Europe: Birmingham Arena, Soccer Seats Fire, Romania Awake

Barclaycard Pulls Birmingham Arena Sponsorship

Arena Birmingham
– Arena Birmingham

“As part of a review of their sponsorship strategy,” Barclaycard has moved away from a long-term naming rights deal with the successful arena in Birmingham, England.

From Sept. 1, the venue will operate as Arena Birmingham until a new sponsor is found.

“The Barclaycard Arena has been a resounding success since it launched with Michael Bublé in 2014 following a £26m redevelopment,” said Phil Mead, MD of NEC Group Arenas.

He added, “We are now entering another exciting era with , as it’s transformed into a destination in its own right within the city. The construction of the Legoland Discovery Centre Birmingham is already underway, we are a principal venue of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 bid, and will be hosting a roster of great events throughout the rest of 2017/18.”

Confirmed shows under the new name include Nooran Sisters (Sept. 9), John Legend (Sept. 20) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (Sept. 30). Arena Birmingham, longside sister venue Genting Arena near Birmingham airport attracts more than 1.5 million visitors annually, NEC Group claims.

Seats Burn At German Soccer Cup

The first match of Germany’s DFB soccer cup on Aug. 14 got off to a rough start when fans set parts of the stadium on fire, causing the match to be interrupted twice.

Fans of Berlin’s Hertha BSC and home team Hansa Rostock are known to share a mutual distaste for one another, which is why the game was classified as a high-risk match, according to

The match in Rostock’s 29,000-capacity Ostseestadion had to be interrupted twice. First, Berlin fans fired pyrotechnics, some in the direction of opposing fans. Later, Rostock supporters set a Hertha banner on fire, which caused some seats to ignite.  

Germany Cup Fire
Axel Heimken / dpa via AP
– Germany Cup Fire
Police stand by as seats in one section of the Ostseestadion Stadium burn after being set ablaze by soccer fans Aug. 14 in Rostock, Germany.

The banner was reported stolen in 2014. Police were clueless as to how it had been smuggled into the venue, as it wasn’t discovered in pre-game checks. Germany’s football association, DFB, has launched a judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of things. According to several news reports, officials had considered canceling the match at various stages.

Yet the match was brought to a close, with Berlin taking home the win. The departure of some 900 away fans from Berlin took place in a mainly calm manner, according to police. The management departments of both clubs utterly condemned the actions of both teams’ unruly supporters. Only a week ago, Hansa Rostock was penalized to four away games without supporters by DFB’s sports tribunal, according to

Awake: New Boutique Romanian Festival

Running Emagic alongside managing partner Guido Janssens are his wife, Laura Coroianu, and Mojo Concerts’ Leon Ramakers.

Janssens said the plan was “to create a festival with the people,” which is why there will be an opportunity for the audience to meet with the promoters each day, share their ideas and give feedback.

Coroianu added there would be a platform called Feed Your Mind, where the audience could engage with inspiring speakers.

“We want to not only talk about the creative industries and entrepreneurship but also tackle some political issues,” she said. Another highlight is the so-called Forest Library.

The festival site is located right next to a castle, which, in the late 1700s, contained “the most extensive library in the whole of Transylvania. If you wanted to become an erudite in those days, you had to go to the Teleki Castle.”

The Russians plundered the castle after World War II, and most volumes were destroyed (according to the current count of the castle, the Russians let their horses trample over and sleep on the volumes of books).

Those that were saved were moved to the municipal library in Targu Mures.

“This story had such an impact on me that I decided we had to celebrate that library at the festival. Which is why we designed a forest library with 500 volumes which you can actually borrow during the festival.”

Besides the baroque-style castle, the festival site boasts an English park, where festivalgoers can read in the shade of 350-year-old oak trees.

“The ambition is not to have the biggest festival in Romania, or even a big festival. We do have an ambition to make it the nicest festival,” Janssens said.