Shooting at Pennsylvania’s Musikfest Shuts Down Festival Saturday, 1 Injured

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The Steel Stacks of Bethlehem Steel during Musikfest on August 10, 2022 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images)

A shooting at Musickfest in Bethlehem, Pa., late Saturday that injured one victim reportedly caused chaos as fans fled the area, with police shutting down the event “as a precaution for the safety of patrons.”

The shooting happened on Main Street between West Lehigh and Spring streets shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, the penultimate night of the 10-day festival, which bills itself as the world’s largest unticketed live music event.

“Witnesses say they heard a single shot at the festival before 11 pm at Main and Lehigh Streets, sending people into a panic. Bethlehem City Police and the FBI were on the scene in seconds. The shooting sent patrons into a panic, running for safety,” journalist Beccah Hendrickson of local ABC affiliate WPVI-TV tweeted.

Thousands of concertgoers were standing in the area where the shooting occured, according to WPVI, with food truck owner Dave Emili describing the scene as “total chaos, like out of a movie.”

Eyewitnesses told The Morning Call that the crowd stampeded after the gunfire, while local and state police, both mounted and on foot, hurried people away from the scene.

The Bethlehem Police Department posted on Facebook Saturday, “There was an isolated incident tonight at Musikfest and the festival was shut down as a precaution for the safety of patrons. Law enforcement is on site and in control of the situation.”

The city authorized the festival to resume Sunday at noon as scheduled.

This year’s edition of Musikfest featured performances by Willie Nelson, Counting Crows, Ja Rule and Ziggy Marley.

While the investigation remains ongoing, Bethlehem Police revealed in a Facebook post Monday that the victim was a 20-year-old man who was shot in the abdomen and taken to a local hospital where he is in stable condition.

“From the investigation to date, it appears that this was an isolated incident between two individuals,” the post says. “Individuals with any information are asked to contact the Bethlehem Police Department tip line at 610-997-6660 or email Det. Klingborg at [email protected].”