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Hockenheimring could become permanent concert venue

Hockenheimring, the motor racing circuit formerly home to German grand prix, could become a permanent live entertainment venue, under plans being drawn up by track bosses and local authorities.

The 4.57km (2.84mi) circuit, located near the town of Hockenheim in the Rhine valley, has capacity for 120,000 spectators, with past major music events including FKP Scorpio’s recent open-air Ed Sheeran shows and DEAG’s short-lived Matapaloz festival in 2017.

Despite a spectacular race last July, widely regarded as the best of the 2019 Formula 1 season, the German grand prix is not on the calendar for 2020, and the future of the event remains in doubt.

Hockenheimring (pictured) has additionally lost an event from another crucial motor racing championship, German Touring Car Masters (DTM), in 2020, and circuit management are reportedly looking to diversify further beyond motorsports.

“Despite the long tradition of motor racing at the Ring, further development … is necessary”

Local MP Karl Klein, who was invited to the track recently by Emodrom Group, the company responsible for its development, tells the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung (RNZ): “Despite the long tradition of [motor racing at] the Ring, further development and adapting to societal developments is necessary.”

According to the RNZ, “whatever the fate of the Ring, it will remain open to large public events with 100,000 or more visitors, officials emphasise. This means, above all, large open-air concerts. On this scale, [Hockenheimring] has a unique selling point in Germany that it doesn’t want to give up.”

The venue is also a suitable location for trade fairs, with Emodrom’s E4 Festival of electric cars taking place at the Hockenheimring in June.


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FKP Scorpio celebrates record-breaking weekend

With twin festivals Hurricane and Southside and two open-air Ed Sheeran headline shows, last weekend was the most successful ever for German concert/festival promoter FKP Scorpio.

Scorpio, majority owned by CTS Eventim, turned over nearly €50 million from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 June – a period in which its shows recorded a total of 580,000 visits, according to the company’s, CEO Folkert Koopmans.

From Friday to Sunday, Hurricane (at the Eichenring in Scheeßel, Lower Saxony, north-west Germany) and Southside (at the Gewerbepark in Neuhausen ob Eck, in Baden-Wuerttemberg, south-west Germany) recorded footfall of 380,000 over three festival days. Around 68,000 people per day attended Hurricane, and some 60,000 Southside, the twin festivals whose headliners included Foo Fighters, the Cure, Die Toten Hosen, Mumford & Sons, Macklemore and Tame Impala.

Elsewhere, on Saturday and Sunday ‘Edmania’ came to Germany, with Sheeran playing the first two of four open-air shows to 100,000 people a day at the Hockenheimring. They were the biggest solo shows of his career to date, following last summer’s show in Hamburg, also promoted by FKP, which was attended by 80,000 people.

“We faced this tremendous challenge as a team and mastered it with flying colours”

That monster €50m figure, Koopmans tells IQ, comprises ticketing revenues plus sponsorship and F&B for the festivals, combined with ticket revenues only for for Ed Sheeran.

“Last weekend was unique to all of us in many ways,” comments Koopmans, who spoke to IQ earlier this month about how festivals are facing intense competition for audience share from one-day headline shows.

“The logistical and personnel effort that comes with three parallel events of this size and a total of more than 580,000 guests not only triples – it increases exponentially. In total, more than 10,000 workers from all over Germany were directly or indirectly involved.

“With a total turnover close to 50 million euros, this weekend had undoubtedly the highest turnover in the history of FKP Scorpio. Even more important to me is the fact that we have faced this tremendous challenge as a team and mastered it with flying colours.”


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