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Rammstein fans attend shows despite assault accusations as German minister calls for fan protection

Till Lindemann, the singer of German rock band Rammstein, accused of sexually assaulting and recruiting young fans for sex
Till Lindemann, the singer of German rock band Rammstein, accused of sexually assaulting and recruiting young fans for sex Copyright AFP
By David MouriquandAFP
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The accusations levelled against Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann have fans divided. German politicians state that there is so far no legal grounds to cancel the band's European tour dates.

Following the sexual assault allegations and reports that lead singer of veteran German rock band Rammstein Till Lindemann has been recruiting fans for sex, Germany's families minister has called for better protection for fans at concerts.

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The scandal erupted after a young Irish woman posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius. This has resulted in several women accusing Lindemann, 60, of grooming and sexually assaulting them at after-show parties.

"Young people in particular must be better protected from assault," Families Minister Lisa Paus told AFP. 

Paus has called for protected areas for women at concerts and the use of so-called awareness teams to deal with suspected sexual assaults. She also called for the abolition of Rammstein's "Row Zero" system, which offers a VIP concert experience to a select group of (mostly female) fans, including access to an after-show party. 

New protective measures must be discussed "quickly and concretely", Paus said, calling for "a serious debate about the responsibility of artists and promoters towards their fans".

The European tour continues as fans are divided

The Olympiapark in Munich, where Rammstein have already played three out of four planned gigs this week, stated all after-show parties for the concerts have been cancelled and that there would be no “Row Zero”.

The allegations have cast a shadow over upcoming Rammstein gigs. Fans are divided in their reactions, but many stress the importance of “Unschuldsvermutung“ - the presumption of innocence.

"In my opinion, they are innocent until proven guilty,” said one male Rammstein fan. “There will always be a woman or a man, a person, who attacks a music group or another person in order to promote themselves."

Another female fan stated that there is a presumption of innocence in Germany.

“That applies to both sides. We're simply looking forward to tonight's concert. The music, the band, everyone in the band,” she said.

Another female fan is significantly more convinced that the lead singer is innocent: "I don't believe it. (…) I can't imagine that he did that. And I'm still a fan. I don't care."

Some fans, however, have been having second thoughts about attending Rammstein gigs, and have tried to sell their tickets for the Munich concerts on the online ticketing platform Eventim.

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A poll published on Tuesday 6 June by the German daily Bild said a majority of people want the group's remaining European tour gigs to be cancelled until the allegations are addressed.

German newspaper Die Welt also reported that Alena Makeeva, a Russian woman accused of recruiting young women to engage in sexual practices with Lindemann, had been banned from all further Rammstein concerts. Makeeva called herself Rammstein's "casting director" and had been working for the band since 2019.

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Alena Makeeva's Instagram profileInstagram

The band has denied the claims, stating on Instagram that the accusations “have hit us all very hard, and we take them extremely seriously. It is important to us that (fans) feel comfortable and safe at our shows - in front of and behind the stage.”

Rammstein has also reportedly hired a Berlin-based PR agency specialised in crisis management to help with the fallout from the scandal. Together with the agency, the band has also hired a law firm to investigate the allegations, it said, with the first findings expected tomorrow (Friday 9 June).

No legal reason to cancel

The band’s European tour dates going forward are still listed as going ahead.

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Anne Hübner, chairwoman of SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) Munich, stated that “so far, there are no criminal investigations against Rammstein.”

“Basically, there is nothing so concrete that you would say you have a legal reason to cancel these concerts,” added Hübner.

The chairwoman’s comments were echoed by Katrin Habenschaden (The Greens), Second mayor of Munich: “Currently, there is no legal basis for a cancellation. And that's why we have thought about how we can preventively make such major events safer for everyone.”

Rammstein’s upcoming tour dates including their final night at Munich’s Olympiapark on Saturday 10 June, as well as dates in Slovakia (14 June), Switzerland (17-18 June) and several July dates, including Netherlands (6), Germany (15-16), France (22), Austria (26-27) and Poland (30-31).

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