A music festival in Germany is taking what it feels are necessary steps to ensure the safety of it's patrons by banning all backpacks and all types of bags as a result of the increasing threat of terror attacks.
Speaking with Billboard, the organizer of Wacken Open Air festival, Thomas Jensen, said that the festival is constantly updating it's security measures. "We update our security plan constantly, counting in recent events such as bad weather or the security situation in Germany." Jensen added, "because of that our staff knows what to do and is well prepared."
Last weekend on Sunday, July 24, a Syrian asylum seeker set off a “deliberate explosion” outside a music festival taking place in Ansbach, Germany, killing himself and injuring 12 people. This followed a string of attacks in Germany, one involving a man with an axe on a train, who left 5 people injured, and then Friday July 22, an 18-year-old Iranian-German man killed 9 people in Munich.
“Due to the recent events we decided that backpacks and all kind of bags are no longer allowed on the festival grounds,” declared Jensen. The festival is expected to draw 85,000 people next month.
Other music festival are also increasing security measures in response to the recent attacks. A number of festivals in Belgium, including Rock Werchter, Pukkelpop and Tomorrowland, are going to install special metal detectors at the gates on site.
Back in May, a counter terrorism official issued a warning, saying that music festivals and nightclubs could be targets for the next major terrorist attack. This was before what happened in Orlando and Germany. Now many festivals and promoters are realizing this ongoing threat is very much something that needs to be addressed.
[photo by Anton Perc]