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Green Day issue statement in response to Mad Cool festival acrobat death

By | Published on Monday 10 July 2017

Green Day

Green Day have issued a statement in response to the death of acrobat Pedro Aunión just before the band’s set at the Mad Cool festival in Spain on Friday.

The Brighton-based aerial dancer had been performing between sets by Alt-J and Green Day when he fell 100 feet, causing fatal injuries. It was not announced that Aunión had died until later, after which Slowdive cancelled their appearance at the festival, saying they felt that it was now “not appropriate to play”.

In a statement yesterday, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong said that the band had not been aware of the death when they took to the stage, and would also have cancelled their performance had they known.

“Many of you are wondering why we continued to play our show after the accident”, he wrote. “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”.

He went on: “Fifteen 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”.

The band had finished their show and had returned to the backstage area before being made aware of Aunión’s death, he said.

“All of us were in disbelief”, he wrote. “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”.

Commenting on the decision not to halt the festival in the wake of the accident, organisers said in a statement later on Sunday evening that they had been acting upon security recommendations.

“The decision to not stop the festival immediately was made between the state and local security forces, as well as our security management”, they said. “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 a sudden cancelation 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”.

Green Day’s performance at the event was the last on their European tour. Earlier in the week, another show in Glasgow was cancelled at the last minute due to safety concerns caused by weather conditions.