Green Hell Could Freeze Over

The German festival battle between Marek Lieberberg and Peter Schwenkow could be over, as the country’s leading business paper is suggesting the latter’s Green Hell Rock may not happen. 

Wirtschafts Woche (or “Business Week”) says Deutsche Entertainment chief Schwenkow, who took Rock Am Ring’s old location at the Nürburgring for his new festival, is already at loggerheads with his new partners at the Formula One race track. It’s reporting that Schwenkow, who has German promoter Ossy Hoppe and UK promoter Stuart Galbraith on his Green Hell team, has sold euro 800,000 ($866,000) worth of tickets – between 4,000 and 6,000 – and paid out $3.8 million in artists’ advances and other costs.

Metallica, KISS, Faith No More, Judas Priest, Limp Bizkit, and Incubus have been confirmed for the May 29-31 event.

Schwenkow tells Pollstar the main problem is that Capricorn, the group of private investors that bought the F1 circuit out of bankruptcy for $136 million, has been slow to come up with its share of the costs. “Now’s the time to participate,” he told Wirtschafts Woche. He says Green Hell will go ahead, even if it means moving it to the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen, the home of soccer club Schalke 04. There’s a campsite near the venue. He also says that would mean he’d take Capricorn to court for “some millions” in damages.

Despite Capricorn buying the Nürburgring out of bankruptcy, there have been other stories suggesting it’s still having financial problems. The administrators that sold the track to Capricorn issued a statement in October saying it looked unlikely that the investors would be able to come up with the next euro 5 million ($6.2 million) installment of the purchase price.

If Capricorn had failed to come up with the money, the administrators would have been legally bound to re-take control and reopen the bidding process for the Nürburgring. This year Germany won’t have a Grand Prix motor race because the F1 track couldn’t raise the cash. Last autumn Lieberberg, who had promoted Rock Am Ring on the site for nearly 30 years, moved his festival 30 kilometers to the former military airfield at Mendig. Rock am Ring (June 5-7) has Foo Fighters, Marilyn Manson, Bad Religion, Die Toten Hosen, A Day To Remember, and Eagles Of Death Metal.