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Green Day slammed for playing after acrobat dies at festival

US band Green Day has hit back at criticism they ignored an acrobat’s tragic death at Spain’s Mad Cool Festival.
US band Green Day has hit back at criticism they ignored an acrobat’s tragic death at Spain’s Mad Cool Festival. Supplied

ROCK band Green Day have spoken out against claims they ignored the death of a British-based acrobat who died after falling 33 metres from a suspended cage at a music festival.

Spaniard Pedro Aunion Monroy, 42, plunged to his death in front of in front of 35,000 people shortly before headliners Green Day came onstage in Madrid on Friday.

Fans slammed Green Day online for continuing the show, with one writing: "I'm ashamed of you".

Another wrote: "I watched the guy fall and can't believe no one said anything. I will never return to Mad Cool or Green Day."

And one Spanish fan tweeted the band saying: "I don't think so, it's impossible that you didn't know what had happened, shame on you and the festival's organisers."

But now, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has claimed in a statement that the band were backstage and were not made aware of the tragedy until hours later.

Billie Joe, 45, wrote in a post published on Green Day's website: "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. We were in a back stage compound about a half mile away from the main festival stage."

He added: "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."

The day before his death, Mr Monroy posted a tragic final Facebook post, which included a picture of him with his British boyfriend.

He wrote: "I can't wait to see my beautiful boyfriend. Love, come to my arms!!!!!"

The aerial expert is believed to have also had links to Brixton, south London.

His sister posted online confirming his death.

"To all the friends of my brother Pedro Aunion Monroy. I'm sorry to tell you that he died today," she wrote. "He was doing what he liked most, a show at Mad Cool. We are torn apart."

According to social media profiles, Mr Monroy was a highly experienced dancer and acrobat who also owned a sports massage and acupuncture therapy studio in Brighton.

He was director of In Fact performing arts company based in Portslade, Brighton, which performed under the name Ciadehecho in Spain.

Disturbing footage shows the moment the acrobat fell to his death above the crowd.

He was performing a stunt in a small cage during the Prince song Purple Rain when tragedy struck.

British actor Adrian Randle who was at the festival wrote: "I couldn't in good faith stay to watch Green Day perform after that. Thoughts go out to the family of the performer."

Paramedics were seen treating the acrobat at the scene, but he died of his injuries.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo said the show was delayed for about 30 minutes as police spoke with festival organisers before the show was allowed to continue.

In a statement, the festival's directors said they decided to continue the festival for "security reasons".

They said: "Mad Cool Festival regrets the terrible accident suffered by an aerial dancer during the second day of the festival. For security reasons, the festival decided to continue with its programming.

"We send our sincerest condolences to all of his family. Tomorrow, Saturday 8, during the festival, we will pay a heartfelt tribute to the artist."

This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

Topics:  editors picks fatality green day

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