2010's Love Parade: Many German concert promoters believe the industry is sufficiently regulated. (Photo: Getty Images)
Very little has changed in Germany's concert industry since the tragic events of July 24, 2010 when 21 people died and 500 were injured ( Billboard report) at the country's annual love parade in Duisburg.
Eight months later, the discussion over a centralized "safety standards authority" and demands from the German association for concert promoters (BDV) to standardize government regulations, have gone mute
"There has been no intensification of the regulations," said Peter Schwenkow, CEO of Berlin's DEAG Entertainment.
"The reason there hasn't been any changes to the concert safety codes is that the current rules are sufficiently strict, extensive and detailed," explains Jens Michow, president of BDV, Hamburg. "The requirements for organizers of festivals and mass events are contained in a catalog entitled the Law on Public Assembly (Versammlungs Stättenverordnung - Venues)."
German promoters and event organizers, for the most part, are well aware of the importance of -- and approaches to -- insuring public safety at concerts.
"Our safety precautions have been regularly adapted and revised over the years," says Thomas Hess, head of security of North Germany's Metal festival Wacken Open Air, which attracts some 75,000 visitors.¨Frankfurt based concert promoter Marek Lieberberg, organizer of the festivals "Rock am Ring" (Nürburgring, Eifel) and "Rock im Park" in Nuremberg - festivals that combined attract 150,000 people each year, also believes "the existing laws and provisions and the catalog of requirements are quite sufficient.
"On April 5, 2011 Lieberberg will receive the German LEA award in Frankfurt in recognition of his safety record over the last 25 years of promoting the Rock am Ring concert, Germany's premier open-air rock festival. A jury of 10 German concert promoters made the selection.
Over the years, Lieberberg has improved concert safety with innovations such as traffic management systems, customized crowd control barriers and increased security staff monitoring of the critical area in front of the main stage, where accidents are especially likely to occur.
The LEA Award jury commended Lieberberg on installing traffic lights at entrances, enlarging egresses and introducing high-tech surveillance systems. "We are recognizing [Lieberberg's] efforts and commitment to the German event industry and maintaining the very highest safety standards," the jury said.
Rock am Ring is an event that moves people and crowds," said BDV's Michow. "It is a show of strength in logistics, organization and security. It is no coincidence that there has not been a single accident at the festival in 25 years. Many crowd management experts are integrated in the festival planning stage. In 2010 Lieberberg installed the most comprehensive security system ever. At Rock am Ring, safety does not hang by the proverbial thread."