Does Medusa Have Klinger’s Shows?

The European live music business was left wondering what’s going on in Austria as the story of Rock & More’s bankruptcy took a dramatic and rather mysterious turn.

It seemed German promoters Dieter Semmelmann and Marek Lieberberg had taken over Wolfgang Klinger’s Vienna shows with Genesis, Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, and Lionel Richie, but one of the country’s major ticket sellers denies this has happened.

According to music business gossip circulating around the Austrian capital, the two Medusa Group promoters, who have their own company and an office in the city, are going to run these events.

Lieberberg told Pollstar he’s obviously aware that the company in which he and Semmelmann are partners is now involved in these shows, but said his colleague will be handling the day-to-day business.

Neither Lieberberg nor Semmelmann has a (recent) history of working with any of the acts’ agents, who are John Giddings of Solo (Genesis), Rob Hallett of AEG Live (Beyoncé and Timberlake) and Barrie Marshall (Richie).

At press time, Semmelmann said he was on his way to Vienna for further discussions, but Andreas Egger – chief exec of the Eventim Österreich ticket business – said none of the shows have been taken over at the moment.

“We are a ticketing company and we are selling tickets for whoever is the actual promoter of a show,” he explained.

“If there should be a change of promoters, then the old promoter and the new promoter will communicate this to us together and, only after that, I could comment.

“I am not taking part in the various speculations and gossip and, as long as we do not get any other official information, the promoter is the same.”

Egger, a former partner of Klinger in the old bankrupt Rock Production promoting business, now runs one of the country’s main ticketing companies. It’s part-owned by German ticketing giant CTS Eventim, which also co-owns Lieberberg’s MLK and Semmelmann’s Bayreuth-based Semmel Concerts.

CTS chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg hasn’t been available to comment on whether any of the Vienna moves are connected with the recent bankruptcy of the Rock & More company that Heimo Hanserl had – with Klinger as consultant – until it was off-loaded a couple of months before it folded.

Dr. Susi Pariasek of Pariasek Holper, the Vienna-based official receiver that is trying to get some of the euro 1.8 million the old Rock & More owes its creditors, has said she’ll be asking for at least some of that money out of the new Rock & More that Hanserl set up in February.

She said she’s not happy that Hanserl and Klinger appear to have started a new company when it was becoming clear that the old one was in trouble.

“It’s effectively the same people trading out of the same office, with the same staff and the same telephone numbers,” she told Pollstar.

So far, she said she’s asked for an undisclosed “fixed-amount goodwill payment” but hasn’t received any response.

Pariasek said she’s investigating if the old company’s change of name – from Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm to MT Veranstaltungs Gm – and change of directors were done to mask the fact that the old Rock & More was going bust.

Austrian company records show Hanserl stepped down as company chief and was replaced by Manfred Trojer as recently as August 12th.

The company named “MT Veranstaltungs GmbH vormals [or formerly known as] Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm” was declared bankrupt in Vienna court October 27th.

— John Gammon