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Music

Tug of war over the "Rock am Ring" legacy

First the Nürburgring racetrack lost the Formula 1 car races, then "Rock am Ring." Now, the Ruhr District is getting its own festival instead, supposedly in the "RaR" tradition. Is a solution finally in sight?

In its 30th anniversary year, the cult festival "Rock am Ring" (Rock on the Ring) is moving 30 kilometers (19 miles) eastward, to the airport grounds near the town of Mendig. Seeking to capitalize on the racetrack flair, a new festival to be held at the famous Nürburgring, "Der Ring - Grüne Hölle Rock" (The Ring - Green Hell Rock), was announced last year. On Thursday (02.04.2015), however, concert organizer Deag said in Berlin that the event would move to Gelsenkirchen instead, 190 kilometers (120 miles) to the north.

Named "Rock im Revier" (Rock on the Range), that festival will take place from May 29-31 in the Schalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen, in the Ruhr District. The lineup will include Metallica, Muse and Kiss. Alternately, said Deag director Peter Schwenkow, fans could return their tickets for a refund or trade them in for one of Deag's alternate festivals, "Rockavaria" in Munich or "Rock in Vienna."

The change of locales is the latest development in a dispute over cost sharing between Deag and Capricorn Nürburgring (CNG). Deag accused the race track's current owner of breach of contract, while CNG pointed to disappointing ticket sales. Business weekly "Wirtschaftswoche" had reported only 800,000 euros in proceeds by mid-March ($861,000) as opposed to anticipated costs of 3.5 million euros ($2.7 million).

In contrast, the twin festivals of concert organizer Marek Lieberberg, "Rock am Ring" - now in Mendig - and "Rock im Park" in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg, are both sold out.

The establishment of a new rock festival in Germany's rustbelt Ruhr District has followed months of dispute and confusion over the legacy of "Rock am Ring," one of the world's major rock festivals.

fk/rf (dpa)

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