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Rock Am Ring festival evacuated over possible terrorist threat

By | Published on Monday 5 June 2017

Rock Am Ring

Germany’s Rock Am Ring festival in Nürburg was evacuated on Friday night after police discovered a man they believed to have possible links to terrorism backstage at the 80,000 capacity event. Following security checks overnight, the festival re-opened on Saturday and ran as planned over the rest of the weekend.

“Due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival”, organisers told ticketholders on Friday night as they asked everyone to leave the site “in a calm and controlled manner”. The incident meant the cancellation of a number of performances, including that night’s headliners Rammstein.

Koblenz police chief Wolfgang Fromm later explained to reporters that a man of “non-German origin” with possible links to terrorist groups had been discovered backstage, along with two other men. Upon questioning, it had been discovered that their real names were not those displayed on their passes. All three were arrested but later released.

“Rock Am Ring 2017 will go on!” said festival organisers in a statement the following morning. “After intensive searches and sweeps of the complete festival site by the police the suspicion of a potential terrorist threat has not been confirmed. Set up for day two of Rock Am Ring has commenced and the programme is going to be resumed in the early afternoon. The incredibly disciplined fans deserve all our respect and gratitude”.

The local police force said in a statement: “[Following] the latest attack on a concert in Manchester, the security concept for Rock Am Ring was modified in advance and the number of operational forces increased significantly to around 1200. We take all references and all suspicious moments very seriously and follow them intensively. After a threat could not be ruled out, all necessary measures were taken immediately”.

The Broilers, whose set on Friday was halted during the evacuation managed to perform again on Saturday, though it was not possible to incorporate Rammstein back into the schedule.