UPDATE: Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has released a statement. Scroll down to read it in full.
A Spanish music festival has been shaken by the passing of an acrobat who fell to his death, only moments before Friday’s headlining band Green Day took to the stage.
As Billboard reports, appearing at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, Spain, acrobat Pedro Aunión Monroy fell 30 metres to his death after performing an act in a crane-suspended metal cage. Some news sources, such as The Independent, have reported that the performer appeared to be wearing a safety harness prior to the accident.
The accident occurred before thousands audience members who were waiting to see the festival headliners, Green Day. Shortly after the incident, Green Day took to the stage and performed their set, seemingly unaware of the events that had unfolded shortly before.
Following their performance though, the group took to Twitter to issue their condolences towards the performer. “We just got off stage at Mad Cool Festival to disturbing news. A very brave artist named Pedro lost his life tonight in a tragic accident,” their first post read. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” they continued.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends
— Green Day (@GreenDay) July 8, 2017
Organisers of the festival later issued a statement in regards to the incident, stating that they did not stop the festival’s proceedings due to ‘security reasons’.
“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.”
As Billboard also reports, English shoegaze legends Slowdive were due to perform later in the evening, but cancelled their set out of respect. “Due to the tragic event at Mad Cool this evening we felt it was not appropriate to play,” the group wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Our thoughts go out to those affected.”
Due to the tragic event at Mad Cool this evening we felt it was not appropriate to play. Our thoughts go out to those affected.
— Slowdive (@slowdiveband) July 8, 2017
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.
We are also shocked and heartbroken for anyone that had to witness this tragedy.
Billie Joe Armstrong