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When the music stopped: Storm Kills 5 at Belgian Festival

When the music stopped: Storm Kills 5 at Belgian Festival

By Suyeon Kim | August 19, 2011

It only took ten minutes for a storm to tear apart stages at Pukkelpop Music Festival in Belgium last night, killing five and injuring 140 others. (NY Times).

Video footage shows the terror in the crowds as they watched pylons holding up the Marquee stage collapse and began to run for shelter. (Gizmodo/AP).

Belgian drum and bass prodigy Netsky was rocking out his fellow Flemish Belgians on the Boiler Room stage when finger-thick pieces of hail started falling on his laptop keyboard. Soon after security cut the music short. (De Morgen).

The Naked and Famous had already completed their set (YouTube) and Wiz Khalifa had just finished his performance when the storm worsened.

Skunk Anansie was also playing on the Main Stage during the hurricane winds. American band The Smith Westerns had just begun performing when a tree fell on their stage and their tent on the Chateau stage was torn apart.

Festival organizers cancelled the remaining two days of shows after the catastrophe. Pukkelpop, which takes place in the city of Hasselt, about 50 miles east of Brussels, was one of MTV Iggy’s Top Ten Summer Festivals this year. Cancelled acts included Sweden’s Little Dragon, whom we’d just seen perform in New York City on Wednesday night.

The festival, with daily attendance of about 60,000, is one of Europe’s largest music events. This is the second weather-related tragedy at an outdoor festival in a week: this past Saturday, extreme winds blew down a stage at the Indiana State Fair in the United States, leading to the death of six people. (ABC News).

All of us at MTV Iggy send our deepest sympathies to all the victims and their families.

Photo Credit: Mark Renders/Getty Images

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