SSC Festivals bankruptcy averted
Germany’s SSC Festivals, which filed for preliminary insolvency earlier this year, has exited the bankruptcy process following a period of restructuring.
SSC Festivals GmbH, a subsidiary of Hamed Shahi-Moghanni’s SSC Group, entered preliminary bankruptcy in January, largely due to soft ticket sales for its increased-capacity 2017 New Fall Festival events. Shahi-Moghanni told IQ at the time SSC Festivals had two to three months of preliminary bankruptcy before the real, ‘final’ insolvency – but that even if the company was wound up, there was “no question” of the festival ending.
“It was such a huge story in German press,” he explained. “In the US everyone closes companies all the time, but in Germany it’s not so common – it’s a cultural thing.”
No SSC staff were let go, with only the SSC Festivals company being temporarily wound up. Germany’s Company Register shows the period of provisional insolvency as being between 23 January and 23 March.
“Now we can focus on making New Fall better”
A spokesperson for SSC tells IQ the company has now withdrawn its bankruptcy application, and that SSC Festivals will continue as a business. “The bankruptcy of SSC Festivals is now formally averted,” they explain, “by our own power and the support of friends. Now, we can focus on making New Fall better.”
New Fall Festival 2018 will take place in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart from 25 to 28 October, with a line-up announcement expected soon.
“After we had some trouble with generating revenues in the past year, it was not clear whether New Fall Festival could take place in 2018,” says the company. “But now it’s safe to say, also due to the fantastic support from our main sponsor, New Fall Festival is going to happen in 2018. Better not bigger!”
SSC launches Eat the Beat foodie division
Dusseldorf-based SSC Music Group has announced the launch of Eat the Beat, a new “cultural catering” division combining high-end food with live entertainment.
The official launch of Eat the Beat follows SSC’s taking over the lease on the restaurant of Dusseldorf’s NRW Forum museum, which it has rechristened Pong – Popkultur & Gastro. The aim of the new division is to “operate as a modern food service, embracing [SSC’s] love of pop culture”, says CEO Hamed Shahi-Moghanni tells IQ, who adds that “food culture is fast becoming part of pop culture”.
“Not until maybe ten years ago were people going out just to eat,” he tells IQ. “This is a trend we’re seeing more and more in Germany: people going out to eat with friends.”
Commenting on the launch of Eat the Beat and the NRW Forum deal, Hamed Shahi-Moghanni says: “Pong is the new place for the SSC Music Group to arrange shows by our artists, co-operate with our festivals and create pop-cultural experiments in a unique location.”
“Food culture is fast becoming part of pop culture”
Pong has an indoor capacity of 500, while outdoor events can accomodate up to 1,500 people. The outdoor site was previously used for Kraftwerk’s 3D Tour de France 2017 show in Dusseldorf.
In addition to the Pong events, Shahi-Moghanni adds that the Pong/Eat the Beat crew can now provide local, sustainable cuisine for all SSC events, which include concerts, live shows and festivals.
Bands and DJs for a capacity of 500 people are highly welcome to perform at PONG. Corporate events can be presented indoor and also for up to 1,500 people outdoor where Kraftwerk played their outstanding 3D show at last year’s Tour de France Grand Depart.
New Fall Fest to continue after preliminary bankruptcy
Hamed Shahi-Moghanni, managing director of Germany’s SSC Group, has confirmed all future New Fall Festivals will go ahead as planned, after its SSC Festivals GmbH subsidiary was put into preliminary bankruptcy.
New Fall Festival has taken place in Dusseldorf since 2011, with a successful spin-off event in Stuttgart launching in 2016. Speaking to the Stuttgarter Zeitung last week, Shahi-Moghanni explained that the 2017 editions of the festivals failed to meet expectations and that SSC Festivals, the company behind the event, had been forced to file for preliminary bankruptcy.
Speaking to IQ, Shahi-Moghanni explains that after a strong 2016, SSC took the decision to increase the festivals’ capacity for 2017. “We put the capacity higher than the previous year’s, and we actually sold more tickets,” he says, but that the boost in sales didn’t meet the increase in capacity. “The target was to sell 15,000–16,000 [tickets] and we didn’t reach that.
“Basically, we took a chance and it bit us in the ass!”
Despite the preliminary bankruptcy, Shahi-Moghanni emphasises that New Fall Festival will be unaffected, and that he plans to announce the line-up for October 2018 this March. No SSC staff were let go, with just the SSC Festivals company being temporarily wound up.
Shahi-Moghanni emphasises that New Fall Festival will be unaffected, and that he plans to announce the line-up for October 2018 this March
“It was such a huge story in German press,” he continues. “In the US everyone closes companies all the time, but in Germany it’s not so common – it’s a cultural thing.
Shahi-Moghanni says SSC Festivals has two to three months of preliminary bankruptcy before the real deal – German law required him to approach the state of Dusseldorf and say, “I have trouble and I need to manage this”, he explains – but even if the company is wound up, there is “no question” of the festival ending.
“The question is what you do with this kind of situation,” he says. “If it leads you to you making it [the festival] better, it’s a good thing.
“Whatever happens – whether I go forward with this company or not – we’re going to create an even better festival for the future.”
New Fall Festival 2018 will take place in Dusseldorf and Stuttgart from 25 to 28 October.