Pukkelpop officially canceled after stage collapse, death toll at five


Image Credit: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

Organizers of Belgium’s Pukkelpop announced today that the remainder of this year’s three-day festival will be canceled after Thursday’s stage collapse. “Pukkelpop is in deep mourning. We feel much sympathy to the families and friends of the victims. Words cannot describe…,” a translated post on the festival’s site reads.

The death toll in the incident is now five, with about 140 people injured, officials said at a press conference earlier today, the AP reports. Many were hit by debris as a violent thunderstorm not only brought down tents, scaffolding, and stage lights, but also uprooted trees. Three patients remain in critical condition, a doctor told reporters.

Some of the bands scheduled to perform at the festival have tweeted their condolences. “Feeling so helpless at Pukkelpop. We’re so saddened by the news of 5 fatalities & countless injured. Our thoughts are with you all. J K,” wrote the Ting Tings. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic events at Pukkelpop. For information +32 (0) 11 23 97 11,” the Foo Fighters offered. “Our hearts go out to all who lost their lives or were injured in today’s storm at Pukkelpop. This is not how it should be. Oof,” said Fleet Foxes. “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,” wrote Thirty Seconds to Mars’ Jared Leto. “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.”

More on EW.com:
Indiana State Fair tragedy: Can you protect people from Mother Nature?

Stage collapses at European music festival; several deaths already reported
Sugarland will hold memorial for 5 stage collapse victims

Comments (18 total) Add your comment
  • Jillian

    Pukkelpop! Don’t think I want any of that soda pop! lol

    • B

      I’m glad you find this so hilarious.

      • Jillian

        I was simply making a joke about the name, PUKKELPOP! You should not make ASSUMPTIONS about how another person feels! Laugh once in a while you’ll feel better.

    • Syd

      There’s nothing wrong with laughing every once in a while, but 5 people died. This isn’t really the time…

  • gazmo

    I blame the weather which, you know, could probably have been FIXED by now if it wasn’t for Republicans, conservatives, right-wing Christian nutballs and everyone else who’ve been calling global warming and weather changes ‘junk science’ until we’re in a $h!tstorm of droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and heatwaves thatt may eventually END us. (Luckily I’m old and childless – good luck to all the parents and grandparents out there!!)

    • Ace

      Right. If it weren’t for people you don’t like, mankind could *totally* have fixed the weather by now. Cancer, too, probably. /sarcasm

      In all seriousness, though, my sympathies to the families of those killed in Belgium and Indiana. Let’s work on some stronger stages now, okay?

      • tim

        Have some respect for the dead you guys. Geez.

      • gazmo

        Between the right wing and Wall Street crooks it’s pretty much assured that we won’t have the money or the political ability to fix ANYTHING as we continue to circle the drain.

        But if the Christian Right is right, “THE RAPTURE” will save us all!! (Good luck with THAT.)

  • Joe T.

    It’s now confirmed 6 dead.

  • ctina7k

    Why do some people have to make everything about politics or religion? Can’t we just feel bad for the families that lost loved ones and the people who got hurt.

  • micheline

    Pukkelpop festival is one of the biggest and most popular festivals in Europe. My daughter was there, among 60000 enthousiastic festivalgoeroes and finally the weather was fine. The storm came out of the blue with hurricane wind, hail, heavy rain. You can see it on many youtube vids. It was terrifying. Everybody looked for shelter in the big tents where performances were held, but 3 of these tents collapsed. Trees were falling, no place to hide. The camping was one big disaster. All this in only 15 minutes. Phone contact was lacking because of overuse. Lucky for me my daughter was fine, she lost her tent, all luggage was wet but it was nothing compared to what other families have to endure. The chaos was complete so we waited till this morning to pick her up. She was barefoot, covered with mud, wore clothes of friends. What promised to be another great festival as Pukkelpop always is, became a terrifying nightmare, for those who were there, witnessing the violence of the storm, injured people and worse. The organisation did what they could but you’re powerless against this type of storm.My thoughts go to the family of the victims.

    • karin

      you discribe just as it was. I was there as a first aid volunteer…
      and most of all.. so many people stepped up and asked if there was something they could do to help..
      the solidarity was great…
      my thoughts go out to all the victims and their family’s , and to everyone else who were there, that, they manage to cope with it…

  • DarkPassenger

    Condolences to the families and friends of the victims.

  • Pslightly Psycho

    I didn’t know Jared Leto could be so sympathetic. Just pathetic.

  • P

    THIS WAS A TRAGEDY , PEOPLE , HUMAN BEING DIED . For the childless person thank god you won’t reproduce … Really have some sympathy for these people . if you can’t say something decent really get away from the keyboard !

    • gazmo

      Everything’s a tragedy, P . . .
      Screw your head on a bit tighter and take a look around!!

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