We are a European ground transportation/logistics company that provides a safer, simpler, stress free atmosphere and personalized service to: artists, athletes, film crews and vacationers traveling thruout Europe.
"stars & cars", a department of abc management gmbh, is a one stop turn-key ground transportation and logistics company based in Europe that has provided services to the music industry, touring artists, athletes, and television crews, since 2002. As of 2012, we have expanded our operation and now offer this same VIP executive service to the Motion Picture Industry and Vacation Travelers.
We are confident we do this better than anyone else, providing the best vehicles and intelligent, educated, knowledgeable drivers, who are navigation experts in over 200 European cities.
Our system provides customers: confidence, cost control safety and comfort, in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether visiting one city for a week or multiple cities over months we will make your European travel experience hassle free and fun!
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Let's talk about our ground transportation service "stars & cars" so potential customers know what to expect
Well, since the early '80s we both have been in the concert business, first as ushers at local concerts in Munich`s Circus Krone, Olympic-Hall and -Stadium...
...I'll never forget that concert in the Olympia-Stadium with Bruce Springsteen in 1985 when his star was rising with the "Born in the USA"-Tour!
what a great concert that was! We were awestruck about the energy he and his E-Street Band were showing for more than 3 hours!! Many more concerts and festivals like "Rock over Germany" followed and we've been busy...
...until in 1987 You got the call to help out as a second driver on the German tour with Liza Minelli.
Yes; that was a great turn in my personal career! I had spent 7 years in one of the top summer camps in the US, North Star Camp in Hayward, Wisconsin, and the "orientation week" before the kids arrived for their 8-weeks summer, we, the counselors, were taught how to deal with these youngsters, the group dynamics and their concerns.
How did that help You with being a driver for musicians on tour?
I believe, these summers in the US prepared me best for what was to come in this hospitality job I was about to enter in 1987 with Liza Minelli's tour. Not only did I learn to speak fluent English but also from the orientation weeks I learnt a lot about communicating and supporting emotionally stressed folks.
Today I know how difficult it can get for a musician at a set time having to get up on that stage and perform for thousands of people and how important therefor it is to have every detail before and after sorted out.
I agree! The times between these appearances on stage should be as safe, smooth and fun-filled for the artists so they can be relaxed and confident that their concert will be stress-free and enjoyable for them as well as for their fans.
Yes, that's where we come in as part of the tour, being in close touch with artists and making sure, their time before and after the stage is enjoyable. It needs a lot of thought and preparation to fulfill this task. But we'll come to that.
So after that first tour You were invited to join the next tour a couple months later...
... which was AC/DC in 1988. The boss of the promoting company Mama Concerts, Marcel Avram, liked how I was interacting with his artists and asked me to be one of the drivers on his tour with AC/DC. The entire year of 1988 I was on tour with several more artists such as Pink Floyd, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen to name a few. My skills in finding hotels, venues and airports got better and better. Especially the procedures of picking up and dropping off for private charter planes, sometimes driving right up to the plane itself, was adventurous.
I remember when I joined You in the very early '90s on a few tours like Prince and Simple Minds. You were already organizing the cars from Mercedes Benz, the access to airports to get straight to the planes and sometimes also police-escorts.
Yes, and in these early '90s I also had gone on a couple of tours all around Europe, with Prince and Rod Stewart. I then already recognized how important it is for artists to have the same people around them they can trust and who know the routine of daily life on tour. These tours took me all the way from Lisbon to Stockholm, Glasgow to Budapest etc. and I learnt my ways around in each of them.
But then we took a break from 1994 to 2000 where we worked as event-managers first for the adidas-streetball campaign, then in 1996 for Coca-Cola and their kicktennis-campaign and lastly for Nike Sports Entertainment where we organized and managed the friendly soccer-matches of Brazil, then sponsored by Nike.
That time is unforgettable and it was the first time that we were leading a bigger team of people working these events, which took place all over Europe. We planned and organized the technical production, ran the events on location and supervised the budget that was given by the sponsors.
During that time we developed our people-handling skills quite a bit and practiced also our motivation-skills from those days at summer-camp...
...and had a lot of fun with all our crew and the people who participated in these events. Some of them became friends for life.
Due to budget-cuts etc. we couldn't continue these events and when we heard in the year 2000 that Eric Clapton was booked for a long tour in 2001, we applied to do the ground transportation throughout the entire tour, about 50 concerts from Lisbon to Stockholm, via Budapest and Munich to name a few cities; "stars & cars" was born.
About 2 months before the beginning of the tour we started planning out the routing and interviewed potential drivers for 2 teams of 3 drivers each. A lot of thought was given to the "chemistry" of the teams, how they would interact amongst themselves and in respect to Eric Clapton, his band and his management, all going to travel from city to city on a private charter plane. We ended up sending 2 teams with 3 Mercedes vans each, one to Lisbon, where the tour started and the other one to Madrid, the second city on this tour.
from earlier tours we knew the so-called "leap-frog" system where in every second city the same team was looking after the A-Party (artists and management). After the first couple cities we were complimented by Eric and his managers how smooth this service was and how well all drivers were integrated in the touring staff.
While the tour was in the city before, the team in the next city was checking the routes to and from airports, venues and hotels and in some places to special shops where the guests were planning to go shopping. At the end of the tour we even were invited to send 2 drivers ahead to St. Petersburg and Moscow to organize and supervise the local drivers there. A great gesture and a great ending of our first journey with "stars & cars" all around Europe!
The agent of Eric Clapton then recommended us to Mark Knopfler who was going on a long tour later that same year...
...and I met with the tour-manager in Chicago, while they were on tour in the US. We ended up driving with 2 teams and 3 Mercedes limosines all around Europe. This tour is one of the most challenging ones because there are a lot of concerts "back-to-back" with no day-off in between. The challenge was to get each team to the next city and allowing them to do the route-checks in time before the band would come in.
That was a real master-piece and I remember that we had to add a third team here and there to be able and have "stars & cars" drivers everywhere. Our strict policy on drivers, non-smoking, no alcohol and fluent in English at least, was well recognized and complimented by our guests. They even mentioned the positive group-dynamics within our teams which we took so much time to discuss...
...and had so much luck in finding girls and guys who put so much effort in looking after our guests! We recruited from universities in Germany, had some law-, business- and phys-ed-students who enjoyed driving all around Europe in a short time and in great cars, being part of major tours with world-class musicians. We added quite a few more customers to our portfolio and also extended our service into the world of sports. The NBA had us look after their TV-Crews who covered the pre-season games of several of their teams in Europe.
And also we looked after members of the Crown Aspinal Club who came to watch exciting soccer matches during the World-cup in 2006 or the Champions-League Finals in various cities around Europe as well as trips they took with their families, sight-seeing all around this continent...
...so after over 25 years in this business and working very close with various people from all different corners of the world we look back on great years with fabulous people, traveling all around Europe, knowing the ins-and-outs of over 200 cities on this continent...
...and employing over 70 young folks who helped us turn touring into safe and smooth journeys all around Europe...
Thank You to all who You have been with us on this trail! We look forward to many more great adventures and meeting wonderful people bringing joy and fun to their fans.
Thanks for all Your support; I hope to see Y'all soon!!
stars & cars has a team of intelligent (all fluent in English) drivers with expertise and knowledge in more than 200 cities in Europe.
We rent high-end models directly from German car-manufacturers; they are either new or have less than 5.000 km. Most of our customers opt for Limosines and SUVs, like Mercedes S-Class, GL or AUDI A8 and Q7; but also vans like the Mercedes V-Class are very popular due to their space and easy entry & exit through big sliding doors left and right.
Our company drivers take extreme pride in the services they provide. The company has a strict driver no smoking or drinking policy and vehicles are kept in pristine condition at all times.
Kings of Leon
DTM Motor Races
FIFA Worldcup 2006
NBA Europe Live
NHL Stanley Cup on Tour