Highlights From Rock Am Ring Presser

Our European correspondent Gideon Gottfried reports on Marek Lieberberg’s report on the recent alleged terror threat at Rock am Ring in Germany. 

During the course of the night, police were able to rule out any threats. After searching the festival site, the all-clear sign was given early Saturday morning.

Festival Evacuates
Thomas Frey/Dpa via AP
– Festival Evacuates
Visitors leave the music festival Rock am Ring outside the western town of Nuerburg, Germany,

Marek Lieberberg emphasized that he was “full of joy” that Rock am Ring could continue. He said it “set an example for our culture, for our culture. I think that is really important.”

And he emphasized the “unbelievable demeanor of these fans, who weren’t just disciplined. It was characterized by tolerance, understanding and placidity.”

While contingency plans were executed well, Lieberberg marveled at the festivalgoers who had demonstrated how 86,000 visitors could leave a festival site in 15 minutes without panicking, incidents or fear.

“I think this is unparalleled, and it shows the exceptionality of these fans and their music.”

“My thanks go out to the visitors, for enduring. It was worth it. The festival continues.”

He also thanked his staff and all the authorities involved.

In a press conference right after the festival’s suspension, when it was still light outside and there was uncertainty around whether Rock am Ring would continue at all, an emotional Lieberberg told journalists that he didn’t understand why festivals were treated differently than sports events – which are usually rescheduled for the very next day.

Lieberberg questioned why police were willing to carry the risk of carrying out an international soccer fixture a day after, but were unwilling to do the same at a festival.

He emphasized that the safety of the lives of every single visitor would, of course, always outvalue any commercial interest, but that festival organizers had to be treated the same as the organizers of sports events.

“I have the feeling that we are always the scapegoat for a situation in which we’re not culpable. And we usually have peaceful, wonderful, cultural events. One has to ask one’s self if one wants to preserve this culture, or whether culture only documents itself when 22 men kick a ball – which admittedly also delights me.”

He pointed out that there were some 1,200 officers on site, who had all night to send in sniffer dogs and declare the grounds safe, which, in the end, they did.

Marek Lieberberg
Thomas Frey / dpa via AP
– Marek Lieberberg
Festival organizer Marek Lieberberg announces the interruption of the Rock am Ring festival in Nuerburg, Germany, June 2.

He also appealed to Muslims to take the streets and protest the terrorism that was committed in the name of Islam. “This is the situation in which every single person needs to articulate themselves against this.”

Rock am Ring continued Saturday, Jun 3, with Broilers resuming their gig that got interrupted the night before. Rammstein, who were supposed to headline Friday night, couldn’t make up for the cancelled show as their schedules wouldn’t allow.