Stage Collapses At European Music Festival, At Least Two Killed

Becky Bain / August 18, 2011

After the death of five people at the Indiana State Fair last weekend when a stage collapsed during a storm, the Pukkelpop Music Festival in Belgium has suffered a similar tragedy today. Chicago indie rock band The Smith Westerns were preparing to begin their set when a terrible storm caused the stage to collapse. At least two people have been killed, and over 40 injured. UPDATE: The death toll is now at five, with about 140 injured and three people in critical condition. The remaining days of the festival have been canceled.

Though the members of the Smith Westerns had their equipment destroyed, they’re all okay. “Just found out the extent of damage,” frontman Cullen Omori wrote on the band’s Twitter. “All of prays go out to those hurt.”

Much like what happened in Indiana, the collapse was weather-related as huge winds and rain rocked the stage to the ground. Jared Leto, who is headlining the fest with his band 30 Seconds To Mars, tweeted earlier that day, “CRAZY STORM AT PUKKELPOP IN BELGIUM – NOT SURE WE WILL BE ABLE TO GO ON STAGE – STAY TUNED. SAFETY FIRST.”

Here is footage of the stage rocking back and forth, followed by news coverage of the incident:

Panic! At The Disco, Wiz Khalifa, Katy B, Foo Fighters and Mark Ronson were scheduled to play the fest today, though the remainder of today’s performances have been canceled. Swedish electro group The Sound Of Arrows had performed on the very same stage just a few hours before it fell to the ground.

[Via EW Music Mix, Spinner]