Trouble about concert in dusseldorf: logging for ed sheeran

More than 100 trees are to be felled for a concert by the pop star. That pisses off environmentalists. Now safety concerns are also being raised.

No green T-shirt will help: Nature doesn’t mean well for Ed Sheeran Photo: AP

On July 22, Ed Sheeran wants to perform at the Dusseldorf fairground – actually. However, the organizers of the open-air concert are facing more and more obstacles. Nature has to make way for the British musician’s performance: 60 trees growing on the parking lot have already been replanted and over 100 more are to be felled for the event.

There have already been public protests against the plans of the organizer "FKP Scorpio". Although the city of Dusseldorf plans to plant 300 new city trees to compensate for the felling of trees in the trade fair parking lot, the NABU Dusseldorf city association criticizes the organizers for not having looked for a more environmentally compatible alternative for the large-scale event with sufficient advance notice.

Also the tree protection group Duesseldorf demanded already in April of mayor Thomas Geisel (SPD) to shift the concert to a more environmentalcompatibly place. For example, the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf could be used for the Ed Sheeran concert – although it only has room for a little more than 54,000 guests, the environmentalists believe that it could be used on two evenings for the 84,000 Sheeran fans who already have tickets.

This is not the first time that nature has thrown a spanner in the works for Ed Sheeran in North Rhine-Westphalia: His concert was initially scheduled to take place at the Essen/Mulheim airport, but this would have meant that the skylark, which is a protected species, would have had to vacate its breeding ground. The organizer proposed to relocate the affected birds to artificially created compensation areas nearby. The local NABU protested – and succeeded.

The security situation is also called into question

In view of the Love Parade disaster in Duisburg in 2010, the Ed Sheeran concert at the Dusseldorf trade fair parking lot is now also increasingly being called into question because of safety concerns. As the building permit for the site is not due to be issued until June 13, there are only a scant 6 weeks left to check the site for safety aspects.

Pop versus nature? Tree protectors* ask Ed Sheeran to perform somewhere else Photo: dpa

The Westdeutsche Zeitung quotes the traffic researcher Michael Schreckenberg, who was involved in the investigation of the Love Parade disaster in Duisburg. In the scientist’s view, 6 weeks’ notice would not be enough to ensure the safety of visitors to the planned concert.

In view of the criticism, the mayor of Dusseldorf, Thomas Geisel (SPD), had spoken to Schreckenberg on the phone. On Wednesday he assured that probably all cities had the incidents in Duisburg in mind when it comes to the approval of major events. This is another reason why special care is taken when examining the security concept.

So whether the permit for the structural changes to the fairground parking lot will be granted and the 84,000 fans will be able to cheer Ed Sheeran as he sings on July 22 remains unclear.

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