Rock am Ring festival evacuated in Germany over terror alert

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Festival-goers leave the venue of the Rock am Ring music festival in Nuerburg, 2 JuneImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Tens of thousands were due to attend the festival

A rock music festival in western Germany, Rock am Ring, has been evacuated over a "terrorist threat", the organisers have announced.

Fans hoping to see German rock giants Rammstein streamed out of the Nuerburg arena after organisers asked them to leave in a "calm and controlled" way.

"Due to a terrorist threat the police have advised us to interrupt the festival," they said.

Some 85,000 people were expected to visit the three-day festival, Efe news agency reports. It falls on the Pentecost holiday weekend.

The organisers said in a Facebook post they hoped the festival would resume on Saturday.

'Defiant spirits'

Fans could be seen pumping the air with their fists and chanting as they left on Friday evening.

"Defiant spirits among Rock am Ring visitors, cheated out of a day of festival, maybe the complete festival," tweeted DW reporter Rick Fulker.

Rock am Ring celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Friday's other bands included Welshly Arms, In Flames and 2Cellos.

In August of last year, a failed asylum seeker from Syria blew himself up outside an open-air concert in the south German town of Ansbach.

He had been prevented by a security guard from getting into the concert area and detonated a rucksack filled with explosives in a local beer garden, killing himself and wounding 15 others.

Police in the nearby city of Koblenz said in a statement (in German) the festival had been halted "due to concrete indications of a possible terrorist threat".

In light of the attack in Manchester, it added, security at this year's festival had already been boosted, with some 1,200 personnel on duty.

Last year, the same festival was disrupted by a storm when 30 people were taken to hospital as a result of lighting strikes.