Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys have agreed to donate their performance fees from this summer’s tragic Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark, to several international charities and to efforts to increase safety precautions at other music festivals.
A portion of the bands’ performance fees, minus expenses, will be used to “improve safety at future festivals,” according to a joint statement issued by Oasis, the Pet Shop Boys and Roskilde organizers that was posted on each of their official Web sites Monday (December 18).
The two bands had been slated to play Roskilde on July 1, but they dropped out after nine concertgoers were fatally injured during a stampede and melee in front of the stage during Pearl Jam’s set June 30.
Shortly after the festival ended, a dispute broke out between Roskilde chief Leif Skov on one side, and the Pet Shop Boys and Oasis on the other, over the fees the bands were to receive for performing at the show.
Skov would not pay any of the bands that failed to perform at the concert, choosing instead to donate the fees to a special fund to aid the families of those who died, The Copenhagen Post reported July 5.
At the time, Skov said he expected the bands to file suit to collect their full fees, which they would have been able to do contractually, had police authorities chosen to suspend the festival prior to their performances, which they did not.
Despite the June 30 tragedy, several other acts — including the Rollins Band, Flaming Lips, Femi Kuti and Chumbawamba — chose to perform as scheduled July 1.
The Pet Shop Boys already had received half of their agreed fee, while Oasis had yet to be paid anything, according to the Post. Skov refused to release details of the fees, describing them only as a “considerable amount.”
An American rep for Oasis reached Monday did not know the amount the group was to receive for playing Roskilde, or how much of that money would be donated to the various charities.
Roskilde Festival spokespersons were unavailable to comment at press time.
The money likely will go to the Roskilde Tragedy 2000 Fund, which has been established by the festival’s organizers to develop health and safety measures for handling large crowds at music concerts and other cultural events.
The rest of Oasis’ and the Pet Shop Boys’ fees also will be divided among five groups: War Child, which aids children in war zones and refugee camps; the SOS Children’s Village, which provides homes for orphaned and destitute children; Freemuse, which advocates and supports artists’ freedom of expression worldwide; The Hunger Site, a click-to-donate Web site that provides food via the Mercy Corps and America’s Second Harvest; and Human Rights Watch, which is dedicated to protecting human rights around the world.
The 2001 Roskilde Festival is scheduled for June 28 through July 1.
Oasis — whose latest release, the live double album Familiar to Millions, has sold only 20,000 copies in the U.S. to date — hopes not to see a repeat of the Roskilde tragedy during the band’s series of South American festival dates in mid-January.
Oasis will take the stage at Brazil’s massive Rock in Rio concert January 14, just prior to Guns N’ Roses’ scheduled set. Oasis then will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to play alongside Neil Young at the Hot Festival on January 18, followed by an appearance at the Caracas Music Festival in Venezuela on January 21.
Oasis are mulling tentative plans for a U.S. summer 2001 tour with the Black Crowes, although dates and venues have yet to be lined up.