04.06.2022, Schleswig-Holstein, Westerland/Sylt: Ein Gruppe Punks schlendert durch die Fußgängerzone von Westerland auf Sylt. Durch die Einführung des 9-Euro-Tickets haben sich die traditionell hohen Touristenzahlen an Pfingsten noch einmal erhöht. Foto: Axel Heimken/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

“I want to go back to Westerland,” sings rock musician Farin Urlaub in a song that satirically settles accounts with the “rich island” of Sylt. 34 years after the song was released, a group of 50 to 90 punks made themselves comfortable in front of the fountain with the statue “Dicke Wilhelmine” in the Sylt district of Westerland at the beginning of June.

Since then, punks have traveled to and from the festival cheaply with the 9-euro ticket. However, since local people felt bothered by the revelers and punks are expected to arrive again next weekend, the city of Sylt reacted with structural measures according to a report by the “Hamburger Abendblatt”.

The Wilhelminen fountain in Westerland was cordoned off with a fence by the administration. The water level in the well was also reduced and the system required repairs.

Previously, punks had misappropriated the facility for bathing and sometimes also as a toilet. A video taken on the Pentecost weekend of 2022 shows someone floating in the well with an air mattress.

A concrete wall was also erected near the fountain in front of an underpass next to a crêpes stand. The mayor of Sylt, Nikolas Häckel, explained to the “Hamburger Abendblatt”: “The barrier serves to protect private property and avoid use as a toilet.”

The square with the fountain is in a pedestrian zone with restaurants and shops. The Westerland restaurateur Mickey Schreiber opened the Cropino restaurant right by the fountain in February 2020. According to Schreiber, the situation between Monday and Wednesday is rather calm and then comes to a head on Thursday, before the party breaks out on Friday and Saturday.

“Actually, I could close the shop right away,” said Schreiber of the “Hamburger Abendblatt”. “If there are a hundred people shouting out there at the fountain, no more guests will want to sit on my terrace.” Most of the punks are peaceful, but there have also been fights. He has already tried to talk to the punks, but the constant alternation of arriving and departing punks makes dialogue difficult. The “completely overwhelmed” police reacted to the complaints of the tradesmen according to the impression “rather annoyed”.

Westerland and Sylt are now facing their fourth weekend with punks. On Thursday afternoon, a round table made up of the mayor, public order office, police and tourism representatives met in Westerland to find a solution to the problem. Further measures have not yet been announced. It remains to be seen what the wall and fence will bring.

The punks may also move to another location. The 9-euro ticket will still be available in July and August.