Last night's event was abruptly canceled when crowds built up at one of the hangar entrances.
The specter of Love Parade hung over Tempelhof Airport last night, as fears of overcrowding prematurely ended the first night of Berlin Festival.
According to a statement on the event's official website, trouble began around 2:30 AM as hundreds of revelers attempted to enter Hanger 4, where Belgian duo 2 Many DJs were about to begin their set. The entrance to the hangar soon became overcrowded, and promoters, in accordance with the police, decided to pull the plug before things could get worse.
"Discontinuing the festival was indeed a very hard decision that many might think of as too cautious," reads the official statement. "In the context of current security debates, it was carried out deliberately and with great safety precautions for our festival audience in mind. For us that will always be our first priority. We are relieved that according to present knowledge no one was hurt or injured because of our measures.
Speaking on Radio Eins earlier this morning, festival spokesman Carsten Stricker was frank in citing the tragedy at Love Parade as a key factor behind the decision. "Everyone has been very sensitised by what happened at the Love Parade," he said. "There was the beginning of some unrest among the crowd and of course everyone had the images from the Love Parade before their eyes."
Because of the incident, neither 2 Many DJs nor Fatboy Slim were able to perform, though attempts are being made to reschedule their appearances. Tonight's portion of the festival has been affected as well: instead of running until 6am as planned, the proceedings will finish promptly at 11:30pm. Head over to Berlin Festival's official website to see the updated schedule.