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Promoters address Rammstein cancellation calls

The German metal band's ongoing stadium tour has been marred by sexual misconduct claims against frontman Till Lindemann

By James Hanley on 29 Jun 2023

Till Lindemann

Promoters have responded to calls to cancel Rammstein’s European tour, amid the flurry of sexual misconduct accusations made against the group’s frontman Till Lindemann.

The German metal band’s stadium tour has been marred by claims that multiple women were recruited to have sex with Lindemann, 60, at Rammstein shows. The selected women are said to have been given access to a so-called “Row Zero” – a restricted area directly in front of the stage.

Berlin police confirmed earlier this month that they were investigating Lindemann “relating to sexual offences and the distribution of narcotics” – allegations the singer’s legal team have dismissed as “without exception untrue”.

The wave of complaints came after a woman from Northern Ireland went public with her belief that she had been drugged by Lindemann at an afterparty in Vilnius, Lithuania on 22 May. However, the case is not being pursued after a subsequent investigation found “no objective factual evidence” that would prove she had been subjected to physical or mental coercion.

Nevertheless, DW reports that close to 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding the cancellation of Rammstein’s three sold-out concerts at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on 15-16 and 18 July. Around 150 protesters gathered outside the band’s gig in Bern, Switzerland, in mid June and a further protest has been organised ahead of their July shows at the Stadspark in Groningen, the Netherlands.

“There is no legal basis for a concert cancellation”

Gadget ABC, which promoted the group’s 17-18 June concerts in Bern, responded to an open letter from Swiss citizens’ movement JUSO Switzerland and Campax calling for the events to be called off.

“Such allegations of sexualised violence must be taken seriously,” said JUSO president Nicola Siegrist. “The organisers have to do the only right thing and cancel the concerts.”

In its response, published ahead of the dates and signed by Gadget’s Christof Huber, Eric Kramer, Oliver Rosa, Cyrill Stadler and Stefan Wyss, the company said it “disassociates itself from any form of violence and abuse and takes the current allegations very seriously”. It added that the current public discussion “raises very important questions” that promoters must engage with.

“The allegations levelled against the band are serious,” it continued. “Gadget does not want to participate in prejudice. We have no knowledge of that band or a band member has been proven to have committed a criminal offence. Against this background there is no legal basis for a concert cancellation vis-à-vis our contractual partner. A breach of contract would have consequences that would not be compatible with our sense of responsibility towards our employees, suppliers and partners.”

Regarding the “so-called ‘Row Zero'”, Gadget stressed that no guests beyond “security services, photographers, etc,” would be permitted to enter the zone.

“We have a structural problem in the concert scene that is now finally being talked about”

Groningen City Council also announced that promoter Greenhouse Talent had confirmed there will be no “Row Zero” for fans to stand, nor an afterparty, for the group’s upcoming shows in the Dutch city.

German trade association BDKV recently added its support to the Alliance against Sexism in the wake of the allegations. The Alliance against Sexism coalition is led by family minister Lisa Paus, who has proposed changes for the music business including protective areas for women at concerts and the use of “awareness teams” to regularly check what is happening backstage.

“Without prejudging the specific case, the way I perceive the discussion, we have a structural problem in the concert scene that is now finally being talked about,” Paus told Bild am Sonntag.

The Rammstein Stadium Tour, which is due to wrap up in Belgium later this summer, resumes in Padova, Italy this Saturday (1 July). It will then stop in Groningen, Budapest, Berlin, Paris, Vienna and Chorzow, before concluding with three nights at Brussels’ King Baudouin Stadium from 3-5 August.

In an Instagram post to fans earlier this month, the band asked not to be prejudged.

“The accusations have hit us all very hard and we take them extremely seriously,” read the statement. “To our fans we say: It is important to us that you feel comfortable and safe at our shows – in front of and behind the stage. We condemn any kind of assault and ask you: Do not participate in prejudgments of any kind toward those who have made accusations. They have a right to their point of view. But we, the band, also have a right — not to be prejudged either.”


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