Lollapalooza Berlin Confirmed

Berlin Festival chief Stefan Lehmkuhl put a post on Facebook Nov. 6 that apparently confirms that next September US festival Lollapalooza will debut in Europe.

Photo: Steve C. Mitchell/Invision/AP
Lollapalooza festival fans dance at Perry’s Stage at the Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park.

The American outdoor will be in the German capital of Berlin at Tempelhof Airport Sept. 12 and 13, as Pollstar exclusively revealed five weeks ago.

At the time, the European side of the arrangement to bring Lollapalooza to Berlin seemed determined to keep the whole deal under wraps. Lehmkuhl didn’t respond to requests for a comment and Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn categorically denied any knowledge of the event.

On the other side of the Atlantic and on the same day as Lehmkuhl’s Facebook post, WME, Perry Farrell, C3, Melt Booking and Festival Republic – all those involved in Lollapalooza Berlin – put out a statement announcing that “Germany will join Chile, Brazil and Argentina as the fourth international location for the iconic festival.”

“We have very carefully considered bringing our festival to Europe and frankly, were intimidated by the rich festival history Europe has had for 50 years.  Berlin feels like it is ready to explode as a city and cultural center and we want to be there to grow with the city,” said Marc Geiger, head of William Morris Endeavor’s music division.

The move to Berlin should suit Lollapalooza’s (and C3’s) global expansions, which have already made inroads into Australia and South America.

The nearest Lollapalooza had got to Europe was planning a 2013 festival in Israel, but the event in Tel Aviv was scrapped about eight months before it was to happen.

Berlin and Tempelhof also present their own difficulties as neither the city nor its inhabitants are flush with money. It’s still possible to get a decent meal, a beer and change from $10.

The four million or so people living in Berlin have much less spending power than other major cities such as Munich and Hamburg.

Although the airport is suitable for a festival, it’s a vast site and needs at least 40,000 people to make it look busy. Staging Lollapalooza in the German capital in September would mean a head-to-head clash with Berlin Festival, although Benn says the latter’s 2015 dates aren’t yet fixed and it would be no surprise if it now shifted to an earlier period in the festival calendar.