A picture taken with a drone of a concert of German band Rammstein at the Wankdorf Stadion in Bern, Switzerland, 17 June 2023. EPA-EFE/ANTHONY ANEX


Environmentalists try to ban Rammstein rock concerts in name of bird protection


Popular German heavy-metal rock band Rammstein is facing some unpleasant feedback in the Netherlands; environmental activists there want to block planned concerts by the group because they fear the band’s loud music might hurt local birdlife.

The sold-out shows are set to take place on Thursday July 6 and Friday 7, and both dates will be attended by some 55,000 guitar-loving rockers.

But radical environmentalists are trying to throw a spanner in the works. They say the band’s notoriously loud music will negatively affect birds and other wildlife in a park in the city of Groningen, where the concerts are to take place. For that reason, they said, they went to the local court and asked it to block the rock extravaganza.

Groningen has a municipal regulation stipulating that public events must not exceed 100 decibels, although for the German band a one-off exception had been made, allowing up to 103 decibels.

Environmentalists belonging to the Dutch Stichting Natuurbeschermingswacht group don’t agree with that decision, claiming there are dozens of bird species living in the area that will be adversely affected by the shows. They also suggest that the music might be too loud for many concert-goers, possibly damaging their hearing.

In addition, the same environmentalists had pressed charges against the use of fireworks, a trademark element in Rammstein’s spectacular shows, which it was claimed could have considerable negative consequences for nearby residents and, again, the local bird population.

On Wednesday morning, however, the court decided that the ignition licence needed for the band’s fiery displays was legal.

With the concerts looking set to go ahead, the German group has already toned down their shows after accusations of sexually inappropriate behaviour. They scrapped performing their song Pussy in public and have ditched the penis-shaped canon that had been previously used spray white foam over the crowd. The band said it won’t hold any after-parties or invite female fans backstage, either.