Dhat hasn’t existed in Frankfurt for a long time: stars and starlets pose on the red carpet. The better known the name, the faster the photographers’ cameras click. An assistant drapes dancer Motsi Mabuse’s hair over her pink dress. Singer Yvonne Catterfeld beams into the cameras, both hands on her hips. For a moment, everything seems to be back to how it was before the pandemic. Nothing reminds us that a year ago, under the dome of the Festhalle, the people of Frankfurt were vaccinated against the corona virus. Nevertheless, there was no celebration here on Wednesday evening. After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the Life Entertainment Awards (LEA) were presented again. Since 2006, the award has honored outstanding achievements in the event industry. Instead of the stars on stage, concert agencies, managers and venue operators are the focus of the evening. The LEA is initiated by the Federal Association of the Concert and Event Industry and several companies in the event industry. The jury consists of music journalists and industry representatives.
The flashbulbs are particularly loud at Roland Kaiser. The pop singer is currently catching up on a tour that was postponed due to the pandemic. “It feels great to be back on stage,” he says. On Wednesday he won the LEA for the best tour during the pandemic years 2020 and 2021. Up to 5000 spectators celebrated at some of his concerts with a hygiene concept – the “given hope” in the pandemic, the jury justified its decision. The industry will not reach the “pre-pandemic level” before 2024, says Kaiser. He accepts the prize in the form of a stylized solid bronze concert ticket on behalf of the concert agency Semmel Concerts Entertainment, which organized his performances during the pandemic. “The industry has two difficult years behind it,” says Kaiser. He wishes everyone a speedy return to normality.
There is no sign of a spirit of optimism
However, the industry is far from that. Crisis mode still prevails. “We are looking forward to spending a nice evening with our team, but we also have worries,” says Oliver Hoppe before the award ceremony. Hoppe is the managing director of the concert agency Wizard Promotions. In 2017 he took over the post from his father. The Frankfurt company oversees the Germany tours of Iron Maiden, Kiss and the Scorpions, among others. “There can be no talk of a spirit of optimism,” says Hoppe. The crisis is not over for the event industry, even if many concerts are currently being made up for. The companies see themselves confronted with sharply increased prices. The rescheduled events are 20 to 30 percent more expensive than planned. Hoppe lists: The petrol for the trucks that transport the equipment, the rental prices for venues, the meals for the employees, the wages – the costs have exploded.