Overcrowded outdoor pools, hours of queuing and police operations to counteract irritated minds – on the first hot weekend of this year, Berlin’s pool companies had to contend with massive problems.
“This rush was not to be expected,” said a spokesman for the baths on the one hand. On the other hand, he explained that the outdoor pools always get crowded on the first hot weekend of the season.
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In some outdoor pools, however, there was chaos on Saturday and Sunday, and people sometimes waited up to two hours or longer in the queues in front of the entrances. There were sometimes scuffles in front of the entrances, the atmosphere was aggressive, as eyewitnesses reported on Sunday, for example from the Pankow outdoor pool.
The police had to arrive there in the morning. Several people, young men, pushed ahead and climbed over the fence. Police are investigating trespassing.
In front of the summer pool at the Insulaner, the first queues formed early on Sunday morning and grew rapidly. At the entrance, security forces tried to keep the large crowd in order.
According to the pool companies, there were massive technical problems. In the past few weeks, the bathing establishments have specifically asked to book tickets in advance in the online shop, which guarantees admission.
But the online system for booking tickets broke down for a short time on Friday, and the server went down on Saturday at 9:15 a.m.
“On Saturday alone there were around 260,000 hits on the online shop. That is a multiple of what we have sold in the long-term average of tickets for such a hot weekend,” said the spokesman for the bathing establishments. “That was beyond the capacities of the baths.”
The ticket shop could not be reached on Sunday either, and the website for the bathing establishments was temporarily down. Tickets for the outdoor pools were therefore initially only available at the pool ticket offices. They couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Online tickets were only introduced in the course of the corona pandemic. They should enable uncomplicated entry via QR code. But the collapse of the digital system has now led to the analogue state of emergency.