The tragic events at the Pukkelpop festival have shocked music fans. On Thursday afternoon (August 18) The Chateau stage was brought down during a huge storm on the site at around 6pm.
Initially it was thought that over 70 injured and three people had been killed but that number was later confirmed as five. The festival was called off earlier today.
Charlie Fink from Noah & The Whale told us: “The weather got mad, I’ve never seen anything like it, it was almost apocalyptic. The freakiest part was that it went dead silent and for a festival that isn’t something that usually happens. Then people were just running away. A tree had fallen in the backstage area and a branch had gone straight through one of the tents, it was madness.”
Other musicians took to Twitter to react to the tragedy. The Foo Fighters posted: “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic events at Pukkelpop.”
Whilst Katy B who was due to perform wrote: “Can’t believe the storm at Pukkelpop festival so sad that people have passed away love goes to those that are injured too.”
Hurts’ Theo Hutchcraft revealed he found out about the incident shortly after playing a gig at Frequency St Polten in Austria tonight. “Came off stage to the terrible news from Pukkelpop. So, so sad…” he tweeted.
Fleet Foxes, on Friday’s bill, reassured fans of their safety, tweeting: “We are all safe at Pukkelpop. Crazy storm. This is awful. Hearts go out to all.”
The Smith Westerns, wrote on Twitter: “Stage collapsed max almost got crushed by the tress, I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our shit is broke.” A further tweet read: “Praying no-one got hurt.”
Jared Leto, frontman with 30 Seconds To Mars who were due to headline the main stage on Thursday, wrote on his own Twitter feed: “CRAZY STORM AT PUKKELPOP IN BELGIUM – NOT SURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO GO ON STAGE – STAY TUNED. SAFETY FIRST.”
Organisers of the festival released a 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.”
It continued: “We are deeply moved by all the spontaneous support the festivalgoers 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.”