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Hamburg venues allowed to ban unvaccinated fans

Promoters and venues in Hamburg can soon ban unvaccinated people from attending events, in order to do away with social distancing and increase capacity limits.

Germany on Monday (23 August) moved to a uniform Covid health pass system which allows entry to many public spaces only to people who’ve been vaccinated (geimpft), have recovered from Covid (gensesen) or have been tested against Covid (getestet) – otherwise known as the 3G model.

But on Tuesday (24 August), the Hamburg senate announced that, from Saturday 28 August, it will introduce a ‘2G-option model’ for event organisers and business owners in the federal state.

This means they can allow entry exclusively to people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid within the last six months. The employees of the cultural institutions also have to be vaccinated at 2G events.

Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 for indoor events and 2,000 for outdoor.

In addition, organisers and attendees of 2G events will not need to adhere to certain Covid regulations such as social distancing. However, masks will remain compulsory in all indoor settings.

Organisers who implement the 2G model will be allowed to increase the number of attendees to 1,300 indoorand 2,000 outdoor

The senate says operators will face fines of up to €20,000 if they do not check for proof of vaccination or recovery (or a negative test if it’s a 3G event), in conjunction with photo ID.

Organisers can also opt for the 3G model but if they do, they will have to follow previous Covid restrictions, such as capacity restrictions.

The 2G or 3G option is aimed at music venues, theatres, cinemas, trade fair operators, restaurants, hotels, swimming pools and fitness studios, among other businesses.

Organisers of sporting events with visitors, public festivals or educational courses should also be able to exclude unvaccinated people if they want to, says the Hamburg senate.

The only exceptions to the 2G rule will apply to children and young people. All under-18s will be allowed to attend 2G events without full vaccination for a grace period.

“Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic”

For 12 to 18-year-olds, who have been urged to get vaccinated, the transitional period will expire in six weeks. For children under 12, for whom no vaccine has been approved, it will continue to apply.

A spokesperson for the Hamburg senate says there are no exceptions for people who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons because they “are generally at high risk of infection and should avoid crowds”.

Hamburg’s first mayor, Peter Tschentscher, says: “Restrictions must be proportionate and may only apply for as long as they are necessary to combat the pandemic.”

However, the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV) argues that the 2G model alone is not a “viable solution” as the industry cannot afford to “do without almost half of its clientele”.

The association has proposed a variation of the model – ‘2G+PCR’ – which would also allow entry to those who show a negative PCR test – a more reliable, but expensive and time-consuming, option than rapid testing.

BDKV is now urging the government to implement its suggested model in order to do away with capacity restrictions nationwide.

 


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Barclaycard Arena invites thousands for test events

Barclaycard Arena Hamburg is welcoming spectators for the first time in over a year, for a series of tests that aim to find out if and how major events can take place safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tests have been approved by the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior and Sport and will take place in conjunction with Handball Sport Verein Hamburg (HSVH), the Handball Bundesliga (HBL), the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute and the Barclaycard Arena.

For the first test on 28 May, the arena welcomed 1,000 spectators from Hamburg for the home game of handball team Handball Sport Verein Hamburg, which was against ThSV Eisenach.

Provided the first event is deemed successful, it is expected that 2,000 spectators will be allowed into the arena for the REWE Final4 and the last HSVH home game of the season against ASV Hamm-Westfalen on 22 June. Visitors from outside of Hamburg will be welcome at this event.

Both events are seated and socially distanced. Attendees are required to present a negative coronavirus test to gain entry, wear mask a throughout the event, and take another test 7–10 days after the event.

Modified mannequins that emit marked particles will be placed next to the real spectators during the game

Under the direction of Prof. Dr Wolfgang Schade, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute will examine the aerosol distribution in the arena, which is equipped with a ‘state-of-the-art ventilation system,’ as well as the risk of infection.

For this purpose, modified mannequins that emit marked particles will be placed next to the real spectators during the game.

“The data from the pilot project collected here will provide important information on the spread of aerosols at major events, which can then also be transferred to other event venues with comparable ventilation systems. In this way, fact-based risk assessments can then be carried out in the future for holding such events,” says Prof. Dr Wolfgang.

Steve Schwenkglenks, managing director of the Barclaycard Arena, adds: “The Barclaycard Arena is the ideal location for these scientific test events and we hope that it will provide the entire industry with important knowledge that will enable us to take further steps towards normality in the near future.”

The arena had prepared to open its doors in early May for a concert series organised by Hamburg Concerts but Hamburg authorities called off the events due to the rising Covid-19 infections at the time.

 


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Barclaycard Arena set to open for first time in a year

Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena is preparing to open its doors for the first time in a year to host the Restart concert series, organised by Hamburg Concerts.

The concerts, organised as part of the government’s Restart Culture funding programme, are due to take place between 2 and 7 May with artists including Thees Uhlmann, Versengold, Selig and Madsen, and will mark the promoter’s 10th anniversary.

The 16,000-capacity arena will be reconfigured into a compact theatre setting designed for a maximum of 650 guests and taking into account the current hygiene regulations.

The venue and promoter have revealed an extensive hygiene plan which would require guests to wear a masks in the hall, maintain social distancing between two-person seating groups, follow a one-way system in the venue and present a negative coronavirus test upon entry.

According to a statement from Barclaycard Arena, attendees will be able to take a rapid test or a supervised self-test on site, but have been strongly advised to take advantage of the free citizen tests at their place of residence or work to avoid waiting times at the venue.

Hamburg Concerts has submitted the 100-page hygiene plan to the relevant authorities to carry out the event as a model test to test alternative protective measures and concepts in accordance with the current Hamburg Corona Protection Ordinance.

“We are firmly convinced that we can safely organise the events for all participants,” says Diak Haring, MD of Hamburg Concerts.

“We are firmly convinced that we can safely organise the events for all participants”

“The applications for implementation have been sent to all relevant offices in the City of Hamburg and we are ready to talk. We expect feedback from the authorities by mid-April and are in good spirits that we can now open the concert season in Hamburg with the restart series.”

Germany was given further proof that events can be organised safely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic after the artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic shared preliminary findings from the orchestra’s recent pilot concert which show zero infections among the 1,000 people who attended.

Steve Schwenkglenks, VP and MD of the Barclaycard Arena, adds: “Berlin has shown the way – events with a well thought-out hygiene concept are feasible. The more than 100-page hygiene concept, which we developed together with well-known experts, gives us the security of being able to hold events responsibly.

“This fact, coupled with the rapid test concepts and the vaccinations, which will hopefully start sooner, allow me to look very positively into the future. We are well prepared and look forward to welcoming spectators to the arena for the first time in over a year.”

Tickets start from €45.95 and seats can be booked for one or two people.

The Restart concert series was originally planned for March this year but due to the continuing number of infections, it was postponed until May.

Another postponement could be likely if parliament passes new legislation which would allow chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to impose a nightly curfew in areas where the seven-day incidence rate of infections surpasses 100 cases per 100,000 people for three days in a row.

 


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CTS Eventim’s DreamHaus and Kingstar form alliance

CTS Eventim’s new Berlin-based promoter DreamHaus is forming a strategic alliance with Kingstar, a promoter and booking agency based in Hamburg.

The two companies will cooperate on Kingstar’s Vainstream Rockfest, as well as Eventim Presents/DreamHaus’s Rock am Ring (cap. 95,000) and Rock im Park (cap. 75,000), which were recently called off for a second year running.

The alliance will also see the German promoters collaborate on touring projects and the establishment of new events.

“With this alliance, we want to bring our creative visions to life,” says Matt Schwarz, CEO and managing partner, DreamHaus.

“Kingstar contributes equally valuable festival expertise, musical knowledge and their successful artist development to this cooperation. Through an intensive exchange of experience between our two companies, we will create trusting synergies and thus provide the artists with the best service and skills for the future.”

“We will create trusting synergies and thus provide the artists with the best service and skills for the future”

Timo Birth, managing director, Kingstar, says: “Since the structures in the industry are changing at high speed, Kingstar and DreamHaus are laying a very good foundation for the future with this cooperation. We are not only optimally equipped for the future of our industry, we will also actively shape it together.”

Marc Seemann, director of strategy and business development, DreamHaus says: “A close friendship has developed from years of trusting cooperation with Timo, which is why this strategic alliance between DreamHaus and Kingstar is a logical consequence and an important pillar in the development of DreamHaus.”

Alongside Vainstream Rockfest, the 15th edition of which is scheduled for this June in Münster, Kingstar’s festival portfolio includes Restless Summer, Close to the Water, Impericon Festivals and Picknick Konzerte.

The company’s booking arm represents artists including Broilers, Bonez MC and RAF Camora.

DreamHaus was recently acquired by CTS Eventim and Schwarz was named as CEO and managing partner, following his departure from Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) as COO and MD in February 2020.

 


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Germany’s Funke Media and Neuland Concerts merge

Hamburg-based promoters and former competitors Funke Media and Neuland Concerts are joining forces, with immediate effect.

The companies will now merge under the name of Neuland Concerts, which makes the new entity ‘one of the largest owner-managed concert agencies in Germany’.

Neuland Concerts was founded by Christian Gerlach in 2008 as a division of Warner Music, and has organised tours by the likes of Bruno Mars, Jason Derulo, Twenty One Pilots, Robin Schulz, Kaleo and Russ throughout their careers.

Gerlach and his team separated from the Warner Music Group in 2017, around the time Neuland began strengthening its relationship with Funke Media.

“Funke Media has been a competitor for us, and we have had to respectfully acknowledge the high quality on a regular basis”

Funke Media, founded in 1959 by Hans-Werner Funke, has attracted a range of international artists including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees.

Gerlach and Funke’s son Pascale will now jointly lead the business and the team of Neuland Concerts as equal partners.

The new Neuland Concerts team is complemented by Günther Maienschein, who previously worked as an authorised signatory and technical manager at Funke Media.

Gerlach says: “So far, Funke Media has been a competitor for us, and we have had to respectfully acknowledge the high quality on a regular basis. Despite the competitive relationship, there was always great appreciation and, for a few years now, a growing relationship of trust.

“The establishment of a new agency and the subsequent leap into independence from Warner Music impressed me”

“It is remarkable how Pascal Funke has continued to develop the family business founded by his father Hans-Werner Funke since joining in 1997. As Neuland Concerts, we can expand our business especially in the area of ​​local events in and around Hamburg through the merger and offer even more, but above all more diverse events right here on our doorstep.”

Funke adds: “In the last few years I got to know Christian Gerlach as a reliable and at the same time very passionate organiser who always looked outside the box. He knows the needs of his artists across all genre boundaries.

“The establishment of a new agency and the subsequent leap into independence from Warner Music impressed me, since this step there have always been points of contact. We used 2020 and looked around for new alliances. Our aim was to bundle opportunities and competencies while remaining true to our own values. The two companies succeeded through the merger.”

 


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Reeperbahn Festival gears up for 14th edition

European conference and showcase festival Reeperbahn kicks off on Wednesday (18 September), with more than 300 panels, networking events and showcases taking place over four days in Hamburg, Germany.

Sessions in the conference’s live strand include ‘30 Years of Wacken’, an interview between the metal festival’s founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, moderated by IQ’s Jon Chapple and German journalist Birgit Reuther. The panel will celebrate the event’s 30th year and explore what the future holds for the popular metal gathering.

The festival season 2019 /2020 sees Stefan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Roel Coppen (Friendly Fire) and James Wright (UTA) among those asking whether 2019’s slow festival season was a one-off, or the beginning of a worrying trend. And Live Nation GSA managing director and chief operating officer Matt Schwarz discusses the company’s goals in the region and worldwide, as well as the wider music ecosystem in a keynote interview led by ILMC MD Greg Parmley.

In more festival-related content, former MTV news editor Steve Blame will interview Woodstock festival co-creator Joel Rosenman about the event’s inception and legacy, with new documentary Creating Woodstock aired later in the day.

‘Agents Agenda: The New Food Chain’ will see Jake Leighton-Pope of 10 Thousand Steps Management, Paradigm Agency’s Lily Oram, Toutpartout managing director Steven Thomassen and more discuss the effect of external investment on the industry, in a panel moderated by IQ’s Gordon Masson.

The festival season 2019 /2020 will see panellists asking whether 2019’s slow festival season was a one-off, or the beginning of a worrying trend

A secondary ticketing panel, also led by Masson, will examine the EU’s new legislation against ticket bots, asking how to grant consumers greater protection.

Talk will also turn to Brexit as tax advisor Kevin Offer discusses the potential impact of post-Brexit taxation, permits and customs clearance on the European live music industry.

EU funding will be the topic of conversation in ‘Europe Calling’, a panel featuring Olaf Furniss of Wide Days and Exit Festival managing director Ivan Milivojev, among others.

Members of German promoters’ association BDKV will gather for the yearly Live Entertainment Summit to present their report on the situation of the national and international live entertainment market.

Other topics of conversation include festival sponsorship, music export, country music, food at live events, the Caucasus music market, electronic music and digital media.

Foals, the Subways, Alfie Templeman, Hatari, Inhaler, Sorcha Richardson, Sports Team and Squid are among acts playing at Reeperbahn 2019.

A full Reeperbahn conference programme can be viewed here, with remaining tickets for the event available here.

 


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‘We inspired people with jazz’: Elbjazz hails record sales

A total of 20,000 day and two-day tickets were sold for Elbjazz 2019, in a record-breaking ninth edition for one of Germany’s largest jazz festivals.

On both days of the event, Friday 31 May (headlined by Jamie Cullum) and Saturday 1 June (headlined by Tower of Power), around 15,000 people attended, at both festival sites, at venues in Hamburg’s HafenCity and at the Blohm + Voss shipyard. More than 50 artists played, with other performers including London trio Kamaal Williams, Danish bluesmen the Savage Rose and electronic folk artist Sophie Hunger.

Other highlights included an appearance by Hamburg’s senator for culture and media, Carsten Brosda, a ‘history of jazz’ set by pianist Jason Moran at the Elbphilharmonie and a performance by the Michael Wollny trio at Blohm + Voss which “stunned the audience with its breathtaking improvisation”.

Elbjazz festival director Alexander Schulz attributes the festival’s success to the growing public appetite for jazz music, as documented in IQ’s recent jazz feature, with the festival “inspiring” its visitors with its diverse line-up.

“The artists who had appeared were enthusiastic about the unique festival atmosphere”

“We are very pleased with the entire course of the festival,” he comments. “Whether they performed at Blohm + Voss, at the Elbphilharmonie, at St Katharinen or on the MS Stubnitz, the artists who had appeared were equally enthusiastic about the unique festival atmosphere, the extraordinary venues and the audience. Everything went according to plan.

“The weather also played along and spoiled us with early summer temperatures. We are very happy about these two successful days, but especially about the fact that we once again inspired tens of thousands of visitors with jazz.”

Elbjazz 2020 takes place on 5 and 6 June. Ticket sales begin in November 2019, with the first 11,000 Elbjazz 2019 ticket buyers given priority.

 


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Hamburg district court deals another blow to Viagogo

The district court of Hamburg – which last month issued a preliminary injunction preventing Viagogo from reselling tickets for Rammstein’s upcoming European stadium tour – has dealt a further blow to the controversial ticket resale site by granting a similar prohibition to FKP Scorpio for its 2019 Ed Sheeran dates.

The ruling by the district court, or Landgericht, forbids Switzerland-based Viagogo for reselling tickets for FKP’s four Sheeran shows – in Hockenheim on 22 and 23 June and Hanover on 2 and 3 August 2019, for which the promoter sold more than 200,000 tickets – and claiming they are valid for entry.

All tickets for the concerts are personalised and only valid for resale via CTS Eventim’s face-value fanSALE platform.

Folkert Koopmans, CEO of FKP Scorpio, says: “We very much welcome the decision of the Hamburg district court, which represents another important step towards stopping the black market and price gouging, which is in the interests of artists, promoters and fans.

“We will continue to combat tickets resold at inflated prices”

“We will continue to combat tickets resold at inflated prices in the future in order to be able to continue offering affordable tickets to music fans, in close cooperation with the artists, their management and other promoters.”

FKP is represented by law firm Schütz Rechtsanwälte, which has past experience with litigating against Viagogo. Lawyer Markus Schütz comments: “Ed Sheeran is known for taking action against the black market to protect his fans from rip-offs. It is not individual private sellers that are the problem, but those who buy the tickets from the beginning with the intention of making money.

“Fans can only be advised not to take a risk on the black market, and in particular Viagogo, to buy invalid or forged tickets at exorbitant prices.”

Responding, Viagogo issued the following statement: “The tickets sold on Viagogo’s platform are genuine tickets that have been sold on by the original ticket purchaser in good faith. Viagogo is a marketplace and doesn’t buy or sell tickets. Viagogo provides a platform for third-party sellers to sell tickets to eventgoers. Viagogo does not set ticket prices, sellers set their own prices, which may be above or below the original face value.”

 


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Rammstein tour: German court forbids Viagogo resale

Rammstein have secured an injunction from a Hamburg court that legally prohibits Viagogo from reselling tickets from their upcoming European stadium tour.

All tickets for the tour – which set a new record for ticketing partner CTS Eventim, selling more than 800,000 tickets within a matter of hours on 8 November – are personalised, with promoter MCT Agentur only allowing resale through Eventim’s own fanSALE platform and München Ticket.

At the time of the onsale, MCT confirmed that all tickets resold through Viagogo and other non-authorised secondary ticketing sites will not be valid for entry – something affirmed today by the district court, or Landgericht, of Hamburg.

Viagogo is now forbidden to “allow the sale of tickets for the 2019 Rammstein stadium concerts in Germany”, as well as to “assert that they are valid tickets for entry”, according to an MCT release.

“The band is pleased that the district court of Hamburg has … issued the ban”

However, it seems Viagogo hasn’t yet got the memo: At press time, tickets for all next summer’s German shows remain on sale on viagogo.de.

Still, Rammstein’s lawyers are pleased with the preliminary injunction, describing the court’s decision as a “warning signal” to anyone considering touting their tickets to profit from the tour

“The band is pleased that the district court of Hamburg has agreed with our [arguments] and issued the ban,” reads a statement.”The court’s decision is a warning signal to anyone who thinks they can resell massively overpriced and invalid Rammstein tickets.”

German promoters’ association BDV, which supports a price cap of +25% of face value on resold tickets, said in August it is in the process of preparing a legal claim against Viagogo for misleading consumers.

 


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Reeperbahn 2018 kicks off

Hamburg’s Reeperbahn festival and conference has kicked off, with over 4,000 music industry professionals expected to attend more than 300 sessions scheduled across the weekend.

2018’s conference programme spans multiple disciplines, genres and countries. A number of networking events, including sessions like Meet the Koreans and Meet the Nordics, aim to bridge the geographical gap in the music industry. Beyond this, the conference will look to the current state of the industry and what lies ahead.

Wednesday’s sessions included the reflective 30 Years of Independent Dance Music, delivered by Martin Heath and Renaat Vandepapeliere and Die Situation von Festivals In Deutschland chaired by journalist Ivana Draglia, analysing the German festival scene.

4,700 music industry professionals are expected to attend more than 300 sessions scheduled across the weekend.

On Thursday, Dr. Jörn Radloff of the ICE will question the possibility of a streamlined licensing scheme for the whole of Europe, whilst Matthias Röder of the Karajan Institute will ask how artificial intelligence will change the way we make and perform music in the future. Also billed for Thursday is IQ’s editor Gordon Masson, who will chair the Festival Season 2018/2019 session.

Friday will see ILMC’s managing director Greg Parmley chair the Agents Agenda 2018 session. Also taking place will be the Fight For Your Right to Party discussion session, which will look into the slow death of clubs and venues at the hands of rising rents, noise complaints and gentrification.

Closing the weekend, Jane Arnison will ask if female empowerment has become a marketing tool for the industry in The Problem with #femaleproducer and the Anchor 2018 winner will be crowned. In addition to the various sessions, panels and workshops, a number of showcases will take place throughout the weekend, with the best performing the Best of Showcases on the final day.

The Reeperbahn festival and conference runs from Wednesday 19 September through to Saturday 22 September and the full programme is available on the website.

 


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