No, ROCK AM RING Festival Evacuation Wasn't Triggered By Spelling Mistake

No, ROCK AM RING Festival Evacuation Wasn't Triggered By Spelling Mistake

Although a number of media outlets reported last week that the Rock Am Ring festival's evacuation earlier in the month was caused a spelling mistake, police later emphasized that this wasn't the case, and that it had concrete reasons to suspend the German music festival.

According to Pollstar, police had come across three suspects during a routine check, which led to searches prior to Rock Am Ring. During those searches, Rock Am Ring wristbands were found on two suspects, whose names did not match the employees list of promoter Live Nation but were reportedly similar.

On June 2, the Rock Am Ring's opening night, police asked organizers to evacuate the 87,000 festival-goers.

The festival, which has been running since 1985 and is the biggest in Germany, resumed early the next morning.

"The names of the suspects were written incorrectly, but they exhibited a phonetic similarity to the actual names," Johannes Kunz, chief of police in Rhineland-Palatinate, told the Allgemeine Zeitung.

"At the time, the situation was very serious — we couldn't rule out that an attack was being prepared."

A misleading police statement made it appear that the simple spelling error led authorities to believe radical islamists were threatening the festival, but this wasn't the case. "It wasn't a spelling mistake that led to the evacuation of the festival site. Actual connections of one festival employee to the Islamic realm were indeed the reason," a more recent police statement reads.

Police have since urged organizers to "provide personal documents ahead of time" in future.

The organizers announced last month that backpacks would be prohibited at this year's Rock Am Ring and Rock Im Park following the "horrendous attack in Manchester."

As was the case with last year's Wacken Open Air, the German sister festivals are rucksack-free zones this summer, with keys, wallets, mobile phones and bum bags/fanny packs the only personal items allowed into the main festival arena.

This headliners of this year's Rock Am Ring festival included RAMMSTEIN and SYSTEM OF A DOWN.


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