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July 09, 2017

Green Day: 'We had no clue' about acrobat's death at Spain festival

Tragedy cast a dark cloud over Spain's Mad Cool Music Festival Friday night when acrobat Pedro Aunion Monroy fell 100 feet to his death during his aerial performance in Madrid.

As tributes to the 42-year-old British dancer spread online over the weekend, festival headliners Green Day responded to critics who questioned hat they still took the stage about 30 minutes after the incident.

Not long after the show, a nearly two-and-a-half hour set, Green Day's official Twitter account posted a message explaining that the band had just been informed of Monroy's death. 

On Sunday morning, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong published another message on the band's official website to clarify what happened prior to their set. 

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 organizers of Mad Cool also released a statement defending their decision to go on with the show. 

"In this situation it was officially deemed unsafe to have a large mass of people moving all at once, with the possibility of violent reactions, due to a sudden cancellation of an event of 45,000 people."

In the future, the organizers said they hope to honor Monroy with the consent of his family. 

"Pedro was a person totally committed to art, he deserves all our respect and admiration and we strive to ensure this."