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Back to Live concert series launches in Germany

Organisers of the Covid-compliant open-air series have said the events are a 'show of strength' but not a model for the future

By IQ on 09 Sep 2020

Back to Live, Semmel Concerts

Roland Kaiser opened Back to Live at Berlin Waldbühne

Germany has launched its first major concert series which is compliant with the current Coronavirus-related regulations, but the organisers have said the events are a “show of strength” and not an economic model for the future.

Back to Live, organised by Semmel Concerts and CTS Eventim and other partners, launched on 3 September at the Berlin Waldbühne (cap. 22,000), inviting up to 5,000 guests to watch a performance from Roland Kaiser.

The series will include seven concerts and run until 2 October featuring artists including Helge Schneider, Peter Maffay and Wincent Weiss.

At a press conference before the start of the first concert Semmel Concerts CEO Dieter Semmelmann, president of the BDKV Jens Michow, and CTS Eventim COO Alexander Ruoff demanded a concrete roadmap for the live industry.

The organisers have called for uniform, comprehensible and nationwide binding rules on hygiene organizational and documentation standards; financial help until the reopening; and a fixed date of 1 April 2021 to restart live music without coronavirus-related restrictions.

“These concerts are a huge step forward, but without a doubt only a very small one, on the way to normalcy”

“We are of course very happy that we can implement this series of events here in this beautiful open-air stage. We have been preparing for it for a long time and quickly developed and ready the necessary technical solutions for ticketing with regard to visitor data collection,” says CTS Eventim’s Alexander Ruoff.

“These concerts are a huge step forward, but without a doubt only a very small one, on the way to normalcy.”

Dieter Semmelmann,  CEO Semmel Concerts says: “We are very pleased that we can now really hold this series of events, because organising concerts is our calling and our passion.

“But our entire industry is facing a total economic collapse, so it is inevitable to press for a dialogue with politics in order to make the employees and artists in Germany heard. We need binding statements, otherwise the industry will be flat.”

The German government recently announced that all major events that don’t adhere to social distancing measures and hygiene protocol will now be banned until at least the end of the year.

The Live Nation GSA-promoted concert Return to Live – slated to be the biggest show in the country since March – was recently postponed indefinitely due to increasing infections.


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