Police have raided an events company after claims that Rolling Stones gig tickets worth a total of €10,000 (£9,000/$11,800) were allegedly set aside for local officials in the German city of Hamburg to use for free.
Local reports claim that 100 tickets were given to local officials for the September concert.
Staff at the Hamburg North district office told Der Spiegel news website that being given the tickets was “standard practice”, despite German officials being banned from accepting such gifts.
The large number of officials at the concert had led to widespread criticism, Der Spiegel said. Some of the 80,000 fans in attendance reportedly paid more than €800 for a ticket from unofficial resellers.
Events company FKP Scorpio had its offices raided while investigators examined district office computers following an anonymous tip off, Die Welt said.
Hamburg North district office head Harald Rösler said the tickets were given to local politicians and office employees plus their partners, Pollstar reported.
He said staff had worked unpaid overtime to organise the concert, which he said was the biggest ever to have taken place in the city.
FKP Scorpio said it was “unrealistic” to assume that free concert tickets could influence the authorisation process.
A company spokesperson praised the “good and very complex cooperation” with the district office and added that FKP Scorpio did not mind if the recipients of the tickets had understood them to be a thank-you gesture, Der Spiegel reported.
Image: Jim Pietryga