Lieberberg Dominates LEA Nominations

Frankfurt-based promoter Marek Lieberberg has been nominated for four of this year’s Live Entertainment Awards, honouring Germany’s live concert business.

He hasn’t always enjoyed the smoothest relationship with the awards organisers. Lieberberg stormed out of the 2007 Live Entertainment Awards – with his company entourage in hot pursuit – because Rock am Ring didn’t win the award for best festival. He later referred to the awards as the “golden pineapples.”

It apparently hasn’t put him on the wrong side of the nominating judges, as he received five nominations last year. The judges are former Musikmarkt Live editor Martin Schruefer and an inner cabinet of 10 music business journalists.

The promoter has the same number of nominations this year, but two are in the best show category and one of them – a Beatles tribute called “Rain” – is a co-production with BB Promotion.

Lieberberg’s beef with the LEAs, which appears to be more banter than bitter, seems to stem from a genuine belief that Rock am Ring should have won.

“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 after last year’s 82,000-capacity outdoor at the Nürburgring echoed the point by selling out in record time.

Marek didn’t show for the 2008 LEA bash, although his son Andre picked up two awards on his father’s company’s behalf.

“Hello? Marek? No, I won’t leave. We won,” Andre said onstage, as if taking a telephone call from his father as he picked up the award for best concert.

The winning show was Smashing Pumpkins at Berlin Columbiahalle. The company kept hold of the “best promoter” award it also won in 2007.

The irony is that Rock Im Park, the smaller of the twinned festivals Lieberberg presents, was nominated for last year’s best festival award.

He will have had a second chance to storm out of a LEAs ceremony Feb. 26, as Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park share another nomination for best festival. Competition comes from Burghof Kultur Und Veranstaltungsgesellschaft for the Stimmen (or voices) Festival at Lörrach and the Citadel Music Festival that Trinity Concerts stages in Berlin. Wacken Open Air was named best festival in 2008.

Lieberberg also has a chance to win “best promoter” for the third year in succession. He’s up against Hamburg-based promoter Karsten Jahnke – who won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award – KKT, and Medusa Group stablemate Semmel Concerts.

He’s also up for best arena tour for Madonna, but Johannes Wessels of Music Pool is defending the title he won in 2008 for Justin Timberlake’s FutureSexLoveShow. This time Wessels, another Hamburg-based promoter, is nominated for his Leonard Cohen tour.

ACE Entertainment and Dieter Weidenfeld Promotionberatung are also in the frame for their Howard Carpendale tour, as are KKT for Die Ärzte and Ossy Hoppe’s Wizard Promotions for Kiss.

Wizard is also up for best show for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss in Düsseldorf, with the opposition coming from Creative Talent (Scooter in Berlin Zitadelle), MCT for Radiohead in the Berlin Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide, Peter Rieger (Lou Reed at Munich Philharmonic), and DEAG Classics AG for Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at Berlin Waldbühne.

The best arena category gives a chance to Hamburg Colorline Arena, which hosts the LEAs. The other nominations are Leipzig Arena and Mannheim SAP Arena.