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Fears of damage to festival terrain

The clearing up begins after three days of rock and rain Keystone

Three days of rain and an audience totalling 44,000 have taken their toll on the Gurten - the hill overlooking Berne - after its annual rock festival.

Organisers say repair work is needed on part of the land surface, which was churned up by the combination of weather and crowds. The full extent of the damage will not be known until later in the week, but in the meantime sand is being used to stabilise the terrain.

Festival director Philippe Cornu said in an interview with the Berner Zeitung that he believed the entire surface could need treatment. “To be effective, these measures might be required on the whole area,” he said.

Three years ago similar bad weather resulted in a SFr900,000 deficit and left the organisers on the verge of bankruptcy. But this year’s festival was better-prepared for rain, and the financial situation is said to be much healthier.

swissinfo with agencies

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