Tensions enamelled this Wednesday in Vienna (Austria) the concert of the popular German metal group Rammstein, whose singer is under investigation for sexual assault. Hundreds of people protested against this “rostrum offered to an alleged aggressor”, noted an AFP journalist, while a petition to this effect collected nearly 18,000 signatures.
The leader of the group, Till Lindemann, 60, is accused by several women of sexual violence at parties organized after the performances. What he denied through his lawyers. The Berlin public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation in June, but the group continued its tour of European stadiums, from Bern to Paris, via Berlin.
Sold out concerts
In the Austrian capital, Mira Klauser says she came to show her “solidarity with the victims”. By maintaining these concerts, “we send the message that we do not believe these women, that they are lies”, believes this 24-year-old psychoanalyst. On the other side of the road, under police surveillance, spectators called not to cast shame before justice was pronounced. Thirty-year-old Michael Zeilinger acknowledges that the situation is “complicated” but “finds that it is not a good idea” to cancel events “which attract so many people until the accusations are proven”. Wednesday’s concert was sold out, with 55,000 people expected. This will also be the case this Thursday evening.
The Austrian political class has interfered in the debate, with Minister for Women Susanne Raab expressing her “anger” after the numerous testimonies, including that revealed this week by the media of an Austrian woman, who preferred to remain anonymous and did not not complained. The official called on the organizers to put in place “effective security and protection measures to prevent such heinous acts of violence from happening again”, in a message posted on Twitter, renamed “X”.
Victims chosen on photo?
The wave of allegations that emerged at the end of May draws the outlines of a veritable system of sexual predation targeting groupies after concerts. These would have been spotted in the front rows, filmed or photographed so that Lindemann could make his choice, before being invited backstage for parties. Some would then have been drugged before being attacked by the singer. 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.