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DEAG acquires Germany’s Classic Open Air

Launched in 1992, the classical music festival attracts up to 30,000 visitors a year to the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin

By James Hanley on 12 Sep 2022

DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow

DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow

DEAG has enhanced its presence in the classical and jazz market with the acquisition of classical music festival Classic Open Air.

The German live entertainment group has acquired 85% of the shares in the event, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, via its DEAG Classics AG subsidiary.

Launched in 1992, Classic Open Air has grown under the direction of Gerhard Kämpfe und Mario Hempel to attract around 25,000 to 30,000 visitors each year to the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin. Highlights have included evenings with Till Brönner, Sarah Connor, Katie Melua, José Carreras, Al Jarreau, the Scorpions, Earth Wind & Fire, Montserrat Caballé, Udo Jürgens, Chris de Burgh, Roger Cicero and Joja Wendt.

“We are adding an attractive festival series to our event portfolio, which has already hosted many top national and international stars in recent years,” say DEAG CEO Peter Schwenkow and Jacqueline Zich, divisional board member of DEAG Classics AG. “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the further development of Classic Open Air with our live expertise and outstanding network.”

“DEAG has the potential to make this unique event even more international”

As well as expanding its activities and market position in the classics and jazz segment, DEAG says it expects to achieve synergy effects in the concert business and in the acquisition of artists, among other areas.  The deal will also increase the volume of DEAG’s ticketing business.

Hempel, MD of Media On-Line, the organiser of Classic Open Air, will remain a shareholder and continue to provide long-term support and advice to the company together with DEAG Classics AG.

“I am very pleased to have found the right partner in Peter Schwenkow and DEAG Classics AG for the further development of Classic Open Air at Gendarmenmarkt, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year,” says Hempel. “DEAG has the potential to make this unique event even more international at one of the world’s most beautiful venues and I am very much looking forward to being able to accompany this.”


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