Fixing A Hole At Live Nation Germany

Neither side is saying what led to Live Nation Germany managing director Johannes Wessels leaving the company after only six months, but it may be that DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow will be plugging the gap for the world’s biggest music promoter.

At Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival, where locally based Wessels was to speak on a panel Sept. 24 before pulling out a day earlier, delegates were speculating over what happened and whether he jumped ship or got pushed overboard.

Paul Latham – the LN’s international chief ops officer – tells Pollstar there will soon be an announcement regarding his replacement.

Earlier in the year, LN sold its 20 percent stake in German promoter Marek Lieberberg Konzertagentur to majority shareholder CTS Eventim and opened up its own business in Hamburg with Wessels at its head. It apparently hasn’t worked out.

Schwenkow looks well-positioned to take over that role, as he’s promoted The Rolling Stones in Germany, one of LN Global Touring’s biggest acts. Any move to rebuild bridges with Lieberberg would likely be blocked by Eventim chief Klaus-Peter Schulenberg.

Schulenberg is already locking horns with LN over its merger with Ticketmaster and it’s difficult to see how Lieberberg would find it possible to extricate himself from his Eventim position, however much he wanted to continue his working relationship with LN chief Michael Rapino.

It’s unlikely that Schwenkow alone could restore LN’s position in the German market. He could handle the top-end stadium and big arena tours but LN international chief exec Alan Ridgeway might feel the need to bring in others to work the tours of smaller arena venues and develop emerging acts.

In March, when Jackie Lombard exited Live Nation France, Ridgeway brought in other promoters to ensure tours below stadium level would also get serviced.

Wessels has declined to make any comment on his split from LN or what went wrong during his six months with the company.