Musikfest resuming Sunday after ‘isolated incident’ sent panicked crowds running


Musikfest will resume Sunday as planned after gunfire Saturday night led to pandemonium and chaos as panicked crowds fled in Bethlehem.

A witness told he heard gunfire and saw a person injured near Plaza Tropical and the intersection of Main and West Lehigh streets.

WFMZ has livestreaming video of the area during Musikfest, and the TV station posted video showing a few people starting to run, and then more people running. Multiple police officers on foot and on horses head toward the intersection as a loud bang is heard on the video.

“Don’t panic,” someone yells in the video.

City police in released statements said it was an “isolated incident,” but police confirmed to WLVR it was a shooting.

The festival was shut down Saturday night as a precaution and the incident is still under investigation, Bethlehem police Chief Michelle Kott said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Philadelphia Division has agents at Musikfest every year to support Bethlehem police, and agents assisted police with the investigation, a spokesperson said.

The City of Bethlehem has authorized Musikfest to resume at noon Sunday for the last day of the 10-day outdoor music festival, as planned. Schedule updates can be found on the Musikfest website or the Musikfest app.

“Thank you to the Bethlehem Police Department for their incredible work related to an isolated incident that occurred near the end of Musikfest last night. More information related to the incident will be released as it becomes available,” Mayor J. William Reynolds said in a brief statement posted Sunday morning on Facebook.

Mike Cunningham told he was waiting in line for roasted corn near Plaza Tropical when he saw a group of young people about five to 10 feet away, and told his friends, “it looks like there’s going to be a fight right there.”

Then he heard someone say “oh s—”, followed by a pop and saw someone stumble.

Cunningham later saw the person in the grass near the intersection of Main and West Lehigh streets, being treated by paramedics.

It was chaos as people scattered and ran in all directions, he said. Cunningham was running toward FestPlatz when he realized his wife was not with him. He later found her and some friends hiding behind the Theo’s Gyros stand.

The Bethlehem man planned to go to Musikfest on Sunday, and after the chaos still planned to return.

“I’m going to be there. I love Musikfest. I love this town. Of course I’m going to go,” he said.

Bethlehem police examine a crime scene at Plaza Tropical during Musikfest 2022. An undisclosed incident abruptly ended the festival for the night on Saturday, Aug. 13.Steve Novak | For

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