A misleading police statement led to media reports that the reason for Rock am Ring’s evacuation on June 2 was due to a spelling mistake. Police later emphasized that this wasn’t the case, but that it had concrete reasons to evacuate the major German music festival. 

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Photo: Associated Press

Rock Am Ring

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.

The suspects’ names had indeed been spelled incorrectly, but police feared a connection to an Islamic terrorist organization before determining that.

The spelling mistakes were just that: mistakes that can always occur, especially when trying to keep track of 6,000-plus employees at a mega event. The individuals were arrested on suspicions of planning an attack involving explosions, and Rock am Ring was suspended on Friday night.

It took police all night to search the backstage premises – to which the suspects would have had access – and declare the festival site safe.

Pollstar understands that authorities didn’t meet the festival promoter’s repeated requests for concrete information about the seriousness of the alleged threat.

The suspects were released at around the same time the festival was resumed, June 3. The initial wording of a recent police statement had many reporters believing that it was the wrongly spelled name that led police to falsely assume an individual working at Rock am Ring had ties to terrorism.

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,” the latest police statement reads.