The most noticeable thing was how the younger generation is adopting the festival as its own, Marek Lieberberg told Pollstar after his twinned Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park festivals sold out in advance.
"The main age range is now 17 to 24," he explained. "Their fathers used to come to the festival and now they’re all doing something else. But their children come along and we are seeing a new generation of fans. The only old guy left is me."
Lieberberg said he’s obviously pleased to see 82,000 tickets for the Nürburgring and 63,000 for Park Festival in Nürnberg all sell in advance, but his ambition is to move his events up to the point where they sell out as soon as they’re announced.
Citing U.K. outdoors including Glastonbury, the Carling Weekend, the V Festivals and T In The Park, he said he admires the way they have helped build the U.K. festival tradition to the point where they can sell out in half a day.
"I would like Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park to be like that. In the U.K. they buy tickets without knowing who’s playing and that’s because they know these festivals will put on the very best acts that are available at the time," Lieberberg said.
"We don’t have that strong tradition here and we may never achieve it, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive towards it. I believe our festivals, and others in Europe including Rock Werchter, Pinkpop and Roskilde, deserve to sell out much quicker than they do," he added.
Seeing both sites sell out in advance for the first time in their 22-year history, Lieberberg said he’s going to push 2008 sales ahead by offering a discounted ticket until the end of July.
If he spent any time during the June 1-3 weekend wondering what the audience’s fathers are up to now, a glance at the festival’s MTV ratings may well have had him thinking they’re sitting at home and watching it live from their couches.
Nearly 1 million tuned into the MTV broadcasts, with the Linkin Park and Die Artze shows proving to be the most popular.
Adding the 145,000 festival tickets to the 850,000 sold for Herbert Gronemeyer’s stadium tour is enough alone to take Lieberberg’s company well above the million-ticket mark for the first half of the year.
Among the acts entertaining a new generation of fans were Die Arzte, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Billy Talent, Dave Matthews Band, Evanescence, The Fratellis, and Funeral For A Friend.