Birds Force FKP Scorpio To Relocate Ed Sheeran Concert

Ed Sheeran’s July 22 concert, which was to take place at the airfield in Essen/Mülheim, had to be moved to the nearby D.Live Open Air Park in Düsseldorf to protect the local bird population.

Ed Sheeran
John Davisson
– Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran strums a tune at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., Aug. 29.

Promoter FKP Scorpio said it has done everything in its power to guarantee the protection of the species. Even though the city had agreed to resettle the birds, Germany’s nature and biodiversity union NABU protested against moving the animals for economic reasons. Successfully, it turns out.

The bird issue as well as “other external reasons,” left FKP Scorpio no choice but to move the concert to D.Live Open Air Park. The promoter thanked the cities of Essen and Mülheim for their cooperation in trying to make the concert.

D.Live is the new brand encompassing the venues operated by Düsseldorf Congress Sport & Event: ESPRIT arena (maximum capacity 66,500), ISS Dome (14,000), Mitsubishi Electric Halle (7,500), the Castello Düsseldorf (3,000), and D.Live Open Air Park, which can host up to 100,000 guests.

The July 22 Ed Sheeran concert sold out all of its 80,000 tickets, which remain valid and also serve as public transport vouchers for anybody willing to make the short 20-kilometer trip from Essen/Mülheim to Düsseldorf.

Düsseldorf’s mayor Thomas Geisel is, of course, thrilled about the latest development, calling the concert move “sensational news.” Michael Brill, CEO of Düsseldorf Congress Sport & Event, added that the mega-concert was a “more than worthy opening and a grandiose start for Düsseldorf’s open-air park.”

Ed Sheeran’s Germany trek comprises five dates, beginning July 19 at Berlin’s Olympiastadion, followed by the relocated show in Düsseldorf, the Trabrennbahn Bahrenfeld in Hamburg on July 15, and two concerts at Munich’s Olympiastadion, July 29-30.

The German dates are part of a European leg that commences with three shows at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium in Cork, Ireland, May 4-6, and ends with two nights at the PGE Narodowy soccer stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Aug. 11-12. Sheeran will then tour the States through November 10.

FKP Scorpio isn’t the first European promoter facing bird issues. When DF Concerts moved Scotland’s landmark festival T in the Park from the former military airfield Balado to nearby Strathallan Castle in 2015, the cost of protecting a pair of Ospreys nesting on site made the event unviable.

The protection of the two birds of prey would have cost DF Concert some £1 million ($1.4 million) annually. 

“There’s the obvious difficulty of having to move site and then, because of a pair of Ospreys, jump through a load of planning hoops that made the event unviable,” Geoff Ellis, head of DF Concerts, told Pollstar in September.