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Savon Sanomat: Scorpions' rider brings price spike to festival tickets

A chauffeur-driven Mercedes each, individual porcelain toilets and a record-breaking enormous stage: these are just some of the demands in a 38-page list issued by German hard-rock legends the Scorpions to festival organisers in Kuopio. Savon Sanomat reports that the group is to headline the Rockcock festival at the end of July, but in Lahti their diva-esque stipulations led to fans having to fork out an extra 30 euros each on top of the ticket price.

Scorpions esiintyi Lahden yössä
The Scorpions performing in Lahti in July, 2014. Image: Mari Siukonen / Yle

They've been rocking out for almost half a century now, but it seems that time has not dulled German rock veterans the Scorpions' taste for extravagance.

Organisers thought they'd bagged a crowd-pleaser when they signed the aged rockers up to a number of dates across Finland's summer festival circuit. But then they were hit with the band's 38-page "rider" - a list of requirements for their performances, some of which give  rock-god parodies Spinal Tap a run for their money.

”The extent of the demands is huge,” festival producer Allu Koskinen told Savon Sanomat. “We’re talking about tens of thousands of euros.”

The rider reportedly stipulates that organisers must build new, individual porcelain toilets for all five band members, and lay on a Mercedes-Benz car for each musician with matching, uniformed chauffeurs.

They also demand an enormous stage, 20 by 14 metres, the size of which has never been seen at the Kuopio festival before.

It will be done

“The demands are pretty tough, but we can make them happen nonetheless,” Koskinen told the paper, which reported that he did not want to go into detail about the specifics of the rest of the 38 pages of stipulations.

Koskinen told Savon Sanomat that the list came as a surprise to the organisers. The ticket prices had already been announced before the Scorpions issued their demands.

The Scorpions perfomed a surprise gig at the Lahden Yöt event in mid-July, which together with their list of wild demands raised the event’s ticket prices by a whopping 30 euros, making a single day ticket worth 69 euros--something organisers say brought negative feedback. Rockcock organisers did not go that far.

“We didn’t and still don’t want to raise the ticket prices, even though the pressure is on due to these extra expenses,” Koskinen told Savon Sanomat. “We just have to hope for a great turnout.”

Prior requests for fees and services at Rockcock have been in the hundreds or some thousands of euros. Organisers say that booking the Scorpions as the headliner was a conscious choice.

Bathrooms ready

"We want to be involved in big circles," Koskinen was quoted as saying. "We'll look at how this year's production goes and base future policies on the results."

Pre-ordered ticket sales are going well.

"According to our information fans from all over Finland and even abroad are coming to witness the rock'n'roll spectacle," Savon Sanomat reported Koskinen as saying. Organisers are not publicising the exact sales figures.

The festival area construction began on Monday. The demanded porcelain bathrooms should be ready by Wednesday.

The Scorpions will perform on the stadium stage of Rockcock in Kuopio on Saturday, 26 July.

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