The Pukkelpop music festival in Hasselt, Belgium was hit by a severe storm Thursday (Aug. 18) that uprooted trees causing damage to several stages. The storm left five people dead and numerous people injured. During the storm, Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto was busy tweeting at fans, trying to warn them.
“CRAZY STORM AT PUKKELPOP IN BELGIUM – NOT SURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO GO ON STAGE – STAYED TUNED. SAFETY FIRST.”
“FOUR STAGES DOWN – STILL RAINING + THUNDER IF YOU ARE HERE PLEASE BE SAFE.”
“SERIOUS INJURIES AT THE FESTIVAL. MORE BAD WEATHER POSS HEADING THIS WAY. PLEASE TAKE CARE AND CAUTION.”
An hour later, the tweets were of sympathy and prayer.
“PUKKELPOP UPDATE: Two confirmed dead. 40 at the hospital. Sending our thoughts and prayers.”
“Our deepest thoughts and sympathies to the families and friends of those
who lost their lives today at the show in Belgium. We are absolutely
devastated that this celebration ended in tragedy. To those that were
injured we are sending thoughts and prayers. Obviously under these
horrible and dangerous circumstances, and out of respect for those who
have passed, Thirty Seconds to Mars will not be playing. We love you all
and hope tomorrow brings a better day.”
Other acts scheduled to perform included Eminem, Foo Fighters and The Offspring, but in wake of the tragic deaths, it has been canceled this year. The Pukkelpop organization released this statement on their website:
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.
Undoubtedly many of you have many practical questions. That is why we ask you to direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We ask everyone to understand that this decision was extremely difficult to make.
This is the second such incident inside of a week. Aug. 13 at the Indiana State Fair a stage collapsed due to high winds before country duo Sugarland was set to perform. Four people were killed there.