The second half of Belgium's Pukkelpop festival has been cancelled after five people were killed and over 75 injured after a stage collapsed yesterday (August 18) at the Summertime festival – the latest in a string of stage collapses that has claimed several casualties.
According to BBC News, The Chateau stage was brought down during a massive storm that passed through the site yesterday afternoon. Trees were reportedly uprooted by strong winds and smashed into the rigging. The Shelter stage has also been damaged by trees.
Organizers have issued a statement, in which they say the festival is "in deep mourning" and that the events "were truly exceptional and could not have been predicted."
The statement reads: 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.
Watch footage from the scene below:
Pukkelpop was scheduled to run between Aug. 18-20, and was sold out, with attendance expected in the range of 60,000. Artists that were scheduled to perform today and tomorrow included Lykke Li, Cults, WU LYF, Crystal Castles, OFF!, Fucked Up, the Antlers, the Twilight Singers, Eminem, and Odd Future, among many others.