The Row Zero has hit the headlines in recent days: as a guest area at Rammstein concerts, through which women were apparently specifically recruited. What's that all about?
Frankfurt – Since the start of their European tour on May 22, not only Rammstein and especially frontman Till Lindemann have been in the headlines, but also the so-called "Row Zero" is in focus. Most recently, a 21-year-old YouTuber reported terrible backstage experiences at the Rammstein concert. In her 37-minute video, influencer Kayla Shyx describes how she was specifically cast for the "Row Zero", the Rammstein show. She reports of "bad things" that happened to her and other women and girls of the "row zero" during and after Rammstein concerts.
Rammstein's frontman Till Lindemann in Düsseldorf in 2022. © Malte Krudewig/dpa
What is the "Row Zero"? And what is said to have happened in the mysterious room at Rammstein concerts
The allegations against Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann weigh heavily. At the end of May, an Irish woman described on Twitter how she was allegedly put under the influence of drugs at the backstage party of a Rammstein concert. The next day, she woke up with severe bruises on her body and could not remember anything.
Since then, an intense debate has erupted about the abuse of power, the influence gap between celebrated rock stars and devoted, usually female and often very young fans – as well as a mysterious system called "Row Zero". A system that allows "chosen" women access to pre- and after-parties backstage, but also – if the numerous reports are to be believed – has the potential to get into very unpleasant situations. According to descriptions by some women, sexual acts are said to have occurred, among other things.
What is the "Row Zero" at Rammstein's shows?
The "Row Zero" refers to a separate area directly in front of the stage at Rammstein concerts. The principle: The tickets for this "exclusive" zone cannot be bought, you have to be invited. Reports suggest that only women are recruited for this. Shelby Lynn, who started the discussion about Rammstein concerts a week ago, was also invited to "Row Zero".
This is how the "Row Zero" system allegedly worked at Rammstein concerts
According to consistent reports from various women, it was not the musicians who chose the fans for the "Row Zero" at concerts of the band Rammstein. According to the report, the girls were recruited weeks in advance by a "casting director" via various social media channels.
Alena Makeeva: Who is the woman who organizes the "Row Zero" at Rammstein?
Media reports describe that the "casting director" Alena Makeeva played a leading role in the systematic recruitment and casting of women for the so-called "Row Zero", from which women were allegedly paraded backstage to the singer of the band. For Lindemann, the band and also the employee Makeeva, the presumption of innocence applies. But the Rammstein allegations are making ever higher waves, Alena Makeeva has since been released.
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Will there be a "Row Zero" at the Rammstein concerts in Munich in 2023?
From Wednesday (7 June), four Rammstein concerts are planned in Munich this week. In the course of the escalation of the Rammstein case, the concert organizer has now also reacted and pulled the ripcord. As reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, among others, Propeller Music & Event GmbH has decided, after consultations, that there will be neither a "Row Zero" nor afterparties at the concerts in Munich. In doing so, the company anticipated potential regulatory requirements.
"Row Zero" – Insider explains: Rammstein is not an isolated case
The systematic recruitment of women for "Row Zero" shocks many. This is by no means an isolated case in the rock industry. Activist and cultural scientist Reyhan Şahin, also known as Lady Bitch Ray, explained on Twitter: "Targeted recruitment at concerts of (mostly young) women for sex is often carried out by the managers of male artists and is a fairly common thing in the pop, rock & German rap scene."
Fansale: How to return Rammstein tickets?
The serious allegations do not leave the followers cold, fans hand in their tickets in rows, the mocking posts on Twitter are piling up. But getting rid of tickets for a Rammstein concert is not that easy. The agency MCT, which is responsible for the sale of Rammstein tickets, has ruled out a return of the concert tickets. There is still the possibility to resell the tickets on the FanSale page of Eventim.
However, this involves some effort, as the cards were sold personalized. In order to guarantee problem-free entry with the tickets, tickets resold on FanSale would have to be re-personalized.
"Row Zero" allegations against Rammstein: Till Lindemann draws consequences
It remains to be seen what will happen to Rammstein and "Row Zero". However, Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann has already drawn the first consequences. After the serious allegations of sexual violence and abuse of power, the Rammstein singer has deleted his Instagram profile, which was recently followed by about 1.3 million people. The comment function on the band's YouTube channel is also currently disabled.
In addition, the lead singer turned on the band's lawyers before the second concert in Munich. The allegations were "invariably untrue," according to a statement from the lawyers. Legal action is being taken against individuals who claim to have been placed under narcotics by Lindemann and thus made compliant. The reporting of many media will also be examined and, if necessary, legal action will be taken against it.
Transparency notice from June 8, 2023, 18:30 p.m.: This article was supplemented with the testimonies of Till Lindemann's lawyers.