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1,000-cap. standing concerts return to Germany

A collective of German event specialists hosted some of the first standing shows in the country since the coronavirus shutdown, putting on two 960-cap. concerts in the Saxony region over the weekend.

The concerts took place in the town of Oschatz in the eastern region of Saxony, home to the cities of Leipzig and Dresden. The region, where events are currently limited to 1,000 people, is to allow events with no upper capacity limit to take place from 1 September, provided track and tracing systems are implemented.

Elsewhere in Germany, major events remain banned until the start of November.

The shows, promoted by Berlin-based Newado Entertainment and Oranienbaum’s Mö PR in conjunction with festival service supplier Major Compact Units, saw German DJ duo Gestört aber Geil and rock band Goitzche Front perform to crowds segregated into four-person, socially distanced blocks.

“Feedback from the more than 1,500 guests over the weekend was consistently positive”

The tickets were tiered, with the blocks – which consisted of two standard crowd control barriers– in the first eight rows costing more than those further back.

A one-way system was implemented to avoid contact between groups and hand sanitiser was available on entrance, as well as in the sanitary and catering areas.

Organisers reported that the “experiment” was a success, with plans to use the same format for future shows.

“Feedback from the more than 1,500 guests over the weekend was consistently positive,” say organisers. “Fans showed their gratitude for the shows on the acts’ social media channels too, viewing them as a first step towards normality.”

Newado Entertainment thanked all who attended, posting on its Facebook page: “Thanks for this evening and to all who gave us the chance to try something new.”

 


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Police break up European festival crime ring

Police in Germany have broken up a crime ring they believe to be responsible for a spate of thefts at concerts and music festivals across Europe this summer.

Saxon state police were alerted to its existence following the “audacious” theft of 25 wallets and almost 100 mobile phones at a Slipknot show at the Leipziger Messe (15,000-cap.) in Leipzig on 28 January. Following one of the suspects to his home in the Schönefeld neighbourhood, they found stashed in a bush a backpack containing around 60 stolen phones.

Launching an investigation, police discovered a “large network of thieves” additionally responsible for thefts at concerts in Zwickau, Bielefeld, Lingen and Munich and found it was also operating beyond Saxony, and even outside Germany. Other crimes attributed to the gang include thefts at Wacken Open Air, Dour Festival, Tomorrowland and Lokerse Festival in Belgium, Street Parade in Zurich and Limp Bizkit shows in Dusseldorf, Tilburg in the Netherlands and Colmar in France.

Crimes attributed to the gang include thefts at Wacken Open Air, Dour Festival, Tomorrowland and Limp Bizkit shows in Dusseldorf, Tilburg and Colmor

The thieves also planned to target FKP Scorpio’s Highfield Festival in Leipzig, say police, but were recognised by detectives and apprehended on their way to the event.

Saxon police are now searching for the rightful owners of a haul of recovered phones; anyone who had theirs stolen at any of the affected events should email highfield-fundsachen@grosspoesna.de.

According to police spokeswoman Maria Braunsdorf, one of the thieves, ironically, lost his own mobile phone at one of the festivals. “Unlike him”, she says, it was discovered by an “honest finder” and handed in.

 


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