Green Day Performs Festival Set Minutes After Acrobat Falls to Death

Band frontman Billie Joe Armstrong claims band didn't know, says 'We are not heartless people.'

July 10, 2017 10:52 am
Green Day Perform Set Minutes After Acrobat Falls to Death on Stage
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs on stage at the Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park on July 1, 2017 in London, England. (Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Social media critics are slamming Green Day as a bunch of punks because the band went forward with its headlining set at a music festival after an acrobat fell to his death there earlier.

The horror unfolded in Madrid, Spain, on Friday night at the Mad Cool festival, which Green Day was headlining, during a tribute to Prince. The fatal fall occurred as the acrobat was being lowered in an illuminated cage, as was reported by The Daily Mail.

One band, Slowdive, immediately canceled their set following the tragedy.

But despite numerous fans watching the acrobat’s death take place in real time, the show went on 25 minutes later, with Green Day performing their full set.

In a tweet Friday night, however, Green Day claimed it had no prior knowledge of what had happened after getting offstage.

And in a subsequent press statement, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong reiterated what the band tweeted Friday night: “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.”

He explained that the band was warming up a half-mile from where the incident occurred, and were told by the event staff that a “security issue” had occurred—but not what specifically had happened. Then, when they went on, Armstrong said, “Everything seemed normal; the crowd and fans had a good time.”

Only after the band got offstage, were they informed of the acrobat’s death. “All of us were in disbelief. I don’t know why the authorities chose not to tell us about the accident before our concert,” said Armstrong. “If we had known prior to our performance we most likely would not have played at all. We are not heartless people.”

Below, watch the incident take place. Warning: The video includes content that is graphic in nature.


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