Culture&Arts

German rock festival Rock am Ring evacuated over 'terrorist threat'

German rock festival Rock am Ring evacuated over 'terrorist threat'

Festival organiser Marek Lieberberg said the grounds were clear by 9.30pm, about a half hour after people were told that they were going to have to leave. It wasn't immediately clear how many fans were in attendance, but some 90,000 were expected by the end of the weekend at the event outside the western town of Nuerburg.

A post on Rock am Ring's Facebook page announced the festival "will go on" for its second day after authorities cleared the threat.

The country remains on high alert after a terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin on December 19. The backstage passes didn't match those people's real names, he added. Three people were arrested Friday night and their apartments were searched; all were released early Saturday, though they remain under investigation.

Following last week's bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in the United Kingdom, which left at least 22 people dead and about 120 injured, German police stepped up security.

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Organizers estimated 175,000 people attended the festival held near the Nurburgring race track, which is considered one of Germany's largest and was scheduled to run from Friday through Sunday.

Roger Lewentz, Rhineland-Palatinate state's interior minister, said "the safety of visitors stands above everything - that is the maxim, and there can be no other". "We take all references and all suspicious moments very seriously and follow them intensively".

Anis Amri, a 24-year-old Tunisian, hijacked a truck, killed its Polish driver and ploughed the vehicle through the market, claiming 11 more lives and wounding dozens.

"So far I haven't seen Muslims taking to the streets in their tens of thousands and saying, 'what are you doing?'" he said.

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The festival was evacuated on Friday evening after Koblenz police said they were in possession of "concrete elements, in the light of which a possible terrorist threat can not be ruled out". The organisers of Rock am Ring said intensive searches have been carried out.

A rock festival in Nuremberg, Germany has been evacuated because of fears of a terror attack.

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Festivalgoers cheer as Rock am Ring resumes in Germany.

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