LEA Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Wacken founders
Being held for the 14th time on the evening of 1 April, 2019, in the Festhalle in Frankfurt am Main, the PRG Live Entertainment Award (LEA) has once again proved it deserves its reputation.

Awards in 15 categories were presented to concert and show promoters, managers, agents, and venue operators from German-speaking countries – and more than 1,400 guests from the worlds of culture, business, and politics joined in the celebrations.

The award winners in the Lifetime Achievement category were comparatively young this year, since Holger Hubner and Thomas Jensen laid the foundation for what is now an event empire based
around Wacken Open Air in their early 20s. The LEA for their success story spanning three decades was presented by Matze Knop.

The spectators in the Festhalle saw a fast-paced show with an elaborate and impressive stage set, developed especially for the evening by Europe`s foremost lighting designer Jerry Appelt in collaboration with bright!. PRG. TV journalist Ingo Nommsen, who presented the LEA for the eighth time, announced a high-calibre music and show programme on stage. Singing star actor Kiefer Sutherland delighted the audience with his acoustic trio, as did pop and soul singer Stefanie Heinzmann, the swing-jazz-electro project DelaDap, and singer-songwriter Mike Singer. Helmut Zerlett and his band provided further tried-and-tested musical entertainment for the evening.

Two acts - the ensemble from Bochum`s hit musical "Starlight Express" and NDW icon Nena, whose performance heralded the grand finale - provided a direct musical bridge to the award ceremony: the promotor Wizard Promotions received the LEA trophy for the indoor tour of the year for the "Nichts versäumt" concert tour for the Nena`s 40th stage anniversary.

The German performance of "Starlight Express", which has been performed continuously since 1988 at the Bochum location, earned Mehr-BB Entertainment the LEA for the show of the year in the year of its 30th anniversary. But the Dusseldorf-based company did not have to settle for just one award on the evening: the Mehr! Theater built by Mehr-BB Entertainment in Hamburg was chosen as the Indoor venue / Arena of the Year.

The Hamburg-based agency FKP Scorpio Konzertproduktionen received the award for the stadium tour of the year at the LEA 2019 for the "Divide" concert tour by Ed Sheeran. Sheeran works with the promoter since his early days as a club act. In the second largest tour category, the Arena Tour of the Year, Semmel Concerts Entertainment was delighted to receive the award for their collaboration with the Kelly Family. Agency boss Dieter Semmelmann made a significant contribution to their live comeback under the name "We Got Love". The LEA for the Club Tour of the Year this year went to the promoter Undercover for the "Alles ist jetzt Tour" by Bosse.

Another award winner chosen by the panel of judges was Live Nation in the Promoter of the Year category. Unfortunately, the company did not accept the award and didn’t send somebody to take it home.

In the Concert of the Year category, the jazzopen promoter Opus, the agency MCT, and the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) accepted the award for a particularly spectacular feat: for Kraftwerk`s performance in Stuttgart, astronaut Dr. Alexander Gerst was transmitted live from space.

I-Motion received the Festival of the Year award for Nature One at the former rocket base Pydna, one of the longest-running electronic music festivals in the world.

Artist / Manager of the Year: an LEA for the team behind (the artist) Lea Prof. Dieter Gorny, Chairman of Initiative Musik, was the speaker for the Artist Manager / Agent of the Year category. He presented the LEA trophy to Johannes Jakob Hofmann and Selective Artists for their work with the artist Lea. Timo Birth, founder of the agency Kingstar, was chosen as the artist / young talent promoter of the year, while the young company Vaddi Concerts, which has branches in Freiburg and Tubingen, received the LEA for the local promoter of the year.

The award for the collaboration of the year was presented again for the first time since 2013, going to Hannover Concerts, Aida Cruises, Four Artists Booking, and the Meyer Werft shipyard for the spectacular show at the AIDAnova launch ceremony in Papenburg with star guest David Guetta.

The prize awarded by the panel of judges also acknowledged the work of the couple Birgit and Horst Lohmeyer, who have been sending a clear signal against the Right in a village in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for twelve years with the Grunes Forum Selbstverwaltung association and the "Jamel rockt der Förster" festival.

"The LEA is at home in our city as a red-carpet event and kick-off event for the world`s largest music fair. Frankfurt am Main is full of beacons of live culture and special venues. So we are honoured to fittingly hold the top-class LEA gala in one of the most beautiful event venues of all – our tradition-steeped Festhalle. It`s a very special moment when the familiar feeling of well-being spreads through the crowd at a spectacular show and Frankfurt am Main proves we have a great deal to offer creative types from all over the country," said City Councillor Markus Frank, Department of Economic Affairs of the City of Frankfurt.

"Around five billion euros are spent annually in Germany on attending music and other events. As a result, live entertainment has recently taken the leading position among German entertainment markets, making it the most widely consumed cultural product of all," reported Prof. Jens Michow, Executive President of the German Association of the Concert and Event Industry (BDKV) and producer of the award ceremony. "What makes live entertainment special is its uniqueness, because, unlike canned music or books, the live experience is not reproducible. But promoters are not just `booksellers`. They also take on the role of `book publishers` by bearing the ever-increasing sales risk of concerts due to rising costs. That it still works so well is what we celebrated today."