Pukkelpop 2011 cancelled after deaths toll raised to five. Latest news.
Belgian festival Pukkelpop 2011 deaths toll raised to five after a severe storm struck, knocking down screens and collapsing tents and stages, officials said on Friday.
Another eight festival attendees were seriously injured according to Hilde Claes, mayor of the eastern Belgian city of Hasselt, were festival have been held. The mayor also told Belgian television that some 65 people had more minor injuries.
About 65,000 mainly young people were attending Pukkelpop 2011 when the storm struck early in the evening. Many were sheltering in large festival tents, which were whipped away by the wind.
“The storm struck in an incredibly sudden way,” said Hilde Claes, who was there.
“It was a real whirlwind. I have never seen anything like it in Hasselt before.”
The three-day Pukkelpop 2011 was set to have featured rapper Eminem, Foo Fighters, 30 seconds to Mars and The Offspring among others.
According to a post on Pukkelpop 2011 official website, the organizers decided early on Friday to cancel the rest of the festival.
“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… “
Pukkelpop is an annual music festival which takes place near the city of Hasselt, Belgium in mid-to-late August. It is held within a large enclosure of fields and woodland – between a dual carriageway called Kempische Steenweg – in the village of Kiewit, approximately 7 km north of Hasselt. It is the second largest music festival in the country after Rock Werchter, with an attendance rate of 180,000 over the course of the event in 2009.
The programme is noted for its wide variety of alternative music, spanning styles such as rock, pop, electronic, dance, hip-hop, punk and heavy metal. The event’s organizers aim the festival to be a “progressive and contemporary” musical event. Notable acts that have performed at previous editions include Sonic Youth, The Mission, Ramones, Nirvana, The Sisters of Mercy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Metallica, Green Day, Guns N’ Roses, Pixies, Daft Punk, The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails and Iron Maiden. The term “pukkel” is the Dutch word for “pimple”.
The Belgian tragedy comes just five days after another five people died when an outdoor concert stage collapsed in heavy winds at the Indiana State Fair in the United States.
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