Was Grönemeyer Money Late?

While German music business papers have reported Live Nation lost the Herbert Grönemeyer tour because it failed to come up with a deposit or bank guarantee, several sources have told Pollstar the money was in place and the legendary multimillion-selling singer may be in trouble for breach of contract.

The story in the local media is that Live Nation Entertainment’s new German office won the contract for a 2011 tour of about a dozen shows. Then Grönemeyer’s management blew out the deal because Live Nation failed to stump up the reported “millions” needed to cement it.

The Grönemeyer tour will now be promoted by Dirk Becker Entertainment, the act’s regular promoter and part of CTS Eventim’s Medusa Group. It means that not only will Eventim get the shows, but it will also get the ticketing business.

The weekly Munich-based Musikmarkt said the incident raises the question of how serious Live Nation Entertainment is about growing its business in Germany.

However, if the deposit was paid or the guarantee was put in place, Grönemeyer could be facing a multimillion-euro lawsuit from Live Nation and any other companies that stood to benefit from it doing the tour.

Sources who insisted on remaining nameless told Pollstar that LN didn’t fail to come up with the money and it’s expected to break its silence on the matter within the next two or three weeks.

If the tour hadn’t gone to Becker and Eventim, the ticket sales would have been handled by Ticketmaster’s new German business. There may also be a network of German local promoters that had come on board as partners, who may lose out now the tour has gone from Live Nation to Eventim.

The story of the world’s largest live music promoter losing a 12-date German tour – albeit by a nationally famous act – to what’s become its arch-rival could hardly have come up at a worse time for Live Nation.

LN’s already locking horns with Eventim over its merger with Ticketmaster, which the German company opposed in the UK, and it’s hardly a good start for Live Nation’s new German office headed by Johannes Wessels in Hamburg.

When LN moved into Germany it sold its 20 percent stake in Marek Lieberberg to Eventim and hired Wessels to run the business it would set up as opposition.

At press time it wasn’t possible to get comment from Klaus Ulrich, who runs Grönemeyer’s affairs, or from Live Nation’s London-based international chief exec, Alan Ridgeway.