Germany wades in on assault claims against veteran rocker
Germany’s families minister has called for better protection for fans at concerts following a wave of sexual assault claims against the frontman of veteran rock band Rammstein.
Several women have recently accused Till Lindemann, 60, of grooming and sexually assaulting them at after-show parties, according to German media reports.
The Olympiapark in Munich, where Rammstein are due to play four gigs this week, said on Tuesday all after-show parties for the concerts had been cancelled.
“Young people, in particular, must be better protected from assault,” Families Minister Lisa Paus told AFP.
Paus called for protected areas for women at concerts as well as 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 fans, including the chance to stand right in front of the stage before access to an aftershow 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”.
A spokesman for the Olympiapark told AFP there would be no Row Zero at Rammstein’s Munich concerts.
The scandal erupted after a young Irish woman, Shelby Lynn, posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius.
Several other women have since come forward with allegations of grooming and sexual assault at Rammstein concerts.
In a poll published Tuesday, Bild Daily said a majority of people called for the group’s remaining European tour gigs to be cancelled until the allegations are cleared up.
The band has denied the claims.
“The accusations have hit us all very hard and we take them extremely seriously,” it wrote in a statement posted on Instagram.
“It is important to us that (fans) feel comfortable and safe at our shows — in front of and behind the stage,” the statement said.
The industrial metal band founded in 1994 is known for their grinding guitar riffs, taboo-breaking antics and theatrical stage shows heavy on pyrotechnics.
Their songs have dealt with subjects from cannibalism to necrophilia, and the band name itself evokes the 1988 Ramstein air show disaster that killed 70 people and injured more than 1,000.