LSK Backs Off Klinger’s Shows

LSK has decided not to try to take over Wolfgang Klinger’s upcoming Vienna shows or enter into any sort of cooperation with the beleaguered Austrian promoter.

Dieter Semmelmann of Germany’s Bayreuth-based Semmel Concerts, who owns LSK in partnership with Marek Lieberberg, said his company has no intention of following Klinger’s Rock & More into bankruptcy.

Of the four shows Klinger has on sale, Lionel Richie at Vienna Stadthalle (April 26th) and Genesis in Linz Gugl Stadion (June 18th) would turn a profit, but not nearly as much as the Vienna Stadthalle shows for Beyoncé (May 8th) and Justin Timberlake (June 3rd) are likely to lose – both acts are selling very slowly throughout Europe.

All four of Klinger’s shows have been on sale since before Christmas but there’s been very little promotion or advertising.

Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, head of German ticketing giant CTS Eventim, and Andi Egger from Vienna-based ÖsterreichTicket – in which CTS has a majority stake – are said to be determined that "the new" Rock & More isn’t advanced any more box office money.

Egger has said his company won’t disclose any details of contracts with promoters or comment on "presale developments" of upcoming shows.

As Semmel Concerts and Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur are both part of CTS Eventim’s Medusa Group of promoters, having them take over would have ensured the shows went ahead without any of the box office money going through Klinger.

It was a strategy that was always going to be fraught with problems. John Giddings of London’s Solo – agent for Genesis – is known not to have the smoothest of working relationships with Lieberberg and was quick to make it clear that he would block that plan.

Dr. Susi Pariasek, the official receiver wrapping up the old bankrupt Rock & More (Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm) said the new Rock & More (Rock & More Beteiligungs GmbH) is basically the same company and should be held responsible for some of the debt.

Vienna authorities are investigating the links between the two.

Heimo Hanserl headed up both companies, Klinger acted as consultant for both and the new one operates from the same address, with mostly the same staff and with the same Web site as the old one – although that’s currently being redesigned.

The final straw that seems to have broken the back of LSK’s interest is the fact that even if there was a way for it to take over all four shows – including the moneymaking Genesis gig – the whole package would still make a substantial loss.

Klinger has said the old company was owed money that it couldn’t collect, so Hanserl sold it to someone who thought they could collect it.

He said most of the money owed was from former business partners in Bulgaria and Croatia, which is at odds with what’s being reported in Zagreb newspapers.

Although two of Klinger’s current partners – Bulgarian promoters David Lieberberg of Rock & More’s Eastern Division and Martin Stoyanov of Joker Media – are backing Klinger’s version of the story, the Zagreb papers are reporting that the city paid local promoter Marijan Crnaric US$500,000 in advance for last year’s canceled Rolling Stones show. Crnaric is quoted as saying he passed it on to Klinger.