(Photo by Maëva Vigier) In a ‘thrilling’ turn of events, the Dutch Council of State has granted Rammstein the permission to set the skies ablaze with fireworks during their concerts on Thursday and Friday nights in Groningen (NL). The foundation Natuurbeschermingswacht had challenged the permit, raising concerns about the impact on the surrounding nature of Stadspark.
The foundation had pinned its hopes on an interim injunction to halt the fireworks permit. However, the Council of State was not swayed. “Fireworks are an integral part of the concerts. Prohibiting them at this stage would have severe repercussions for the organizers and the audience,” ruled the highest administrative court in the Netherlands.
The foundation also lodged a complaint against exceeding the noise levels. According to Geert Starre, secretary of the foundation, the issue is not just the fireworks or noise per se, but all the permits combined. “A fireworks show or slightly louder music might be acceptable, but it becomes cumulative. It’s unfortunate that these issues are dealt with separately, without considering the overall impact of the concert,” he said.
The foundation has been a stalwart champion for nature conservation for decades and does not hesitate to take legal action. In recent years, there has been a surge in such groups in the Netherlands: foundations and citizen initiatives that oppose events like festivals and concerts.
Rammstein’s arrival is shrouded in controversy, not just because of the fireworks and noise levels. Frontman Till Lindemann has been repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct in recent weeks. Allegedly, female fans were invited backstage after concerts, where they were drugged and pressured into having sex with Lindemann.
Rammstein continues to storm through their European tour, albeit with modifications aimed at toning down the edginess. For instance, the song ‘Pussy’ has been axed from the setlist, and a penis-shaped cannon that sprays white foam over the audience is absent.
Additionally, there is no ‘row zero’, which is a kind of VIP row at the front of the stage. Rumors suggest that these fans, mostly young women, were ‘scouted’ to be easily brought backstage after the concert. In Munich, ‘row zero’ and after-parties were banned a few weeks ago. On July 6th, the day of the first performance, a protest march is planned in Groningen against the band’s arrival.
All promo is good promo you’d think.
Since you’re here …
… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can - and we refuse to add annoying advertising. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.
Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive.
If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.
The donations are safely powered by Paypal.