Green Hell Moves To Veltins

Deutsche Entertainment has shifted its new Green Hell Rock Festival in Germany from the Nürburgring to the Veltins Arena in Gelsenkirchen.

Photo: AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster
"The Concert For Valor," National Mall, Washington, D.C.

The May 29-31 festival, which has MetallicaKISSFaith No MoreJudas PriestLimp Bizkit, and Incubus, has also changed its name from Der Ring – Grüne Hölle Rock to Rock im Revier.

Berlin-based DEAG, which has teamed with German promoter Ossy Hoppe and UK promoter and recent acquisition Stuart Galbraith to create the new event, issued a statement April 2 blaming the Nürburgring’s operators for the move. It said the reason for the relocation of the festival was “the breach of contract by Capricorn Nürburgring,” the private investors group that a year ago bought the F1 circuit out of bankruptcy for what was then $136 million.

“The new solution is an outstanding win-win situation: the fans who for months have been looking forward to ‘Der Ring – Grüne Hölle Rock,’ now have with Rock Im Revier the opportunity to experience this ultimate rock spectacular in the heart of the Ruhr region,” Schwenkow said in a statement.

German weekly business magazine Wirtschafts Woche a week ago reported a rift between Capricorn and DEAG chief Peter Schwenkow, who accused his festival landlord of not coming up with its agreed share of the cash needed for artist deposits and sundry upfront payments. So far DEAG is believed to have shelled out $3.8 million in artists’ advances and other costs.

“Now’s the time to participate,” Schwenkow told Wirtschafts Woche, later telling Pollstar of his fallback plan to move his festival 115 miles to the stadium where soccer club Schalke 04 plays its home games. There’s a campsite near the venue.

Marek Lieberberg, who’d promoted Rock Am Ring on the Nürburgring site for nearly 30 years, moved his festival 20 or so miles down the road to the former military airfield at Mendig.

What may be of wider concern to DEAG is the ticket sales for the new festival, which Wirtschafts Woche had at grossing around euro 800,000 ($866,000).

Within the space of a month, DEAG has Rockavaria in the Munich Olympiapark (May 29-31) in Germany, Rock in Vienna” (June 4-6) on the Austrian capital’s Danube Island, and Swiss festival Rock The Ring” (June 19-21) in Zurich.