Berlin Falls Under Love Parade Shadow

Berlin Festival is still counting its losses after several acts’ shows were canceled because local authorities feared an accident similar to the one that killed 21 people at Duisburg’s Love Parade.

Melt Festival chief Stefan Lehmkuhl, who ran the Berlin event Sept. 10-11, said he noticed all the city’s authorities wanted to impose extra safety checks post-Duisburg, but he agreed with the police’s decision to cut part of the programme.

The 15,000-capacity sellout at Tempelhof Airport, part of Berlin Music Week, was running smoothly until the first evening, when Fatboy Slim and 2 Many DJs – the last two acts scheduled for the 6,000-capacity Hangar 4 – had their shows pulled because of the size of the crowd outside the venue.

Lehmkuhl said there is no suggestion the venue itself was overcrowded and he hotly denied the festival itself had been oversold.
The 15,000 ticket-holders were free to roam across all four of the Tempelhof venues, but entrance to each one is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.

Some of the crowd that couldn’t get into Hangar 4 became abusive to festival security and police, which prompted the cancellation of the last two acts.

The following day’s lineup was also cut, but the 11 acts that lost their slots were mainly smaller ones that already played at the Popkomm showcases happening in Berlin at the same time.

Lehmkuhl won’t give details of how much the festival has lost, but it includes organising a new show for Fatboy Slim and 2 Many DJs at the 9,000-capacity Arena Berlin Dec. 8 – free entry for anyone who had a ticket for the festival – and the loss of revenues incurred by the bars and food outlets.