One million kick off 2012 at Brandenburg Gate

One million kick off 2012 at Brandenburg Gate
Photo: DPA
The official New Year's celebrations in the German capital drew over a million people on Saturday night. Overcrowding meant that the two-kilometre "party-mile" in front of the Brandenburg Gate was closed at 10 p.m.

On top of the obligatory 15-minute firework display, Berliners ushered in the New Year in the company of the Scorpions and Kim Wilde, who were among 18 pop acts to perform on the main stage during the immense televised event.

Several other distractions were laid on along the Straße des 17. Juni street, including additional stages, video screens and a giant ferris wheel.

People were already gathering in the area by mid-afternoon, with the crowd swelling to the hundreds of thousands by the early evening.

But there were strict security guidelines in place to prevent celebrations getting out of hand – all those entering the area were searched for bottles, fireworks and other dangerous objects.

Emergency services reported no serious incidents during the night in the city, though they were called a total of 1,583 times between 7pm and 6am – 15 more times than last year.

The mild weather is also thought to have contributed to the increased numbers of fires that broke out during the night.

DAPD/The Local

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