Reeperbahn Campus Conference concludes with thoughts of Love Parade

November 2010

Live events industry

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the tragedy at the Love Parade in Duisburg that focussed minds at the Reeperbahn Campus Conference, with delegates concluding that more should be done to share crowd management knowledge and experience across Europe, both within the live entertainment sector, and also with those in local government who regulate large scale events. Jens Michow, boss of trade body BDV said “With a tragedy this size, of course there will be a reaction, with people and government calling for new rules or regulations” but added “but in reality German law is already quite extensive in this area, and a lot of the new regulations being informally called for post-Duisburg are already there in the law … that’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement”, he conceded. “Especially regarding the way venues and promoters agree security arrangements; but it’s important people don’t get hysterical here and overlook the protection that already exists in Germany”. But it was the lack of information, in particular with Local Authorities, that was talked about. Delegates pointed out that there was a lot of “great knowledge out there across Europe about how best to manage large events” but Roskilde’s Henrik Bondo Nielsen told the session. “But most of it is hard to find, and in a local language when you find it”. Neilsen pointed to the lessons learnt by Roskilde and highlighted Bucks New University’s Centre for Crowd Safety and Security Studies in High Wycombe as a valuable hub of knowledge on this issue. Nielsen and his colleague from the ILMC Safety Focus Group, Chrissy Uerlings, called on the mainstream live sector and European governments to do more to facilitate the sharing of this knowledge. Michow vowed to support and if necessary fund the pooling and translating of advisory reports on crowd safety from around Europe. The Conference also heard from delegates concerned about music publishing collection Society GEMA who are seeking to increase collections from the live sector, not least by taking a share of sponsorship. In a move that mirrors the ‘consultation the UK’s PRS are conducting, the German publishing collecting society is aiming to get a cut of the live sector’s sponsorship revenues in addition to a slice of ticket, catering and bar sales. Jens Michow has said the BDV promoters association will fight the move.

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