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Rammstein: Berlin gigs can't be cancelled despite petition

Till Lindemann, lead vocalist of the band Rammstein, performs on stage of the HDI-Arena stadium in Hanover
Till Lindemann, lead vocalist of the band Rammstein, performs on stage of the HDI-Arena stadium in Hanover Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Jonny Walfisz with AFP
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A fan campaign has been demanding the cancellation of three Berlin gigs by the German band Rammstein.

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Slated to perform at the Olympiastadion in Berlin today, 16 and 18 July, Rammstein have sold out the 60,000 person capacity venue for all three nights. But the gigs have come under threat from a fan petition in reaction to sexual assault allegations against band frontman Till Lindemann.

Lindemann is accused by several women of drugging them and attempting to engage with them sexually after shows. Lindemann, 60, has denied the allegations.

Berlin’s public prosecution office has begun an investigation into the allegations against Lindemann. In the meantime, their European tour has continued with high attendance rates from fans.

Last month, the band’s Berlin headquarters were vandalised, with activists breaking windows and spray painting “No stage for perpetrators” on the walls.

No Stage for Rammstein

The petition, named “No Stage for Rammstein”, has accrued over 75,000 signatures.

 “The Rammstein singer Till Lindemann is said to have systematically sexually abused young women at concerts,” it reads. “But as long as the allegations are not clarified, the band's concerts are not a safe place for girls and women. Now it's time to show that Berliners don't offer suspected perpetrators #NoStage.”

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP or licensors
Swiss Women's rights group members demonstrate prior to the opening of a concert of Rammstein music band at Wankdorf Stadium in Bernon June 17, 2023,FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP or licensors

Lindemann is represented by the law firm Schertz Bergmann, who he has engaged to take legal action against the makers of the petition. The firm has sent Campact, the site hosting the petition, a cease-and-desist letter demanding the site removes certain formulations from the petition.

“We stand behind the initiator of the petition and support her demands. We consider it our duty to support the courageous people who have spoken out publicly about the incidents at Rammstein concerts and are demanding consequences. This also includes not being forbidden to use clear words,” Felix Kolb, Campact’s Managing Director, responded.

Even with the petition staying up, the Berlin concerts will go on as planned, confirms Berlin Senator for Culture, Joe Chialo.

“The demand is emotionally understandable, but legally there is no leverage,” Chialo said. “I'm always on the side of the victims, of course, and I take the allegations made by these women very seriously,” he added before emphasising the importance of presumed innocence.

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP or licensors
An aerial photograph taken on June 17, 2023, shows the concert of Rammstein music band at Wankdorf Stadium in Bern.FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP or licensors

Allegations and Row 0

The current scandal around Lindemann started with the testimony of 24-year-old Northern Irish fan Shelby Lynn. She posted on social media that Lindemann had drugged her and attempted to have sex with her.

Although Lynn confirmed that the pair didn’t engage in sexual activity, her Twitter thread led to over a dozen women coming forward with similar stories.

German public broadcaster NDR and daily Süddeutsche Zeitung published an exclusive report with testimonies of women being approached by Rammstein’s team ahead of the concert with an invitation to “Row 0” and a requirement to dress a certain way.

From Row 0, some of the women claim they were directly told they were expected to have sex with Lindemann, while others claim they were unaware.

The band has confirmed there will be no Row 0 on the current tour.

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