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Green Day defends playing set after acrobat falls to his death

By Yosoloyo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

An acrobat fell to his death at Mad Cool Festival in Madrid over the weekend, just before Green Day’s headlining performance. Pedro Aunión Monroy was performing a between-sets stunt when he tragically fell 100 feet to the ground in front of thousands of festival-goers. He was rushed to the hospital but died from his injuries shortly after. He was 42.

Shortly after the tragic incident, Green Day took the stage as scheduled and performed their regular set. The band has faced extreme criticism in the past few days, with many calling the decision “heartless” and “insensitive.” The band tweeted shortly after the end of their set addressing the issue:

According to the band, they were not informed of the incident and were only told that their set had been delayed due to “security issues.” Billie Joe Armstrong explained that these types of delays are very common, and there was no indication that anything unusual, let alone tragic, had just taken place.

A full message was posted on the band’s website, where Armstrong explained the band’s perspective and limited knowledge of the incident:

“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.”

Armstrong continued by retelling the moment when the band was informed of the tragedy, saying, “All of us were in disbelief. I don’t know why the authorities chose not to tell us about the accident before our concert…If we had known prior to our set, we most likely would not have played at all.”

Armstrong’s full statement on behalf of the band can be found here.

Mad Cool Festival also released a statement addressing the incident and why no sets were cancelled following the tragedy. Festival organizers explained, “The decision to not stop the festival immediately was made between the state and local security forces, as well as our security management.”

Organizers also included in the statement how they came to that decision, saying that “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 the sudden cancellation 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.”

The festival’s full statement can be found here.

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