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Spelling mistake caused Rock Am Ring evacuation

By | Published on Monday 19 June 2017

Rock Am Ring

German police have admitted that a spelling mistake was behind the decision to evacuate the Rock Am Ring festival earlier this month.

As festival-goers were asked to leave the Rock Am Ring site during its first night proceedings, organisers said that “due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival”. The incident meant the cancellation of a number of performances, including that night’s headliners Rammstein, though the event got back underway as planned the next day.

At the time, a local police chief said 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, so all three were arrested. The arrests caused security fears resulting in the festival being evacuated, though all three men were later released without charge.

According to IQ, the local police force has now admitted that it was a case of mistaken identify caused by a spelling mistake. The names of two Syrian nationals working at the festival had been misspelt on a list of staff provided to police by the festival’s promoter. Police were being extra vigilant amidst fears that music festivals could be possible targets for terrorist attacks, following past incidents at music events in Paris and Manchester.

In a bid to avert similar errors in the future, Roger Lewentz, Interior Minister of the local state government, has said festivals should provide local authorities with photos of all staff in addition to names, “so a clear identification is possible”.