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Germany’s LEA recognises the best of 2019

Tuesday's ‘little LEA’, the first since 2019, honoured the biggest and best events of that year and “lit a fuse” for the post-coronavirus era

By Jon Chapple on 17 Jun 2021

Lifetime achievement award winner Ossy Hoppe with Jens Michow and son Oliver

Lifetime achievement award winner Ossy Hoppe with Jens Michow and son Oliver


image © LEA/Ben Kapalski

Almost 15 months after after the cancellation of its original 2020 event, the PRG Live Entertainment Award (LEA) returned in a smaller, socially distanced format on Tuesday night (15 June) to belatedly recognise excellence in the German live entertainment sector in the pre-coronavirus era.

Taking place at the 1,200-capacity Gibson Club in Frankfurt instead of the usual Festhalle (13,500-cap.), the delayed 15th LEA saw the industry celebrate a “small, hybrid LEA”, said Jens Michow, executive president of industry association BDKV and head of the LEA committee, who welcomed guests to the club. “Although the incidence [of Covid-19] is in drastic decline” in Germany, Michow said, “unfortunately the industry still has little hope of a return to normal. So it’s all the more important that we are able to show a sign of life [today].”

Awards were given in 15 categories, with Wizard Promotions founder Ossy Hoppe recognised with the lifetime achievement award, which was presented by his son, Oliver. Hoppe, who celebrated his 70th birthday last year, received video messages of congratulations from Robert Plant, Sting, Scorpions, Kiss and Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan.

“Hopefully, after a ban on events for almost one and a half years, the LEA will kick off a certain hope in our industry again,” said Hoppe, “provided that politicians start to take notice of us and our [event] concepts.”

Dieter Semmelmann of Semmel Concerts received the award for arena tour of the year, for its 2019 tour with Sarah Connor, while Peter Rieger Konzertagentur earned organiser of the year. Global Concerts’ Andrea Blahetek-Hauzenberger and Christian Diekmann picked up the award for concert of the year (for their event with LaBrassBanda and Seiler und Speer on Königsplatz in Munich) and Lanxess Arena in Cologne won hall/arena venue of the year.

“It is good for the whole, long-suffering industry to be seen and honoured”

Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion won two awards – show of the year and cooperation of the year – while FKP Scorpio was honoured for Mucke bei die Fische, its Hamburg showcase festival.

Accepting Semmel’s award, Semmelmann said: “We are delighted, especially for Sarah Connor, her band and her crew, about this award. Nevertheless, we accept it with mixed feelings. For almost a year and a half, we have been postponing the additional concerts planned as part of this musically and visually outstanding concert tour and have to disappoint the fans.”

“We sincerely hope that we can hold the few concerts that are still planned for August and September 2021,” he added.

Frankfurt city councillor Markus Frank – who picked up a special ‘silver’ award, along with Messe Frankfurt, for the people in the city who make the awards possible – concluded: “We were very happy to help launch the ‘little LEA’. It is an important signal to the outside world that Frankfurt am Main is able to host events such as the Live Entertainment Award even in difficult times, and under extraordinary conditions to provide a worthy setting,

“We are very pleased that the LEA at the Gibson Club met with a great response. In particular, the people who who received the award in their respective category did an extraordinary job in times like these. It is good for the whole, long-suffering industry to be seen and honoured. We have also lit the fuse with the ‘little LEA’ for future big red-carpet events […] in the wonderful Frankfurt Festhalle.”

In German, a full list of winners is available from the PRG LEA website.

 


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