Pearl Jam Speaks Out on Fans' Deaths

ByABC News
July 26, 2000, 12:36 PM

L O S  A N G E L E S, July 26 -- The members of rock bandPearl Jam, in self-imposed seclusion since nine fans were killedduring their June 30 performance in Denmark, have broken theirsilence to defend their actions at the show and demand thatauthorities investigate the tragedy more closely.

When something this disastrous occurs, when this manylives are lost, it is essential that every aspect be examinedthoroughly and from all angles. To date, we dont feel this hasbeen done, the band said in a statement issued today.

The tragedy occurred during the annual Roskilde Festivalnear Copenhagen, where Pearl Jam were one of a number of bandson the bill. Amid muddy conditions, the crowd surged toward thestage during the bands set, resulting in the deaths.

No Freak AccidentIn response to reports that a preliminary Danish policeinvestigation had found Pearl Jam morally responsible forthe tragedy, Pearl Jam said: We feel that we are morallyresponsible to bring out the truth with regard to what happenedthat night.

Pearl Jam added that the incident cannot be written offentirely as a freak accident or bad luck, as some havecalled it.

Specifically, the band demanded that authorities probefestival security, the emergency response, the staging setup andalcohol arrangements.

Band Questions Slow ResponseDenmarks Politiken newspaper reported Tuesday that a newround of official hearings will indeed focus on the efficacy ofsecurity and safety arrangements and will include questioning ofPearl Jam members.

In their statement, Pearl Jam said they understood thatsecurity officials took 15 minutes to inform them of a potentialproblem, whereupon the band stopped the show.

It is our belief that if we had been informed of apotential problem at the moment that it was first identified bythe festival security, we could have stopped the show earlierand lives could have been saved.