaking to IQ, Shahi-Moghanni explains that after a strong 2016, SSC took the decision to increase the festivals’ capacity for 2017. “We put the capacity higher than the previous year’s, and we actually sold more tickets,” he says, but that the boost in sales didn’t meet the increase in capacity. “The target was to sell 15,000–16,000 [tickets] and we didn’t reach that.
“Basically, we took a chance and it bit us in the ass!”
Despite the preliminary bankruptcy, Shahi-Moghanni emphasises that New Fall Festival will be unaffected, and that he plans to announce the line-up for October 2018 this March. No SSC staff were let go, with just the SSC Festivals company being temporarily wound up.
Shahi-Moghanni emphasises that New Fall Festival will be unaffected, and that he plans to announce the line-up for October 2018 this March
“It was such a huge story in German press,” he continues. “In the US everyone closes companies all the time, but in Germany it’s not so common – it’s a cultural thing.
Shahi-Moghanni says SSC Festivals has two to three months of preliminary bankruptcy before the real deal – German law required him to approach the state of Dusseldorf and say, “I have trouble and I need to manage this”, he explains – but even if the company is wound up, there is “no question” of the festival ending.
“The question is what you do with this kind of situation,” he says. “If it leads you to you making it [the festival] better, it’s a good thing.
“Whatever happens – whether I go forward with this company or not – we’re going to create an even better festival for the future.”
New Fall Festival 2018 will take place in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart from 25 to 28 October.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.