A 24-year-old Australian man, who had been on a respirator since the Roskilde festival, died Wednesday morning, raising the victim count to nine. MTV News previously reported that eight men were suffocated and trampled to death in front of the main stage during a performance by Pearl Jam at the concert outside Copenhagen on Friday, June 30. Scored of others were injured.
Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder beseeched the crowd to move away from the stage, but apparently to no avail. The band was performing for nearly 50,000 fans at the time of the incident. Roskilde police deny reports that rain and muddy conditions led to the tragedy. Officers later confirmed the dead to be a 23-year-old Dutch man; a 26-year-old German; three Swedes age 20, 21, and 22-years-old; and three Danes, two 17 year-olds, and one 22-year-old.
Performances on the main stage were halted following the incident Friday night, but continued on six other stages. The Cure were scheduled to play the main stage after Pearl Jam, but cancelled their set out of respect for the dead.
Protestant Bishop of Roskilde, Jan Lindhardt, led a prayer and commemorative moment of silence on the main stage Saturday as the festival continued with additional security. Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys canceled their sets, slated for Saturday, citing respect for the dead and concern over security. Live also cancelled its Sunday set out of respect for the dead.The Pet Shop Boys and Oasis released a joint statement reading in part:
- Security arrangements have not changed fundamentally since last night and they are concerned that there could be a repeat of yesterday's tragedy. They also feel that it would be disrespectful for those who were killed and their families to perform in front of the site where the deaths occurred. Finally they would like to communicate their sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of those killed.
In a statement on Pearl Jam's official Web site, the band said it is devastated:
This is so painful....I think we are all waiting for someone to wake us and say it was just a horrible nightmare....
And there are absolutely no words to express our anguish in regard to the parents and loved ones of these precious lives that were lost.
We have not yet been told what actually occurred, but it seemed to be random and sickeningly quick...it doesn't make sense.
When you agree to play at a festival of this size and reputation it is impossible to imagine such a heart-wrenching scenario.
Our lives will never be the same, but we know that is nothing compared to the grief of the families and friends of those involved.
It is so tragic... there are no words.
Pearl Jam has cancelled two European dates: July 2 in Werchter, Belgium; and July 3 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The band has made no decision as to the fate of their North American tour, slated to kick-off August 3 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
MTV News will have more on this story as it develops.