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Moscow wants Lollapalooza Berlin moved

Ambassadors from Russia and nine other former members of the Soviet Union say the choice of Treptower Park is "inappropriate, unacceptable and disturbing"

By IQ on 22 Apr 2016

Sowjetisches Ehrenmal (Soviet War Memorial), Treptower Park, Berlin, Raimond Spekking

The Soviet war memorial in Treptower Park, Berlin

image © Raimond Spekking

The ambassadors to Germany from 10 former Soviet states have written to the mayor of Berlin asking that Lollapalooza Berlin not be allowed to go ahead in the city’s Treptower Park this September.

In the letter, seen by the Berliner Kurier, diplomats from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and seven former members of the USSR claim that holding the festival in the 100,000sqm park – which is also home to a war memorial commemorating 5,000 of the 80,000 soldiers of the Soviet empire who died in the Battle of Berlin in 1945 – is “inappropriate, unacceptable and disturbing for the honour and memory of the deceased”.

Treptow-Köpenick regional mayor Oliver Igel, one of three recipients of the letter along with Berlin mayor Michael Müller and senator of the interior Frank Henkel, says the memorial is far enough away that it will “not be affected by the festival” and that “the area around [the memorial] is secured”.

Diplomats from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and seven former Soviet states claim that holding the festival in park is “inappropriate, unacceptable and disturbing for the honour and memory” of their dead

In contrast, Katalin Gennburg of The Left (Die Linke) party says: “I hope the federal government intervenes in the Senate against this madness. […] Who approved a rock festival near one of the most important memorials to the liberation of Berlin, and in a residential area?”

Over 5,000 people have signed a petition to Müller and Treptow-Köpenick borough councillor Rainer Hölmer protesting Lollapalooza Berlin’s use of Treptower Park.

The park has, despite the opposition to Lolla Berlin, been used as a concert venue on numerous occasions in the past, including hosting landmark shows by Barclay James Harvest and Bob Dylan in then-communist East Germany.

The first edition of the festival, which picked up a 2016 European Festival Award for best new festival, took place at the former Tempelhof airport, which has since been converted into temporary housing for migrants.

Nothing But Thieves, The Temper Trap, Róisín Murphy, Jagwar Ma, Lindsey Stirling, Tocotronic, Alan Walker, Destructo, LA, Josef Salvat, Topic, MNEK and Junge Junge today completed the line-up for this year’s festival. Radiohead and Kings of Leon will headline.