Nürburg/Nuremberg (dpa) – The countdown has begun on the homepage for the remaining days, construction is underway on the festival grounds, and many music lovers can’t wait:
After a two-year hiatus with Corona, the legendary twin festivals “Rock am Ring” in Eifel and “Rock im Park” in Nuremberg will return this Pentecost weekend. From June 3-5, tens of thousands of visitors will celebrate, dance and sing in front of the three stages at both locations – perhaps more than in previous years.
Fans crave live action
“Most fans are starving to see the live action,” says Rock am Ring spokesperson Raphael Schmidt-Kretz. A few days before the start of the festival, the last ticket race started. According to the organizers, they are expecting more than 160,000 revelers at the famous Nürburgring and Zeppelin Square in Nuremberg’s former Nazi Party rally square.
About 70 bands will warm up their fans at both rock festivals over the weekend. The headlines are Green Day, Muse and Volbeat. And Corona? It should be forgotten over the weekend if possible. There are no special procedures for hygiene. “The festival will take place as usual, without restrictions,” explains spokesman Schmidt Kretz. Rock Em Park spokeswoman Julia Pop adds that there should be opportunities for hand washing and sanitizer dispensers at the entire site.
Corona protection: checks and masks are recommended
The Department of Health responsible for the “Rock am Ring” in the Ahrweiler region recommends, among other things, pre-arrival testing, the Corona-Warn-App and masks indoors and in crowds as well as frequent ventilation of cars and tents. It is also not recommended to share bottles, cups, tobacco products, hookahs and the like.
The main thing is the party and the music again – not many of those on the fan pages of social media agree on this. In an interview on YouTube’s “Rock im Park” channel with the Munich band Sportfreunde Stiller, guitarist Rudiger Lenhoff said: “I’m really happy to be standing there after all these years.” Singer Peter Bruger adds: “This is all about the year of music coming back and festivities and yes, together.”
Police are preparing for more work
But can fans still celebrate after such a long break? In Nuremberg, the police and the city are preparing for more work. “Of course, after a two-year break, it will be the first festival of this size, especially for young people,” says police spokesman Robert Sandman. Robert Pollack of the Regulatory Office suspects that newcomers are not yet familiar with the festival’s operations and rules, for example regarding the ban on camping outside the designated area, nightly tent parties or looking after your own property.
Perhaps it will only then be possible to say whether some revelers will really lose after the long festival lull – among other things when it comes to cleaning up. The mountains of trash that visitors leave behind in a zeppelin is a nuisance in Nuremberg every year. Unlike the Nürburgring, the location is in the city and is popular with families, sports enthusiasts and walkers.
Improving the concept of waste for more sustainability
There was 186 tons of trash in 2019 at the last “Rock im Park” before the Corona crisis. That means the amount has been declining since 2015, Pollack says. But: “A lot of rubbish, from napkins to grills, tents and sofas, is simply left by visitors even though there are enough waste containers,” the responsible department head at the Public Order Office complained in a report to the city council in May.
Festival organizers now want to get even more sustainable with an improved concept of waste: reusable cups and crockery at catering booths, waste sorters, free water dispensers, and fewer packages. At “Rock am Ring” there will be a repair service for broken tents and bags, and backpacks and jackets will be manufactured from the remaining sleeping quarters on site.
Fans and organizers are still hoping for good weather. Especially in “Rock am Ring” one had painful experiences with it. In 2015 and 2016, there were several casualties in thunderstorms over the Rock am Ring. Also in 2018, many tents were flooded after heavy rains.