Winter Tollwood with the New Years Eve gala has been held at Theresienwiese for over 20 years. This year, on December 31, there will also be a concert by the rock band Rammstein, for which the city council gave the green light. (Photo: Beatrix Köber)
Should there be a mega concert at Theresienwiese with approximately 145,000 spectators? With the decision to endorse this year’s New Year’s Eve rock concert by Rammstein, a fundamental debate over the use of Theresienwiese has flared across the city. There are many concerns in preparing for a concert, including safety. Because such a large event usually requires several months of preparation. However, Munich city council recently voted in favor of the concert on December 31, against the votes of the Green / Pink List. Two BA Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt (BA 2) and Schwanthalerhöhe (BA 8) had previously expressed serious concerns and for their part rejected the event (by a majority of the Greens).
“Not a good style”
The fact that the local parliament only found out about the plan shortly before the vote and only from the press that a grand Rammstein concert was to be held at Theresienwiese, says Sibylle Stöhr (Greens), BA chairwoman at Schwanthalerhöhe, “bad style”. Although BA 8 is not empowered to make decisions, it nevertheless issues a statement of what needs to be organized in the large meadow bordering the district. Until now, the motto of BA 8 was that the Theresienwiese should serve as citizens’ meadow as far as possible. In addition to major events such as Wies’n and the Spring Festival, there should be non-commercial, sporting and cultural events for everyone, if at all.
Don’t make a precedent
“I consider this incident to be gross negligence,” says Stöhr. Above all, the Greens in BA 8 are concerned that the concert license will set a precedent, so that later other organizers will also claim the right to perform at the Theresienwiese. The County Administration Department (KVR) shares this opinion and also expresses concerns about security, incl. because of short-term planning. “Although the Oktoberfest is held at the Theresienwiese, this event is by no means comparable to the big New Year’s Eve concert,” KVR said in a statement. The meadows are an important event that has been going on for decades, with the influxes and ebbs of visitors. It will be different at the concert, where 145,000 spectators are expected, additional spectators, and pyrotechnics are planned.
There are also concerns on all sides about expected noise. Because Rammstein are best known for their excessive, especially loud and pyrotechnically impressive displays. The Munich Police Department spoke out against the concert and explained in a statement: “We have no credible operational experience with such a huge hard rock concert at Theresienwiese by the security authorities or the organizer.” According to the police, organizing a New Year’s Eve when the police and fire brigades are needed anyway carries a serious risk to order and security disruptions.
“Advertising medium for Munich”
The city council gave the green light despite numerous objections. First of all, the department of economy and sport, together with the city’s economic officer Clemens Baumgärtner (CSU), advertised a concert at the Theresienwiese. The draft decision states: “The show will attract considerable attention to the tourist city of Munich far beyond the city limits and in addition to the usual indirect profit generated by such events, it will also function worldwide as an advertising medium for Munich as a cultural and cultural and tourist location.”
Now KVR still has to agree to the show.