Marek Up For Another Pineapple

Marek Lieberberg’s storming out of last year’s German Live Entertainment Awards hasn’t put him on the wrong side of the nominating judges, as he’s been short-listed for at least one of this year’s gongs.

It’s hardly surprising that it hasn’t worked against the Frankfurt-based promoter, as the nominating committee comprises 10 journalists chaired by former Musikmarkt Live editor Martin Schruefer who have at least shown some gratitude for all the copy that Lieberberg provided them with at last February’s bash.

He left the awards, with his company entourage following 10 minutes behind him, after Rock Am Ring failed to win the award for best festival.

Lieberberg said the event had let itself down and referred to the awards as the "golden pineapples."

"I thought it was an industry award and should go to the best festival and we clearly have that with Rock Am Ring," he said in the summer, after the 82,000-capacity outdoor at the Nürburgring had echoed the point by selling out in record time.

"We were in three categories and my son Andre said there was no point in coming to the awards if we couldn’t win that one.

"I was not so bothered about Best Promoter because that can perhaps change a little from year to year," he added, referring to the award his company had also won but failed to collect because all his staff had followed him out the door.

This year he’s up for best arena tour for Take That’s "Beautiful World" dates, co-promoted with Ossy Hoppe’s Wizard Promotions, with the latter the more likely to be picking up the award on March 11.

The dates were at Hamburg Colorline Arena, where this year’s LEAs will be held, Cologne Arena, Stuttgart Schleyerhalle, Berlin Velodrom, Frankfurt Festhalle and Oberhausen Koenig-Pilsener Arena.

The competition comes from the Die Prinzen tour, co-promoted by Känguruh Produktion and Prinzen Büro, Music Pool’s Justin Timberlake dates and the Die Fantastischen Vier tour promoted by Four Artists.

The nominations for best festival won’t be known until the second batch of categories is announced February 11, when the German journalists will let on if they were sufficiently impressed with last year’s Rock Am Ring to include it again.

Last year CTS Eventim’s Medusa Group of promoters was nominated for nine awards and won four of them. They look to have a good chance of landing as many this year.

Apart from Lieberberg being in the "Best Tour" list, FKP Scorpio and Peter Rieger Konzertagentur clash in the best club tour category. Scorpio’s nomination is for the Wilco dates promoted by company chief Folkert Koopmans, while Rieger’s is for senior promoter Stefan Gunter’s tour for Norwegian singer Mariah Mena, who is the first act confirmed to play this year’s LEAs.

She’s managed by Rune Lem of Live Nation’s Gunnar Eide in Norway, who says the dates indicate the act has moved up from clubs to rooms with capacities between 1,500 and 2,500. The tour included a show at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival plus major cities including Munich, Berlin, Cologne and Frankfurt. Mena’s now sold well more than 100,000 albums in Germany.

The other three on the shortlist are the Bloc Party tour promoted by Scumeck Sabottka’s MCT, DEAG’s K.I.Z. dates and Tim Fischer, the flamboyant contemporary cabaret crooner and actor who booked his own shows.

In 1990 Fischer started a year with Hamburg’s Schmidt Theatre and, along with the fact that Scorpio and MCT are both local promoters, the city could be said to have a three in five chance of winning the category.

The "Best Concert Venue" award has an even chance of going to Berlin, as the city’s Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide and Admiralspalast are nominated along with the Mannheim SAP Arena and Munich’s Circus Krone.

The award for best manager is between Uli Roth for Pur, Töne Stallmeyer for Mario Barth, and Benjamin Ebel for the massively popular Tokio Hotel.

The LEAs, which are now in their third year, were started by Musikmart Live when Schruefer was editor.

He left last year to head Event magazine, the preview and listings publication owned by CTS chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg, but Musikmart has continued to run the awards in cahoots with co-founder IDKV, one of Germany’s two major concert promoters’ associations.