Dancefield Statement about Planetlove

Dear friends of the electronic dance music,

My name is Werner Griese, I am the owner and director of the management, booking and event agency Dancefield.

For over 8 years, Dancefield has been a solid and reliable member of the electronic music scene, representing a variety of artists like for example Dr. Motte, Felix Kröcher, Lucca, Mauro Picotto and ATB.
Each weekend, with our worldwide partners, established through high quality, honest and trustworthy work, we schedule artists all over the globe. Furthermore, we have a long-established and trusty partnership with the Love Parade, Nature One, Mayday and the Alpha Festival.

Until today, I had the utmost faith in this electronic scene and especially in the people working within this scene. But sadly, last weekend I had to realize that there are black sheep in this scene who put their money aims above quality and foremost above your rights and wishes to have the promised party with the scheduled and booked artists.

As you all know, this weekend at the Planet Love Festival our artist ATB was scheduled to play a two hour set for you, other artists at the festival were Judge Jules, Marco V, Fedde le Grand and Paul van Dyk. For this performance, a booking contract was made between ATB and Planet Love Festival via Dancefield, in which ATB was contracted to be presented by the festival as the 2nd Headliner. Among other things, this contract specified a fixed time slot for ATB’s 2 hour performance from 22.00 hours - 00.00 hours. ATB was the only artist besides Paul van Dyk to be contracted with a 2 hour performance time.
Surprisingly, this Saturday evening (5th September 2009) I was called at our hotel by the festival shuttle services. I was asked by shuttle services if we could play at another time slot as there were delayed flights of some DJs who consequently wouldn’t make it on time to the festival. Generally, I have absolute understanding for situations like this and I always try to help, but it simply would not have been possible for us to make the proposed 20.45 – 22.00 time slot, as we were still at the hotel. Besides, it was not the contracted 2 hour performance time. And last but not least, I don’t know why the Planet Love promoter didn’t call me himself, he has my mobile number!

What is more, in my 15 years of working as a stage manager at the largest festivals and events in Germany, I have never encountered the situation that a headliner was moved from his contracted time slot to a shorter and earlier performance time. Arriving on the festival site, we tried to talk to the promoters to discuss and clarify the situation and to find a solution. But during the various talks, it became clear that in the run-up to the event the organisers were informed by Paul van Dyk that ATB was not to play directly before him, otherwise he threatened the organizers that he wouldn’t perform at the festival.

I was told this straight to my face and in front of many witnesses, and I have to say I am more than shocked by this!

The organizers told us that they have no possibility of changing this situation and they were very sorry about this. My question as to whether this was common practice and a basic example of how their organisation works, letting certain DJs decide who is to be contracted for the line-up and when they are to perform, was shamefully ignored and not answered.
In the end, the issue was not about changing artists in the line-up due to problems like delayed flights or other problems, but it was only about Paul van Dyk not wanting ATB to perform directly before him until 00.00 hours, because Paul van Dyk did not want this.

But now the promoters have started spreading wrong and false facts which I will not discuss in detail here. Such behaviour can not be tolerated and certainly will not be tolerated by me, as it throws an unfair light onto my artist who is innocently dragged through the dirt.

Sadly, Planet Love did not and still does not have the courage to stand up against someone who tries to dictate to them how to do their job. They are still continuing this behaviour after the event, which saddens me deeply.

Also, I do not understand why it is impossible for Paul van Dyk to have ATB play directly before him. Up to this very day, nobody can explain this to me. Such behaviour in our scene is absolutely intolerable, especially for you, the fans, the lovers of the music, who have paid to party and can expect to be treated respectfully.
Surely, everyone can understand that such a situation is simply not tolerable for us. Although the behaviour of the organizers and promoters put us into a state of shock, we did offer to play from 23.00 – 00.00 hours. But this offer was also refused by them due to the instructions given to them by Paul van Dyk.
You can be assured that this decision of not performing was not easy for us at all, and I feel very sorry for all the fans. Everyone who knows me and ATB is well aware that we always do everything to make a gig possible, but in this case even with our willingness to help and our offers to solve the situation, it was just not possible.
Finally, I want to make clear that at no time during the discussions were there securities present or in the vicinity or even necessary, and that at no time were threats issued by ATB or myself towards the organisers/promoters or their staff.

We want to clearly dissociate ourselves from the allegations made by the promoters/organizers of the Plant Love Festival at this time.
This event will leave a black spot in our memories, because in the end the people who got really hurt are you, the fans. And that surely is something we never ever want to happen!

Yours faithfully

Werner Griese (CEO Dancefield)