Festival Shut Down After Thousands of Attendees Had Already Arrived

The Second Horizon Festival, scheduled to take place this weekend near Berlin, got off to a bad start.
June 23, 2017, 8:01pm
Foto von einer Besucherin

This story originally appeared on THUMP Germany.

Approximately two thousand attendees at the Second Horizon Festival near Berlin were forced to return home after local authorities shut it down a few hours into its first day.

Second Horizon was scheduled to run from Friday, June 23 until Monday, June 26 at Kiekebusch Lake. However, the Administrative Court of Cottbus sent an official cease-and-desist letter to the festival's organizers on Friday afternoon, at which point the attendees were asked to leave.


The festival was prohibited earlier this month by the local Schönefeld municipality, who deemed it a "threat to public security and order," according to a statement on the authority's website. The Municipality also advised ticket-holders to refrain from "attending and travelling to the event," and the police issued a Tweet informing the public of the ban.

The #SecondHorizonFestival this weekend was prohibited by the municipality. #Schönefeld

Despite the ban, ticket-holders started to show up to the festival site on Thursday night, reports local publication BZ. However, the authorities allowed them to remain on the camp grounds overnight due to a severe storm in the area.

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, festival organizers stated they'd filed an appeal to overturn the municipality's ban, but Friday afternoon, the Administrative Court of Cottbus upheld it. In a press release seen by THUMP, the court stated that the festival did not have approval for its installations, and also lacked permits for the camping site. Additionally, the organizer had been late in submitting the relevant documents for examination.

The festival responded on Facebook stating that they were going to appeal the court's decision to the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin Brandenburg.

THUMP communicated over Facebook with one of the festival attendees who had waited to hear the cancellation decision in the campgrounds. They described the atmosphere as "predominantly relaxed" and remarked that "only a few people [were] annoyed by the complications. They also said that at the time, "there wasn't any [live] music and nobody was allowed onto the festival site—just the campsite."

Hours later, the same person confirmed to THUMP that the cancellation of the event was received calmly by most attendees, although some didn't heed the police's call for them to leave and spent another night peacefully partying on the campgrounds.

Update [Tuesday June 27, 2017]: This post has been updated with additional information about local law enforcement's response to the festival and to reflect firsthand accounts from sources at the festival.