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German concert tickets ‘to rise by up to 30%’

Concert ticket prices in Germany are set to rise by up to 30% as a result of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report.

Price increases of 15-30% are likely to become standard for domestic shows in the short to medium term, reports Backstage Pro. The increase is attributed to inflation since pre-pandemic times, as well as rising production costs.

“The technology companies have increased their prices drastically, by 20 to 30%”, explains Axel Ballreich, chairman of venues body LiveKomm. “It is foreseeable that the prices for concert tickets will rise by at least 15 to 20%.”

In a controversial move, ticket-holders for German singer Roland Kaiser’s postponed 2020/21 dates in Dresden will receive a voucher for the €67.50 cost of the original ticket. The voucher can then be used towards buying tickets for next year’s rescheduled shows, which are priced €84.50 – 25% higher.

Tickets for many concerts postponed from 2020/21 will remain at their original prices

Promoter Semmel Concerts told Bild newspaper the increase was due to rising costs for “technology and staff shortages” along with additional expenses for “security, ticket organisation or hygiene regulations”.

Ballreich points out that tickets for many concerts postponed from 2020/21 will remain at their original prices, but others will be reliant on increases to cover costs given the subsequent increases in overheads.

However, Claus Berninger, owner of Aschaffenburg’s  Colos-Saal club, warns it is “completely wrong” for organisers to up ticket prices to make up for lost income.

“The fans won’t go along with that either,” adds Berninger, who instead calls for productions to be slimmed down in order to cut costs.

 


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Back to Live concert series launches in Germany

Germany has launched its first major concert series which is compliant with the current Coronavirus-related regulations, but the organisers have said the events are a “show of strength” and not an economic model for the future.

Back to Live, organised by Semmel Concerts and CTS Eventim and other partners, launched on 3 September at the Berlin Waldbühne (cap. 22,000), inviting up to 5,000 guests to watch a performance from Roland Kaiser.

The series will include seven concerts and run until 2 October featuring artists including Helge Schneider, Peter Maffay and Wincent Weiss.

At a press conference before the start of the first concert Semmel Concerts CEO Dieter Semmelmann, president of the BDKV Jens Michow, and CTS Eventim COO Alexander Ruoff demanded a concrete roadmap for the live industry.

The organisers have called for uniform, comprehensible and nationwide binding rules on hygiene organizational and documentation standards; financial help until the reopening; and a fixed date of 1 April 2021 to restart live music without coronavirus-related restrictions.

“These concerts are a huge step forward, but without a doubt only a very small one, on the way to normalcy”

“We are of course very happy that we can implement this series of events here in this beautiful open-air stage. We have been preparing for it for a long time and quickly developed and ready the necessary technical solutions for ticketing with regard to visitor data collection,” says CTS Eventim’s Alexander Ruoff.

“These concerts are a huge step forward, but without a doubt only a very small one, on the way to normalcy.”

Dieter Semmelmann,  CEO Semmel Concerts says: “We are very pleased that we can now really hold this series of events, because organising concerts is our calling and our passion.

“But our entire industry is facing a total economic collapse, so it is inevitable to press for a dialogue with politics in order to make the employees and artists in Germany heard. We need binding statements, otherwise the industry will be flat.”

The German government recently announced that all major events that don’t adhere to social distancing measures and hygiene protocol will now be banned until at least the end of the year.

The Live Nation GSA-promoted concert Return to Live – slated to be the biggest show in the country since March – was recently postponed indefinitely due to increasing infections.

 


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Life’s a beach: Germany’s deck chair concert series sells fast

Organisers of Strandkorb Open Air say they’ve sold more than 35,000 tickets for Germany’s open-air deck chair concert series.

The 60-show series, which runs from July until October, has so far sold out 20 shows including VNV Nation, Philipp Poisel and Gentleman.

In the first month of Strandkorb Open Air, Brings, Höhner, Markus Krebs, Kasalla, Pietro Lombardi, Martin Rütter and Michael Mittermeier all delivered sold-out events.

“This summer, with more than 60 shows, we will ensure that this season is remembered,” SparkassenPark MD Michael Hilgers told MusikWoche.

“We never expected that the concept would attract such a great response and demand, both from artists and from the audience, and we are proud that we can realistically target the sound limit of 50,000 concertgoers. We are very much expecting it that many more shows will be sold out at short notice. ”

Strandkorb Open Air is taking place in SparkassenPark, Mönchengladbach, where 450 separate deck chairs have been divided into nine units to adhere to social distancing.

“We never expected that the concept would attract such a great response and demand, both from artists and from the audience”

Each unit contains 50 deck chairs and operates with a one-way system to avoid contact between visitors. The event also requires guests to book food and drinks in advance which will be waiting in a cool box in the beach chair upon their arrival.

The series was launched after German chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

Earlier today, Live Nation announced the biggest concert Germany has seen since March, marking the return of large-scale events this autumn.

Return to Live will take place in September at the 54,000-capacity outdoor stadium, Merkur Spiel Arena in Düsseldorf.

Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey, The BossHoss, Michael Mittermeier and Joris will play to 12,000 seated fans, who’ll be required to follow a strict health and safety procedure.

Elsewhere, Bayreuth-based promoter Semmel Concerts is planning to invite 5,000 fans to open-air concerts at the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin, in September.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live Nation announces biggest concert in Germany since March

Live Nation has announced the biggest concert Germany has seen since March, marking the return of large-scale events this autumn.

Return to Live will take place in Septemeber at the 54,000-capacity outdoor stadium, Merkur Spiel Arena in Düsseldorf.

Bryan Adams, Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey, The BossHoss, Michael Mittermeier and Joris will play to 12,000 seated fans, who’ll be required to follow a strict health and safety procedure.

“The fans, artists, and crew, as well as the entire music industry, have been eagerly awaiting this moment” says Live Nation Germany CEO Marek Lieberberg. “We are opening the door for the return of live music which now has the opportunity to resume after the unpredicted intermission. We know that fans are enthusiastic to experience live music once again, and we’re excited to be able to bring them that opportunity.”

“The entire music industry, have been eagerly awaiting this moment…We are opening the door for the return of live music which now has the opportunity to resume”

Fans attending Return to Live will have to register their contact details when buying their tickets and agree to the special terms and conditions which includes wearing a face mask and adhering to the social distancing set out in the seated arrangement.

Further measures include larger waiting areas outside the stadium, tiered entry and exit time slots, an alcohol ban as well as regular disinfecting and additional hygiene precautions.

Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, announced in June that major events in the country will be banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

Alongside Return to Live, Bayreuth-based promoter Semmel Concerts is planning to invite 5,000 fans to open-air concerts at the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin, in September.

A custom-designed hygiene protocol will be in place at the event, which will also respect all distancing regulations.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Munich music venues file lawsuit against Bavaria

Seven Munich music venues have teamed up to sue the Free State of Bavaria for allegedly violating the law when it forced the venues to close at the end of March, due to coronavirus.

One of the club owners, Alexander Spierer of Sweet Club, told Süddeutsche Zeitung that the venues do not dispute the state’s decision to force closure in a bid to control the virus, but are frustrated that the operators have largely abandoned by the government.

Spierer went on to say that club operators are not interested in reopening any time soon but would like to hold the state liable for damages, saying the help offered was inadequate.

After teaming up with the other clubs, Spierer’s lawyer submitted a standard control application to the Bavarian Administrative Court, claiming that the Bavarian government violated applicable law and the Basic Law when, by decree, on 27 March, it banned the operation of clubs, among other things.

“Munich music venue operators are frustrated that they have largely been left alone by politics and feel the help offered was inadequate”

Bavaria, Germany’s biggest state, was the first to implement a full lockdown, which started from 4 March. The state premier Markus Söder began to relax measures in mid-May.

Concert spaces in Bavaria were permitted to reopen on 22 June, with a maximum of 100 guests indoors and up to 200 guests outdoors, and adhering to social distancing measures. Major events remain prohibited at least until 31 August.

Elsewhere in Germany, major events remain banned until the start of November unless organisers can prove that social distancing measures and hygiene protocol can be met.

Bayreuth-based promoter Semmel Concerts is planning to host the biggest event the country has seen post-coronavirus, inviting 5,000 fans to open-air concerts at the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin, in September.

A custom-designed hygiene protocol will be in place at the event, which will also respect all distancing regulations.

 


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Semmel to host 5,000-cap. Berlin concerts in Sept

Bayreuth-based promoter Semmel Concerts has announced it will host the biggest live shows in Germany since lockdown began in March, with a series of open-air concerts at the Waldbühne amphitheatre in Berlin.

The Back to Live concert series will welcome 5,000 fans to the 22,000-capacity arena in September 2020. A custom-designed hygiene protocol will be in place at the event, which will also respect all distancing regulations.

The shows will be the biggest post-Covid concerts to take place in the country so far, following on from two 1,000-capacity, socially distanced, standing events in the region of Saxony earlier this month.

German acts including Roland Kaiser, Wincent Weiss and Sido, as well as comedian Helge Schneider are set to perform as part of the series. Semmel and the Waldbühne are currently in talks with numerous other acts, with the aim of putting on eight to ten shows throughout September.

“We want to send out a signal for the highly desired restart of major live events,” says Semmel CEO Dieter Semmelmann.

“We want to send out a signal for the highly-desired restart of major live events”

“Economically this will be a major accomplishment for everybody involved. We want to realise concerts for a large audience again and show that live concerts belong to the most beautiful cultural experiences and are inherently relevant.“

However, Semmelmann adds that the shows, which utilise less than 25% of the Waldbühne’s full capacity, “are not a model for the future”.

Large-scale events are currently banned in Germany until the end of October, although exceptions are granted to those that can track infections and comply with hygiene rules.

Next month, a team of German scientists is running a series of event simulations with the aim of developing ways of allowing major events to go ahead without the risk of spreading of the virus.

Tickets for Semmel’s first Waldbühne shows, featuring Roland Kaiser on 4 September, Sido on 5 September, Helge Schneider on 6 September and Wincent Weiss on 18 September, will be available here on 27 July at 12 p.m. CET.

Only seated tickets are available, with up to four people from the same household permitted to attend the concerts together.

Photo: Times/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped)

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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ILMC speaker spotlight: Christoph Scholz, Semmel Concerts

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) is now less than a month away and, as more and more chairs and panellists are announced, IQ catches up with some key speakers to hear what they hope to get out of this year’s conference.

First up is Christoph Scholz of SC Exhibitions, a division of German promoter Semmel Concerts and the company behind Los Angeles conference the Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) – formerly the Touring Exhibitions Meeting.

Scholz will appear alongside Kilimanjaro Live’s Lucy Levitt to co-chair ILMC’s Touring Entertainment: Game For a Show panel – which this year moves to a bigger room to satisfy demand – to discuss why family shows, touring exhibitions and other kinds of immersive, alternative content are piquing the interest of promoters and fans alike.

Joining the chairs are Harlem Globetrotters’ Arnold Bernard, Secret Cinema’s Amy Farrant, Hartshorn-Hook Enterprises/Immersive Everywhere’s Brian Hook, Nicolás Renna from Proactiv and Alex Homfray of Alex Homfray Cultural Destinations.

 


IQ: What do you expect to be the main talking points at your panel?

CS: My co-chair, Lucy Levitt, and I are expecting some exciting guests this year. We will ask Arnold Bernard from Harlem Globetrotters how they have managed to keep such an iconic sports entertainment troupe relevant for so many years.

Amy Farrant, the marketing director of [immersive cinema experience specialist] Secret Cinema, is also joining the panel. Secret Cinema has just signed a deal with Disney and is expanding globally – this will deliver us plenty of talking points. Brian Hook from [theatre experience company] Immersive Everywhere also be there to will tell us everything about the forthcoming Doctor Who Experience in London.

“Our aim is to explore the key developments across touring exhibitions, pop culture and family shows”

You’ve moved up to a bigger room for 2020. How do you expect the session to compare to previous years?

We are hosting a special double-panel event this spring, which provides a great opportunity for our colleagues in the experience and live entertainment fields.

The first will be at ILMC on 5 March in London. Then, on the first weekend of May, we will also have a panel at The Experience Economy Meeting (TEEM) in Los Angeles. The second panel will pick up on the themes discussed in London, creating a fantastic intercontinental partnership of ILMC in London and TEEM Los Angeles.

Our aim with both panels is to explore the key developments and brightest new spectacles across touring exhibitions, pop culture and family shows.

“Touring exhibitions are benefiting from globalisation much in the same way as live touring is”

What are some of the biggest trends you’re seeing coming through in the family/touring/alternative entertainment world?

Looking at the classic staples in this non-traditional touring sector – which includes everything that is not rock, pop or another musical genre – touring exhibitions, family shows and events such as comic conventions are benefiting from globalisation much in the same way as live touring is.

There are more venues, more markets opening up and more opportunities. I am personally fascinated by the likes of The Haus of Gaga in Las Vegas or The Zone: Britney Spears in Los Angeles.

Are we seeing new forms of fan worlds here?

To find out the answer to this question and more, come along to ILMC’s Touring Entertainment panel at 5 p.m. on Thursday 5 March.

 


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Elisabeth concert proves a success for Semmel

The debut of a concert adaptation of popular German-language musical Elisabeth attracted 20,000 viewers over the weekend to the Court of Honour at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.

A collaboration between German promoter Semmel Concerts Entertainment, the Vienna Theatre Association (VTA) and local promoter Showfactory, the concert brought the musical back to its original setting in Vienna. The concert version was performed by the VTA orchestra.

Making its debut in 1992, Elisabeth documents the life, works and sufferings of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The musical has been viewed around the world in a total of seven languages and by over 11 million people.

Due to the popularity of the event, the concert will return for three dates in 2020, from 25 to 27 June at the Schönbrunn Palace.

“There is no better way to stage Elisabeth than with a big orchestra and we look forward to continuing the international success story.”

“It is really special to showcase our worldwide success with a big concert in this exceptional historical setting,” says Christian Struppeck, musical director at the VTA.

“There is no better way to stage Elisabeth than with a big orchestra and we look forward to continuing the international success story.”

Dieter Semmelmann, chief executive of Semmel Concerts comments: “We are very happy with the outstanding realisation of this idea by all parties involved.”

Semmelmann adds that he was “honoured” by the “enthusiasm” from the writers of Elisabeth, Dr Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay.

Tickets for the 2020 Elisabeth concerts are available here, with prices ranging from €59,50 (£53.50) to € 152,50 (£137).

Picture (left to right): VTA CEO Franz Patay, Schönbrunn Palace cultural director Klaus Panholzer, Elisabeth actress Pia Douwes, VTA musical director Christian Struppeck and Semmel Concerts CEO Dieter Semmelmann.

 


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Theatre producer Mehr-BB wins big at PRG LEA 2019

The 14th edition of the German Live Entertainment Awards (LEA) took place at the Frankfurt Festhalle last night (1 April), with theatrical producer Mehr-BB picking two awards for best show and best concert hall or arena.

Awards were presented across 15 categories to concert and show organisers, managers, agents and venue operators from German-speaking countries.

“The LEA is a red carpet event in our city,” says Frankfurt city councillor Markus Frank. “It is an honour for us to celebrate the top-class LEA gala in our traditional festival hall.”

The ceremony was presented for the eighth time by broadcast journalist Ingo Nommsen, with performances from Kiefer Sutherland, Stefanie Heinzmann, Mike Singer and electronic swing jazz band DelDap.

The ensemble of hit musical Starlight Express also performed on the night. Mehr-BB Entertainment received the award for show of the year for the musical, which has run for 30 consecutive years in the Starlight Express Theatre in Bochum.

Neue Deutsche Welle singer Nena closed the ceremony, who won Wizard Promotions the concert hall tour of the year award with her Nothing Missed tour.

“Live entertainment is now the leading entertainment market [in Germany] and the most highly consumed cultural product”

“In Germany, around five billion euros are spent each year on attending music events and other live entertainment,” reports Professor Jens Michow, president of the Federal Association of the Concerts and Events Industry (BDKV) and producer of the awards ceremony.

“With those figures, live entertainment is now the leading entertainment market and the most highly consumed cultural product [in the country],” adds Michow.

Hamburg-based FKP Scorpio picked up the biggest touring category award, winning the prize for the best stadium tour of the year for Ed Sheeran’s ÷ tour and Semmel concerts earned the arena tour of the year award for the Kelly Family We Got Love tour.

Wacken Open Air founders Thomas Jensen and Holger Hübner won the lifetime achievement award for their work developing the largest heavy-metal festival in the world, receiving the award from German rock band Scorpions and comedian Matze Knop.

Jazzopen organiser Opus, along with MCT Agency and the European Astronaut Centre, won the award for concert of the year. The trio had collaborated on a special Kraftwerk concert in Stuttgart which saw astronaut Alexander Gerst broadcast live from space.

Live Nation won promoter of the year, whereas the homegrown promoter prize went to Vaddi Concerts.

A full list of winners can be found below and a round-up of nominees is available here.

Stadium tour of the year
Ed Sheeran ÷ tour (FKP Scorpio)

Arena tour of the year
The Kelly Family, We Got Love tour (Semmel Concerts)

Concert hall tour of the year
Nena, Nothing Missed tour (Wizard Promotions)

Club tour of the year
Bosse, Everything is now tour (Undercover)

Festival of the year
Nature One, Pydna

Concert of the year
Kraftwerk + Special Guest Dr Alexander Gerst, Stuttgart (Opus Festival, MCT Agentur GmbH and EAC Köln)

Show of the year
30 Years Starlight Express, Bochum (Mehr-BB Entertainment)

Promoter of the year
Live Nation

Local promoter of the year
Vaddi Concerts

Concert hall/ arena of the year
Mehr Theater, Hamburg (Mehr-BB Entertainment)

Artist development of the year
Timo Birth

Manager/ agent of the year
Johannes Jakob Hofmann, Jay Music and Selective Artists

Jury prize
Jamel rockt den Förster (Grünes Forum Selbstverwaltung Förderverein)

Lifetime achievement award
Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen

Collaboration of the year
Aida-Schiffstaufe with David Guetta (Hannover Concerts, KG Betriebsgesellschaft, Aida Cruises, Four Artists Booking and Meyer Werft)

 


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Semmel wins double at 12th PRG LEAs

The PRG Live Entertainment Awards (LEAs) returned to Frankfurt for 12th time on Monday, honouring the best and brightest in the German live industry.

Accolades were given in 15 categories, including promoter of the year, which went to FKP Scorpio; stadium tour of the year, which was awarded to Think Big for Udo Lindenberg’s Keine Panik! tour; arena tour of the year, presented to Wizard Promotions and Zucchero Fornaciari for the Black Cat world tour; and concert hall tour of the year and the jury prize, both of which went to Semmel Concerts, for Niedeckens BAP’s Jubiläumstour tour and PxP Festival, respectively.

“For 12 years we have been honouring the outstanding event achievements of the past year with the LEAs,” says Jens Michow, producer of the awards ceremony and president of German promoters’ association BDV.

“Twenty-sixteen was a particularly difficult year – with increased security risks , hurricane-like storms, torrential rains and violent thunderstorms that presented the industry with significant challenges – [so] I am all the more pleased by the level of professionalism with which these were overcome.”

A full list of winners is below:

Stadium tour of the year
Udo Lindenberg, Keine Panik! tour 2016 (Think Big Event- und Veranstaltungs)

Arena tour of the year
Zucchero Fornaciari, Black Cat tour 2016 (Wizard Promotions)

Concert hall tour of the year
Niedeckens BAP, Jubiläumstour tour 2016 (Semmel Concerts)

Club tour of the year
Max Giesinger, Der Junge, der rennt tour 2016 (Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion)

Festival of the year
OpenAir St Gallen

Concert of the year
David Gilmour, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria (Barracuda Music)

Show of the year
Kaltenberger Ritterturnier (Ritterturnier Kaltenberg Veranstaltungs)

Promoter of the year
FKP Scorpio

Artist development of the year
Popakademie Baden-Württemberg

Manager/agent of the year
Esteban de Alcázar, Sector3 Management

Local promoter of the year
Handwerker Promotion, Unna

Club of the year
Capitol, Hanover

Concert hall/arena of the year
Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt

Jury prize
PxP Festival, P x P Embassy/Semmel Concerts

Lifetime achievement award
Dieter Weidenfeld

A list of 2016 PRG LEA winners is here.

 


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