The first edition of Rolling Loud Germany, which took place on Munich’s fair grounds (Messe München) July 7-9, was marred by some aggressive visitors among the crowd, as promoter Live Nation Germany stated.
What could have been a marvelous premiere of the world’s fastest-growing hip hop festival was overshadowed by violent behavior of some guests, not helped by the fact that one of its three headliners got delayed on the last day.
60,000 had flocked to the east of Munich to see a massive hip hop lineup led by Wizkid, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott. Central Cee, Glorilla, Gucci Mane, Joey Badass, J.I.D., Kodak Black, Lil Uzi Vert, Rae Sremmurd, Ski Mask The Slump God, as well as German stars like Bonez MC & Raf Camora, or UFO361 were other highlights.
While Live Nation stated that most of the event went down without major issues, some aggressive visitors cause several incidents. On day one of the festival, they strew stones at security staff, which is why the program on the second stage got aborted prematurely. Wizkid’s performance on the main stage wasn’t affects.
Several times, the crowd would break into areas in front of the stage that had been sealed of for crowd-management purposes on several occasions, a situation that was under control by Saturday afternoon, the day Kendrick Lamar headlined.
Travis Scott was supposed to close out the show, which he did, albeit after arriving late due to a delayed flight (due to president Joe Biden arriving in London, where Travis Scott was departing from), and ending his concert after about 30 minutes, which seems to have been the maximum that was still possible, given the local authority’s mandated cut-off time of 10.45 p.m.
Police told local media that the overall vibe seemed “remarkably aggressive,” and that it increased its presence on the last day.
The local medical service, Johanniter, reported some registered incidents 800, including 27 that had to be hospitalized, which was in line with events of the size of Rolling Loud Germany, by their own admission.
On a positive note, Live Nation Germany highlighted the festival’s well-thought out infrastructure, including ample sources of drinking water, more than enough sanitary facilities, the audience’s smooth arrival and departure, and the sustainability measures taken on site.
The event was realized in cooperation with Leutgeb Entertainment Group, which first opened up Munich’s fair grounds for major concerts last year. Live Naiton stated, “The open-air site (…) was already used last year for large-scale concerts with more spectators than at Rolling Loud Germany and once again proved its special quality.The event concept proved to be coherent and proven, including intensive security precautions. The individual incidents were quickly resolved through increased security measures.”
Live Nation GSA president Andre Lieberberg commented, “we responded to the problems as immediately and professionally as possible. Our efforts were always directed at observing all official requirements and to this end we were in permanent exchange with the police, fire department and the [municipal authority] KVR.”
As he pointed out, Live Nation GSA is staging “50 open-air events with over three million visitors,” this festival season, “including in Munich’s Olympic Stadium and other major stadiums in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In no case have there been any incidents or riots so far.”
And he concluded, “In the end, Rolling Loud Germany was an outstanding event and celebrated an enthusiastic premiere overall for the vast majority of visitors. We look forward to returning next year.”
Rolling Loud Germany doesn’t seem to be the only European event marred by aggressiveness. Olivier Toth, president of the European Arenas Association (EAA), told Pollstar when we last spoke, that “interestingly enough, I’ve heard from colleagues that there is some violent behavior that they see at some of the shows, that they didn’t expect, or didn’t see pre-pandemic.”