The organizers of a European music festival and the band Green Day are facing a major public backlash after the American band took to the stage just minutes after an acrobat tragically fell to his death.
The Telegraph reports that acrobat Pedro Aunion Monroy plunged to his death at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid on Friday night during an aerial stunt performance. Monray was reportedly 100 feet above the crowd of 35,000 when the harness attached to the illuminated cube where he was performing, while accompanied by the Prince song “Purple Rain,” malfunctioned and he fell to the ground.
His partner, who reportedly was watching him live for the very first time, was in the audience. Just the day before, Monroy, who was British, posted a Facebook message about looking forward to meeting his partner.
“I can’t wait to see my beautiful boyfriend,” he wrote, alongside a drawing of the couple. “Love, come to my arms!!!!!”
And in his final Facebook post, Monroy appeared to be looking forward to the bold performance.
Some attendees recording the performance caught the horrifying tragedy in cell phone video. TMZ obtained a video which shows the moment the performer plunged to his death.
Just moments later, Green Day took to the stage to perform their scheduled set.
Following a vocal social media-based backlash, the band posted a message on Twitter explaining that they did not know about the accident until after their performance.
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
— Green Day (@GreenDay) July 8, 2017
Still, the Twitter message did not satisfy everyone, and some on the social media network responded saying they were not convinced the band was unaware of the accident. Others have taken aim at the festival organizers for allowing the performance to continue.
You guys got played by #MadCool. The organization knew what happened and clearly decided to hide the information from you.
— felipe8a (@felipe8a) July 8, 2017
Mad Cool organizers released a statement responding to the tragedy on Saturday, obtained by Gigwise.
Read the statement in full here:
We, the festival management, would like to publicly express our absolute grief and desolation regarding the incident that happened yesterday while choreographer, dancer and workmate Pedro Aunión was performing. We would like to express our love and support to all his family and friends at this hard and devastating time.
With regard to the festival´s response in the aftermath of the incident: 1. In order to preserve the privacy of Pedro´s family, there were no statements made nor was his identity revealed without the family´s prior knowledge. We ask that the press respect the privacy of Pedro´s family and they are allowed to grieve. We hope that will we joined in making this a priority.
2. The decision to not stop the festival immediately was made between the state and local security forces as well as our security management. Mad Cool Festival complied with all the corresponding security measures that are mandatory for the audience, artists and workers at festivals and was prepared for all eventualities. In this situation it was officially deemed unsafe to have a large mass of people moving all at once, with the possibility of violent reactions, due to a sudden cancelation of an event of 45,000 people. The safety and security of the fans at the festival was of the highest order and it was not compromised.
Throughout the night and today we worked together in a coordinated way with the healthcare professionals present at the event, as well as the emergency services of the city council and security team. A psychological unit was made available to the family. Mad Cool, would like to honour Pedro in the most respectful way and always with the consent of his family. We believe music and culture are a life celebration, therefore the festival will continue in order that we can pay tribute to all the artists that work everyday showing their talent in front of admiring and appreciative audiences. Pedro was a person totally committed to art, he deserves all our respect and admiration and we strive to ensure this. Mad Cool would officially like to thank the audience for their kindness and support, the security forces and emergency services who worked so hard to keep everyone safe and we offer our gratitude and affection to all at this hard time.
Feature photo: Facebook