Orchestras say Germany has one law for football fans, a harsher one for music lovers

Orchestras say Germany has one law for football fans, a harsher one for music lovers


norman lebrecht

July 07, 2021

The Nürnberger Klassik Open Air, a July-end event that attracts 80,000 spectators,has been cancelled again for Covid reasons.

The Nuremberg orchestras describe the decision as ‘devastating’.

In a letter to the state government they complain of double standards. They say that for a football matech at the Allianz Arena there were 2.6 square meters of space per person, at Nuremberg’s Luitpoldhain there would have been 6.9 square meters if the festival had gone ahead. ‘Are people who visit culture less important than those who watch football?” they demand.

photo: Nuremberg Tourist Office


  • Concertgoer says:


  • Hayne says:

    Why accept what the state decrees in the first place then?
    There’s no science to this garbage.

    • HR says:

      Hayne, you have a head full of conspiracy theories under that tinfoil hat. The idiocracy reigns, courtesy of disinformation eaten and regurgitated by you and your fellow loonies. That’s QAnon, treacherous shit. Stop with that on SD. There are too many of us who are capable of critical thinking. You convince no one, and you make yourself into a fool.

      • Hayne says:

        Let me ask you a question. Does the censorship of thousands of highly reputable scientists and doctors that have different opinions from the official narrative concern you? That’s scientific authoritarianism. For example, Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA technology has voiced grave concerns about the “vaccines.” He was scrubbed from wikipedia like the Soviets used to do (Lysenko). Doesn’t this concern you? If opposing ideas are wrong, scientific evidence would be shown to prove why they are wrong. Instead we have censorship. Science is about the free exchange and testing of opposing views. That’s how knowledge advances. I’m not just writing about science but different ideas period. I’ll repeat. Doesn’t censorship concern you? Isn’t that part and parcel of a totalitarian state? If not, why would you not support free speech, even if you don’t agree with it?

        • HR says:

          Your first premise is false. There are not “thousands of highly reputable scientists and doctors that have different opinions than the official narrative.” The links you share are always from InfoWars or conservative evangelical blogs, which are not reputable.

          Doctors and scientists aren’t interested in sharing opinions; they deal with data. Your opinions would be quickly and easily debunked by data. I’m not a doctor or scientist, so I will not debate their findings with you.

          Second, no one is being censored. You can say the earth is flat if you want. No one will believe you, but you can say it all you want.

          I remember previous comments you’ve made on this site. After Biden won the election, you thought he hadn’t won yet. “A bit premature, eh?” were your exact words. You probably think the election was “stolen” from your leader, despite all EVIDENCE to the contrary.

          That’s the same leader who amplified the views of the mall doctor. You know, the one who thinks vaccines aren’t safe, and that African-American women get fibroids from having sex with demons. This is the kind of “expert” you cite. I would never waste my time debating such things with you.

          What concerns me is not censorship. What concerns me is that people like you share opinions that are wrong in ways that are dangerous to society. I’m concerned that relatively educated people can repeat outrageous claims and pretend they’re facts. (Blood libel is not a new thing.) I’m concerned that the Sedition Caucus in Congress is not being taken to task for their part in fomenting the 1/6 Insurrection.

          • Hayne says:

            “…not thousands of of doctors having different opinions of official narrative…”
            How about over 50,000 for starters…


            How about Dr. Peter McCulloch, one of the top 5 published doctors in the US?
            Or the top published in his field in the world?
            He’s been heavily censored. You didn’t mention Dr. Robert Malone who’s been scrubbed from wikipedia? There are many, many more.
            You say censorship doesn’t concern you.
            How can we have any civil liberties without the right to free speech? Free speech is allowing other opinions to be expressed even if you don’t agree with it. I’m amazed how many of you don’t give a damn about individual liberty. How can society possibly advance without free speech?

            As for your non sequitur on the “insurrection.”
            Since you read about it in the media, how many of the over 500 people have been charged with insurrection? I’ll wait…

          • Hayne says:

            I meant 500 people arrested by the FBI that were in the Capitol. Sorry.

          • HR says:

            I didn’t read about the insurrection in the media. I saw the whole thing unfold in real time, and the additional footage that has surfaced is even more troubling. How upset are you that our Capitol was soiled with feces that day? Since you’re a RepubliQan, are you calling those people tourists or peaceful protesters, seeking and calling for the death of elected officials?

            You didn’t see the connection, but it was not a non sequitur. It all comes down to a culture of lies: the danger that arises when people in power promulgate lies and people like you believe those lies.

            And getting the last word doesn’t mean you win the argument.

          • Hayne says:

            How about the 15,000 hours of recorded evidence at the US Capitol that the FBI won’t allow to be shown? How about the crowd being seeded with FBI agents? You can have the last word. Insurrection is used by the media and politicians all the time for Jan. 6. Answer the question. How many of the over 500 people hunted down by the FBI are charged with insurrection?

          • HR says:

            Hayne, you ask how many of the over 500 people arrested so far are charged with insurrection. The question surprises me, since this information is so easily accessible, though probably not on the sites you frequent.

            Prosecutors call the case “unprecedented” in scale, because of the scope and complexity of the investigation. More than 535 defendants have been arrested in connection with the insurrection, and court documents for 504 of them have been unsealed. Of those, at least 198 defendants were also indicted by grand juries.

            More than 300 suspects remain unidentified. Last month, Christopher Wray said “This is far from over.”

            The Justice Department said at least 65 defendants have been charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, including more than 50 who were charged with using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer. In total, more than 150 officers were inured in the attack.

            Nearly 235 defendants were charged with corruptly obstructing, influencing or impeding an official proceeding or attempting to do so, and approximately 40 defendants have been charged with conspiracy, a charge that alleges defendants coordinated with others to commit an offense.

            During proceeding for three of the more than 35 defendants charged with destruction of government property, the government said their crimes amounted to terrorism–an allegation that is not itself a charge but could influence prison sentences if they are found guilty.

            Because dozens of defendants have served in the military, the Army Reserve made the following statement: “The U.S. Army Reserve takes all allegations of Soldier or Army civilian involvement in extremist groups seriously and will address this issue in accordance with Army regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to ensure due process. Extremist ideologies and activities directly oppose our values and beliefs and those who subscribe to extremism have no place in our ranks.”

            At least 12 of those arrested were either former police officers or were employed as law enforcement officers at the time of the insurrection, according to court documents and employment records. There is ZERO evidence of “the crowd being seeded with FBI agents.” That is a conspiracy theory that is false. First your outlets of misinformation blamed Antifa, which angered the actual insurrectionists, who boldly claimed responsibility for the mayhem and violence.

            The rioters and lawmakers who egged them on attempted to stop the peaceful transfer of power. People died. Legislators were scared for their lives as they tried to carry out the day’s business. What do you call that? Democracy? No. It’s called “corruptly obstructing, influencing or impeding an official proceeding or attempting to do so.” In other words, they were trying to destroy our system of government. Before January 6th, our country had never experienced anything other than a peaceful transfer of power after a presidential election.

            Biden won. But the Big Lie has divided our nation in ways our enemies could only dream of. Doesn’t that concern you?

            You can’t have it both ways, saying the insurrectionists are great and brave, and they were also victims of some other group trying to make them look bad. There are so many contradictions in your logic, it makes my head spin. None of it makes any sense.

            Mar-A-Lardo got the vaccine, as did the rest of his family. Even after doing his best to publicly downplay the risk of the virus, he wanted credit for the development of the vaccines. But you still think it’s all a hoax. Sad.

    • Saxon says:

      Hayne writes: “Why accept what the state decrees in the first place then?”

      Er.. that is the law. You get arrested if you don’t abey the law, even if you don’t agree with the reasons for the law being passed.

      • Hayne says:

        Laws against civil liberties are bad. It is one’s duty to oppose them to live in a free and open society.
        The Supreme Court upheld Roosevelt “law” to detain Japanese citizens in WW2. Let’s not get into the German laws during WW2 also, shall we?

  • Heini says:

    “Are people who visit culture less important than those who watch football?”
    It could be looked at the other way round, maybe it doesn’t matter so much to the authorities if football supporters are put in more risky situations than people who watch culture!

  • Monsoon says:

    Sports teams have better lobbyists. News at 11.

    Everything from how little COVID relief money has been directed to arts organizations to these reopening double standards should be a wakeup call to orchestras and other arts groups that they need to spend a lot more on government relations.

  • operacentric says:

    Same in the UK – 60,000 heading for Wembley tonight. Tube will be fun – and completely safe for any transmission of covid.

    One thing we keep forgetting. There’s huge global money in football. Next to nothing in culture. In the UK, it’s a paltry £111bn a year to the economy. That’s why our Culture Minister is doing nothing about enabling touring to the EU.

    • Anahid says:

      Yes, I understand why sports events are ok, but why are they cancelling and preventing concerts??? What do they have to gain??

      I see football fans shouting, singing while watching… spitting everywhere…
      there is no logic in allowing sports events and cancelling cultural events.

  • V.Lind says:

    Wonder how many people will be at Wembley tonight? More than would go to the Proms, you reckon?

    • Saxon says:

      Many more people attend the Proms each regular season than will be attending a football match at Wembley.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    The answer is Yes, sadly, and not just in Germany it would appear. There is no real leadership in this area in the
    U. K. either, it would seem. I can recall the P. M. spouting wonderful words about how his government would support the arts in so many ways, but once he got in to No. 10 he seemed to forget what he had said. Things are no better here in Scotland, where our glorious leader has hardly mentioned any awareness of how the arts would be supported post-Covid here; at least I have never heard such words. The Edinburgh Festival is sort of happening with outdoor classical concerts being held miles from the city centre with tickets at exorbitant prices. Meanwhile, our performance venues lie empty.
    Why is packing people into theatres and concert halls considered to be more dangerous than packing folk into sardine tins with wings so that they can fly off to their, apparently, necessary holidays? The arts world deserves some answers from our politicians.

  • Dragonetti says:

    It’s not too tricky to work out is it? You’re in authority, such as it is, and you know that sooner rather than later rules are going to be relaxed and the whole thing will rapidly implode. You know full well that an awful lot of people have had enough and will want to take their chances with something resembling normality.
    Meanwhile to save face you need to make a few last ‘heroic’ gestures. Which is the easier target, a nice, well-behaved and mostly compliant classical music audience or football supporters, a large number of whom will be very excited and full of beer before and after the matches. Witnessing the scenes all over this country in the latest football fervour I think I know which is the easy choice. Not necessarily the right choice but good luck to anyone who lectures the crowd at any big match or tries to disperse the revellers from various city centre bars and pubs.
    Meanwhile so many musicians are still dreaming of a return to work…

    • Saxon says:

      Football is also watched at an outside rather than an inside venue. Even a small breeze will allow the Covid virus to be blown away; something that can’t happen at an indoor venue.

  • Observer says:

    It’s slightly reassuring that our hapless Government are not the only ones allowing football over concerts.
    It is unacceptably frustrating to see this last few weeks, sports fans flouting social distancing and at football matches behaving in a loutish disrespectful manner with no masks or consideration for others as they watch the matches, in pubs or at the stadiums. Wimbledon is a bit more civilised in audience behaviour, but they too are observed flouting social distance rules and most don’t even bother masking up anymore yet sit immediately next to strangers.
    So why are they allowed to flout the expectations and stay safe, yet concerts (some outdoors as well) and theatre performances are not being allowed to take place…?
    So sad to see culture and entertainment frowned about and considered unimportant, with a preference to sport.
    Clearly one rule for sport and another totally opposite one for culture.
    Mind you, when you look at the culturally ignorant people currently leading our country and learn that they prefer sport over culture, (except for the occasional appearance at an opera to be seen as cultured), many of us are questioning why they were voted into government. They have certainly disgracefully let down performers in this country, and that’s before you look at how they financially ignored the majority of jobbing musicians…

    • Steve says:

      I agree completely. 2 points to be made: 1 – It’s the “louts” (the greatest number of the population) who vote these government people into office, and 2 – (Tongue-in-Cheek) – Maybe, surreptitiously, governments are trying to help eliminate the world’s overpopulation problem?