(Bern) Around 150 people demonstrated on Saturday in Bern, Switzerland in front of the stadium where the German metal rock band Rammstein was to perform in front of 40,000 spectators, while its leader is under investigation for sexual assault, AFP noted. .
Holding signs saying “I believe her” or “Stop rape culture,” the small crowd challenged the band’s fans with, among other pleasantries, middle fingers, to which onlookers responded likewise and shoved boos. A police cordon separated the two camps.
Lead singer Till Lindemann, 60, has been accused by several women of sexual assault at backstage parties after the band’s concerts. What the singer denied through his lawyers.
The Berlin public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on Wednesday and producer Universal Music announced the next day that it was suspending all marketing and promotion activities for the group.
The case began at the end of May with the testimony of a 24-year-old Irish woman accusing the singer and lyricist of the group of having drugged and sexually assaulted her after a concert the same month in Lithuania.
The success of Rammstein, the best-selling German-speaking group in the world, is based in particular on the excessiveness of the concerts, with a lot of pyrotechnics, guitar riffs and the imposing physical presence of Till Lindemann.
In Bern, the accusations did not deter fans and the concert was sold out, without it being known whether or not the after-concert parties would be canceled like in Munich recently.
“It doesn’t change anything for us,” said Marie Rouillon, a 51-year-old Frenchwoman who came with her husband Arnaud, both Rammstein fans for 15 years.
If the accusations turn out to be true, it would be a shock, however, the couple concedes: “But would that prevent us from going to see them? I don’t think so,” Marie added.
“Maybe it’s true, maybe not, I’m here for the concert,” also agreed 20-year-old Lara Andermatt, excited to see her favorite band for the first time in person.
The band are currently touring European stadiums. In Austria and Switzerland, calls for boycotts have been launched. He is also due to perform in Paris on July 22. Three concerts are planned in Berlin on July 15, 16 and 18.
A petition launched by the Young Socialists of Switzerland gathered 7,500 signatures but failed to ban the two Bernese concerts. “We are clearly very disappointed,” deputy secretary Mathilde Mottet told AFP. “You have 40,000 people coming to see a possible rapist, it’s totally outrageous.”