Acrobat Falls to His Death Before Green Day’s Performance at Spain’s Mad Cool Festival [Update]
Sad news to report today as tragedy struck at Spain's Mad Cool Festival last night (July 8). Just moments before punk icons Green Day were slated to take the stage, an acrobat fell to his death, unbeknownst to the band, who went on to perform a full set.
As a crowd of 35,000 looked on, 42-year-old Pedro Aunion Monroy was suspended 100 feet in the air inside a transparent cage, dancing to Prince's "Purple Rain." As The Mirror reports, it is believed Monroy was secured with a harness around his waist, which then snapped, causing him to plummet to the ground "like lead" according to witnesses.
Many attendees who had just watched the horrific scene play out were incensed when Green Day took the stage. Many have voiced their frustration with both the band and festival organizers on social media, feeling the decision to continue the fest (with a reported half hour delay) was insensitive. However, Green Day were unaware of the tragedy, which they later expressed in a pair of tweets (seen below).
The first message stated, "We just got off stage as Mad Cool Festival to disturbing news. A very brave artist named Pedro lost his life tonight in a tragic accident." The band followed it up, adding, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."
The festival released a statement on their website which reads as follows (via Google translate):
Mad Cool Festival regrets the terrible accident that the aerial dancer suffered during the second day of the festival.
For security reasons, the festival decided to continue with its programming.
We send our most sincere condolences to all his family.
Tomorrow Saturday 8, during the festival, we will render a heartfelt tribute to the artist.
Loudwire would like to extend our condolences to the Monroy family and anyone who knew the performer.
Update: Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong has issued a statement about the events at Spain's Mad Cool Festival, expressing why they played the show after the tragic event and sharing their condolences to the acrobat's family. It reads as follows:
Last night at the Mad Cool festival in Spain there was a horrific accident. An acrobat by the name of Pedro was killed during his performance before Green Day played our show.
We are so sad for Pedro and his family and we pray for them in this time of grief. I can't imagine how much suffering the friends and family are going through.
Many of you are wondering why we continued to play our show after the accident.
Green Day did not hear about the accident until after our show was over.
We didn't even know there was an acrobat performance at all.
these festivals are huge.
There are so many things happening at the same time it's impossible to keep up with every performer/artist..
We were in a back stage compound about a half mile away from the main festival stage. We were warming up ready to go at 11:25 pm.
15 minutes prior our tour management was told by local authorities to wait to go on stage because there was some sort of security issue.
Security issues are a normal occurrence and procedure at any show.. we were NOT told why which is also normal. we waited as we were instructed. Still, We had no clue there was any such accident.
We were given the ok. The band jumped into vans and drove to the main festival stage.
This was to be the last show of our European tour and we were all so excited to play our hearts out one last time.
We were on stage at around midnight and played around two and a half hours. Everything seemed normal. the crowd and fans had a good time. We got off stage and drove back to our artist compound.
It was there when we were told the shocking news about Pedro. All of us were in disbelief. I don't know why the authorities chose not to tell us about the accident before our concert. All we know is what was said after our concert.
This has never happened in the 30 years Green Day have been performing live.
If we had known prior to our performance we most likely would not have played at all. We are not heartless people. The safety and well being at any of our concerts absolutely comes first.
What happened to Pedro is unthinkable. Once again we are heartbroken for his friends and family. and we are also shocked and heartbroken for anyone that had to witness this tragedy.
Billie Joe Armstrong
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