Green Day Expresses Condolences After Aerialist’s Tragic Fall at Madrid Festival

by Frank Hammel
in International News
Mad Cool Festival 2017
Mad Cool Festival 2017

MADRID – On July 7 at the Mad Cool Festival in Madrid, acrobat Pedro Aunion Monroy, 42, who had been performing in front of a crowd of 35,000 attendees, died after falling nearly 100 feet. As investigators tried to pinpoint the cause, festival organizers and Green Day were criticized for continuing with their show despite the tragedy. In a statement, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong expressed condolences and made it clear that, had the band been aware of the accident, they would have opted against performing. Festival organizers, meanwhile, pointed to “security issues” as the rationale for not cutting the concert performances short. They also expressed condolences.

Armstrong’s statement, issued on July 8, follows:

“Last night at the Mad Cool festival in Spain there was a horrific accident. An acrobat by the name of Pedro was killed during his performance before Green Day played our show. We are so sad for Pedro and his family and we pray for them in this time of grief. I can't imagine how much suffering the friends and family are going through.

“Many of you are wondering why we continued to play our show after the accident. 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. these festivals are huge. There are so many things happening at the same time it's impossible to keep up with every performer/artist. We were in a back stage compound about a half mile away from the main festival stage. We were warming up ready to go at 11:25 pm. 15 minutes prior our tour management was told by local authorities to wait to go on stage because there was some sort of security issue.

“Security issues are a normal occurrence and procedure at any show. We were NOT told why, which is also normal. we waited as we were instructed. Still, we had no clue there was any such accident.

“We were given the ok. The band jumped into vans and drove to the main festival stage. This was to be the last show of our European tour and we were all so excited to play our hearts out one last time. We were on stage at around midnight and played around two and a half hours. Everything seemed normal. the crowd and fans had a good time.

“We got off stage and drove back to our artist compound. It was there when we were told the shocking news about Pedro. All of us were in disbelief. 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. What happened to Pedro is unthinkable. Once again we are heartbroken for his friends and family.

"We are also shocked and heartbroken for anyone that had to witness this tragedy."

Sincerely, Billie Joe Armstrong

The festival organizers issue the following statement (in Spanish):

“Mad Cool Festival lamenta el terrible accidente que ha sufrido el bailarín aéreo durante la segunda jornada del festival.

“Por razones de seguridad, el festival decidió continuar con su programación.

“Mandamos nuestras más sinceras condolencias a toda su familia.

“Mañana sábado 8, durante el festival, le rendiremos un sentido homenaje al artista."

Firmado: La Dirección del festival.