On July 7, an acrobat named Pedro Aunion Monroy performing at the Mad Cool Festival in Spain died after a tragic fall. Green Day were scheduled to perform shortly after the accident occurred, and the show went on as planned.
The band, understandably, was shaken by what had happened near their stage so close to their set, and released a statement about why they moved forward with the performance, a move that many of their fans questioned in the hours that followed. It turns out that Mad Cool personnel did not inform the rock trio of the tragedy, and had they done so, they "likely would not have played at all."
"I can't imagine how much suffering the friends and family are going through," writes frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. "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."
He explains that their set was delayed for "security reasons," according to festival personnel. "We were in a back stage compound about a half mile away from the main festival stage," he continues. "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."
After playing for nearly three hours, Green Day were shocked to hear of the tragedy that had occurred at the festival, especially because they weren't informed of it by Mad Cool ahead of time:
"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."