If you followed our Breaking News this week, you probably recognized that co-founder and Mayday-protagonist Westbam has left his own event Mayday. This marks the end of a cooperation that lasted since 1991: Westbam has not only created this legendary event, but played at all Mayday parties worldwide and wrote the annual hymn for the Members of Mayday. He summed up the reasons for his exit in an official statement, connecting it closely with Mayday’s new owner I-Motion, a company bought last year by US-event-organizer SFX. Westbam criticized the way Mayday has changed under the new parentship of I-Motion, developing from an event that “thinks forward” in a musical and artistic way to a simple commercial party that he doesn’t feel comfortable with anymore.
As we expected, I-Motion’s CEO Nik Schär didn’t took to long to answer Westbam’s statements. In an exclusive interview to „Der Westen“, he put the whole situation in another light explaining that not Westbam has left the party, but I-Motion simply hasn’t booked Westbam and Members of Mayday anymore because they got too expensive. „Westbam has suddenly demanded double and triple amounts of his original fee. We can document that in written form…“, Schär told the press. In his eyes, this is not a fair share as Westbam hasn’t been a first-league-DJ in Germany and Eastern Europe anymore for the last years. Schär also explained that Mayday was in big financial trouble when they took over and that I-Motion has doubled the numbers of visitors in the past years. He also thinks that during maintime of the event only Westbam’s friends had the honour to play the mainstage, so it was about time to adapt the line-up to modern standards and please the visitors, not Westbam. He finally mentioned that the Members Of Mayday-singles were widely disregarded by the public and needed a change which Westbam wasn’t willing to do. So Schär had to look for new producers and a new act for the next Mayday hymns.
Westbam shared his opinion on these claims a few hours ago with a new official statement which we attached here once again in it’s original speech. The main points of his argumentation:
1. Westbam declares that there was an official booking request by I-Motion that he refused. This can be evidenced by emails.
2. Claiming Westbam has demanded double or triple his original fee is complete nonsense. The offer by I-Motion included the same fee as the last years for Westbam, but a significant smaller share for Members Of Mayday. The reason why Westbam left the event was never the money, but I-Motion’s lack of respect, style and competence.
3. Regarding the numbers of visitors: Westbam explains that Mayday had more than 20.000 visitors when they sold it to I-Motion. Doubling or tripling this number (as Schär claims) would not be possible due to the size of the location. In fact, he has never seen a smaller group of visitors on the event as in 2013.
4. About Westbam’s reluctance of changing the Madyay-hymn-style: Nik Schär is right with that, he writes. Westbam has another intention for theses singles, not doing what everybody does or what is obvious (for example looping the classic „Mayday”-sample all over the track), but thinking forward like he did with his No. 1 single „Sonic Empire“. Apart from any commercial success, the singles were always highlights at the event.
Westbam closes his second statement with an interesting note, explaining that he will not answer any of Schär’s personal insults or start a public battle. I-Motion can close the forum or clean up the comment sections of their social media sites. They can ignore Westbam’s criticism on their competence, but they can’t ignore the criticism of the visitors which will reach them sooner or later.
More news to come? We bet!
What do you think about this?
(Nik Schär’s comments courtesy of Der Westen.)