Last year’s Lollapalooza Berlin, the first ever, went off without a hitch, but a new proposed location for the festival’s return in early September has Russian authorities up in arms. While the first one took place at Tempelhof Airport, a decommissioned airport which has since seen use for many large-scale fairs and festivals, this year’s festival location is definitely a lot more controversial.
Set to take place at Treptower Park which contains a large Soviet memorial dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives during the Second Wold War, Lollapalooza Berlin 2016 has drawn the ire of the Russian foreign minister as well as several former Soviet states.
The Russian foreign ministry has lodged an official letter of complaint to the mayor of Berlin’s Treptow-Köopenick which was signed by 10 ambassadors of former Soviet states while Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also provided an official statement.
“We express serious concern at the plans of Berlin authorities to allow a rock festival to take place in September at this memorial site. You have to understand that this event, which will be attended by 50,000 people, will take place on the site of the burial of 7,500 Soviet soldiers who perished while freeing Europe from fascism. We believe holding events like this at memorial sites is unacceptable, and will involve – literally – dancing on graves.”
Festival spokesperson Tommy Nick denied that Lollapalooza would take place at the memorial site and defended the decision to use the park citing a 100,000 attendee Bob Dylan concert as an event that had taken place at Treptower Park before adding that “200,000 people watched the World Cup next to the memorial.”
Tommy Nick also added that they never intended the festival to take place on the memorial site’s hallowed grounds, instead they were working on plans to keep the festival as far away as possible from the memorial site nothing that “it so happens that the Russian War Monument is in the same park—but not part of the actual festival site.”
Lollapoolaza Berlin 2016 will be headlined by Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Major Lazer, and Paul Kalkbrenner and will take place the weekend of September, 11th – 12th 2016. You can visit the official site here for more details.