German Live Entertainment Award: FKP Scorpio & DEAG Awarded For Rolling Stones ‘No Filter’ Stadium Tour

On April 9, Germany’s live entertainment industry gathered at Frankfurt’s Festhalle to celebrate the 13th edition of the PRG Live Entertainment Award.

PRG LEA 2018
PRG LEA/Ben Pakalski
– PRG LEA 2018
Stephan Thanscheidt, MD of FKP Scorpio, accepting his award

FKP Scorpio and DEAG co-promoted the three German dates on The Rolling Stones’ “No Filter” European tour: Hamburg, Munich and Düsseldorf, which sold out almost 200,000 tickets in four days. According to Pollstar data, which is based on reports for all three shows, a total of 197,125 tickets were sold, grossing $32,233,784.

For the Sept. 9 concert in Hamburg, the Festwiese in the city’s central park, was used as a concert location for the first time in 28 years. About 82,000 came and saw “the hardest rock band in the world turning into the best blues band on bloody cold Saturday night,” according to German actor Max Moor, who presented the award.

Picking up the award were DEAG founder and CEO Peter Schwenkow and FKP Scorpio MD Stephan Thanscheidt, who said it was “one of the most sensational tours we ever promoted, and probably the most spectacular and successful in our company’s history.

“They’re old men,” he added, “who have been doing this for a long time. But there’s a vibe on tour that you only get to experience very rarely.”

Thanscheidt also thanked the local promoters, PGM in Munich, Dirk Becker Entertainment in Düsseldorf and Christian Wiesmann in Hamburg, and said he was looking forward to two more shows in Berlin and Stuttgart this year.

DEAG has been promoting The Rolling Stones’ tours in Germany since 1998. “If you have been 40 years in the business, and receive a LEA for a band you’ve been promoting since 20 years, you ask yourself: why are we doing this? And I want to give you the answer that I’ve found to this question: because we, as promoters, are in a very privileged position. We are able to discover young talent, promote and build artists, and introduce them to a broader audience,” said Schwenkow.

Local promoters have a dedicated category at the LEAs, and this years award went to Hannover Concerts, which promoted 500 events with almost one million visitors in Hannover and the surrounding area, inluding Guns N’ Roses, Depeche Mode, Coldplay and Robbie Williams. The only Eminem concert in Germany is schedule for July 10 on Hannover’s Messegelände, and

Hannover Concerts  also won in 2008 and 2011, which is when the ceremony moved to its current location, the Festhalle Frankfurt. The venue is more than 100 years old, and was completely modernized in the 80s. Today it holds 13,500 visitors and has hosted Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Luciano Pavarotti and many others in the past. Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH operates the building, CEO Uwe Behm called her the “grand old dame” of Germany’s venues in his acceptance speech.

The arena tour of the year went to Helene Fischer, her manager Uwe Kanthak and Dieter Semmelmann of Semmel Concerts for the “Helene Fischer Live 2017” tour, which sold-out the biggest arenas in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Accepting the award, Semmelmann said, Fischer created her own entertainment genre with this show: a three-hour extravaganza of live music, acrobatics and spectacular effects, realized by UK entertainment architects Stufish and Cirque du Soleil’s creative experts 45 Degrees. The tour garnered Europe-wide attention for Fischer, who has now sold out her first stadium in the Netherlands, Arnheim’s GelreDome, for Sept. 15, 2018.

Another award is traditionally handed out to concert hall tours with a capacity between 2,000 and 5,000. This year’s LEA went to Karsten Jahnke Konzertdirektion and German singer-songwriter Johannes Oerding for the “Johannes Oerding – Live 2017” tour.

Oerding signed with Jahnke nine years ago, without having a record deal or any radio airplay. Ben Mitha, his booker and MD at Karsten Jahnke, said Oerding was “blessed with a unique voice and a band that’s without equal.” He added that radio and TV opportunities for Oerding only started coming up in the past two years, “everything else happened through live, with the help of our local partners.”

PRG LEA 2018
PRG LEA/Ben Pakalski
– PRG LEA 2018
Ossy Hoppe accepted the award on behalf of his boss, his son, who was on holiday

Wizard Promotion’s Aerosmith concert at Munich’s Königsplatz on May 26, was crowned concert of the year. There were 22,000 visitors who had the ultimate classic rock experience, as Foreigner was the support act, and Aerosmith also performed classics by the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and others. 

The local promoter of the concert was Global Concerts, which, according to Wizard founder Ossy Hoppe, “turned Munich’s Königsplatz into a full-fledged concert location again.”

BB Promotion GmbH from Mannheim won promoter of the year. When Michael Brenner founded his own company in 1987, he wanted to blur the lines between what was considered serious music and music made for entertainment at the time. Brenner passed away seven years ago, leaving BB Promotions in the hands of a team of managing directors led by Ralf Kokemüller, who accepted the award.

A close partnership with Disney, partnerships with the UK’s Really Useful Group and hit musical producer Cameron Mackintosh, as well as bringing ATG on board as a majority stakeholder in 2015, all contributed to BB Promotion becoming a major national and international player in live entertainment.

The company’s event portfolio includes STOMP (since 1997), Yamato – The Drummers of Japan (2002), the world’s first tango musical Tanguera (2007), Disney’s The Beauty and The Beast (2011) or The Lion King (2015). The company also produces its own shows, including the “Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show,” “Bodyguard,” or Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” which it promoted around the world, from Paris, France, to Tokyo, Japan.

Jazzopen Stuttgart won festival of the year. Promoter Opus Festival-, Veranstaltungs- und Management GmbH, celebrated a record year in 2017, welcoming 36,000 visitors, who saw 40 acts on six stages. The goal is to break that record in 2018, when the event turns 25.

The 1,000 capacity Markthalle Hamburg was named club of the year. The list of acts that passed through the venue, since it opened in 1977, includes AC/DC, BB King, The Clash, The Police, REM, U2, as well as German icons Herbert Grönemeyer and Westernhagen.

PRG LEA 2018
PRG LEA/Ben Pakalski
– PRG LEA 2018
German hip hop duo SXTN and Four Artists Booking were awarded for their most recent club tour

The award for club tour of the year went to German rap duo SXTN, which consists of Juju and Nuru from Berlin, and Michael Sand of Four Artists Booking. “Our booker fucked all other bookers,” said the two women, to which Sand replied, “I have almost nothing to add,” before thanking his colleagues.

The show of the year award went to Mewes Entertainment Group GmbH, promoter of “Nutten, Koks und frische Erdbeeren” (Sluts, cocaine and fresh strawberries). It’s a revue about Germany’s Schlager genre, which is unique to the country, a mix of very cheesy lyrics mostly about love. Schlager icon Mary Roos and cabaret artist and Schlager hater Wolfgang Trepper clash on stage for a simple concept: while Trepper insults the genre throughout the whole show, Roos tries to change his mind by performing some of her most iconic hits.

Trepper once said in an interview with NDR, that the name for the show derived from what was to be found on the tour rider of one of Germany’s Schlager legends, Heino. He and Roos also said that, during the four year’s the show’s been going, no performance had ever been rehearsed beforehand.

Another award, to honor those promoting the young, went to Schooljam e.V., an initiative that promotes music in schools, and encourages kids to play instruments and form bands. The jury prize was awarded to actor Ben Becker and Meistersinger Konzerte & Promotion GmbH for “Ich, Judas” (I, Judas).

Munich-based promoter Georg Hörtnagel, founder of Hörtnagel Konzertdirektion, won the lifetime achievement award. Hörtnagel was a true farmer’s boy, who knew his calling was in music early on. He fled home when he was 18 to start a life in Munich. It took him two years to learn the contrabass and join the city’s orchestra, in which he played for 18 years, until an injury caused him to lose his spot. This launched his second career as a concert promoter and music manager, specializing in chamber music. He thanked the LEA jury for awarding an “outsider,” in his acceptance speech.

About 260 tons of material had been used to build the LEA stage, which was obviously intended to give guests an idea of the industry’s ability to wow audiences – especially since the awards traditionally kick off the city’s Musikmesse and the concurrent entertainment technology fair Prolight + Sound.

The Analogues opened the show. The Dutch band is currently touring Europe and playing the Beatles’ St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in all its analogue glory, bringing all the instruments that were used on the studio album with them on tour – including the specialists it takes to tune them.

Other live acts included Wincent Weiss, Michael Patrick Kelly and ESC 2014 winner Conchita. Legendary German techno band Scooter closed the ceremony with a medley of Scooter hits spanning 20-plus years. A nice side touch of the lEAs 2018: an unknown roadie from Bamberg, named Hotte, handed out the awards all night.

PRG LEA 2018
PRG LEA/Ben Pakalski
– PRG LEA 2018
Scooter closed the award ceremony in true Scooter fashion: with hardcore techno beats and hilarious lyrics