“There have been false reports being circulated through the media this year about the Fan Pilgrimage and the open air concerts, and this malicious gossip has affected me deeply. For this reason, there will be no event next year.”
And so, blaming the media, Hansi Hinterseer has decided to discontinue his annual Big Event in his home-town of Kitzbühel, Austria. Is he saying that it wasn’t about the money after all? According to newspaper reports, Hansi demanded an appearance fee of € 500,000 (up from € 350,000).
Now, let’s say for the sake of argument that dear Hansi does this all for his fans, and for his charities, and doesn’t like the idea of his hard-earned money going to all the middlemen on the chain. I can understand that. However, these concert tickets aren’t anywhere near free, and a visit to Hansi’s homepage doesn’t mention any charities or goodwill projects in which he might be financially involved (it does include his favorite color, “pastels”, I suppose in case you are inclined to send him a Christmas present or something.)
Really, honestly, I have no gripe with Hansi himself. Here is a cheerful, good-looking guy who realized that he could transition from ski-star to pop-star (Austrian-style) and make a good living from it. My compliments in that respect. But what I still can’t understand is the music. Would you pay money to hear this? Would you wait outside the arena? (People do, by the hundred.)
God help us. THIS is where the big money is. And Hansi is just one name in an entire pantheon of Lederhosen-and-Dirndl-clad faces who are out there drawing crowds in both Austria and Germany. Sure, Austria has a big corner on classical music, and theater, and there is a lot of good stuff from rock bands coming out of Vienna. But turn on the TV, and this is what you get. I’ve been here for nearly 20 years and I still don’t understand it.