Noah And The Whale’s Charlie Fink recalls ‘apocalyptic’ Pukkelpop disaster

Folk frontman says the weather made the scene 'almost apocalyptic'

Noah And The Whale frontman Charlie Fink has spoken of his horror at witnessing the disaster at Belgian festival Pukkelpop yesterday (August 18).

The festival has now been cancelled after five people were killed when a stage collapsed, the site having been hit by a freak storm that uprooted trees which fell on stage rigging, causing it to collapse.

Though his band’s set had long finished when the tragedy happened, Fink was still on site and told NME this morning of what his band experienced.

He said:

We played at about half past two but were in our bus when it happened about five or six. The weather got mad, I’ve never seen anything like it, it was almost apocalyptic. It was pitch black like night but was only 5 o’clock.

Asked what the festival was like after the incident happened, Fink replied:

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.

He continued:

It was like we were watching something that you only see on the news as it’s so rare but when it does happen it’s terrible.

Fink said that the incident would not affect the band’s perception of festivals, nor would it put them off playing.

He said:

I’ve never seen weather like it but I guess it’s something you can’t really worry about because it’s so rare it never really happens.

You can watch video footage of the Pukkelpop storm and stage collapse here.

‘I’ve never seen a storm like that’ – eyewitness account

Pukkelpop festival disaster in photos