Bayreuth Festival Opened Amidst Security Concerns

bayreuthThe Bayreuth Festival ritual most familiar to television audiences and the boulevard press in Germany – the red-carpet welcoming of celebrities, traditionally including Chancellor Angela Merkel – will not take place this year for the first time in memory.

It is a gesture of tribute to and mourning for the victims of the mass shooting in Munich on Friday, July 22nd, when an 18-year-old killed nine people and himself near a shopping mall.

A formal reception hosted by Horst Seehofer, the governor of Bavaria, has also been canceled. In fact, the conservative leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU) won’t even be in attendance.

As though to underscore a sense of foreboding, there was the explosion at a pop music festival in Ansbach on July 24th, which, like Bayreuth, is another mid-size city in Bavaria located just 135 kilometers away (84 miles).

Although some guests are keen to make the best of it and enjoy the show, there’s a palpable tension in the air.

The Bayreuth Festival opened on July 25th and ends on August 28th.

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