Friday, August 19, 2011

Pukkelpop called off after storm deaths

Waking up to clearer news this morning from Pukkelpop, where the two stage collapses have left five dead and 70 injured. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rest of the festival has been pulled, with an official statement:

Pukkelpop is in deep mourning. We truly sympathise with the families and friends of the victims. Words are not enough. We have struggled with the decision to continue the festival. Therefore we have decided to cancel Pukkelpop 2011. What has happened is very exceptional and could not have been predicted. We are deeply moved by all the spontaneous support the festival goers and the organisation have received. We call on all Pukkelpoppers to return home calmly. Extra buses and trains have been organised to bring everybody home. We ask everyone to understand that this decision was extremely difficult to make.
Certainly, the video footage of the storm does look like the sort of weather it'd be hard to protect against, with trees being uprooted. Rescue efforts were frustrated when cranes brought in to lift the collapsed Chateau stage were unable to get across the waterlogged ground.

Many of the acts playing Pukkelpop had been due to move on to the Dutch Lowlands Festival; organisers there are waiting to find out how many will still be in the mood to play.