Pearl Jam Share Emotional Tribute To The Nine Fans Killed During Their 2000 Roskilde Show
Today (June 30) marks the 20th anniversary of the tragedy at Roskilde festival in Denmark where nine Pearl Jam fans lost their lives.
During the band’s 2000 headline set, there was a crowd crush, leading to some fans falling down, being trampled and ultimately suffocating. Eight fans died at the festival, a ninth passed away five days later in hospital.
The band shared a statement on their Instagram, accompanied by a clip of their track Love Boat Captain, which references the tragedy. Written by guitarist Stone Gossard on behalf of Pearl Jam, he says that “nothing has been the same since” that day 20 years ago.
“An unexpected moment intervened that forever changed all involved,” the statement continues.
“The 9 young men who were trampled. The lives of their families and loved ones who had to endure imagining their deaths over and over and the reality of never seeing them again. Every person at the festival who witnessed what was happening and tried to do something, maybe pulling someone up, or not being able to…
“And those, like our band, who never realized anything was going on at all until it was too late…
“All of us forever waiting for the news to be different.”
The statement continues to highlight that in the past 20 years, the band have had 11 children, which has magnified their understanding how the fans’ parents felt and continue to feel.
“Every day our hearts continue to ache and our stomachs turn at the thoughts of those young men dying and of what might have been different, if only…but nothing changes.
“And our pain is a thousandth of that of the families…. the moms and dads, sisters and brothers, best friends…
“Our deepest condolences and apologies to the families who lost their boys that day.”
The band go on to admit that in the aftermath of the incident, they retreated and “became angry” after they were accused of being responsible.
“Our words were nothing to help at that point. We hid and hoped that it wasn’t our fault. We have been trying our best to unhide ever since
“Young men who loved PJ and wanted to get up close. That was the through-line of all those who passed that day. We hope we will never know what that loss feels like. We hope.”
Since the tragedy, a memorial has been erected on the festival site, containing a stone with the inscription ‘How fragile we are’ surrounded by nine trees.
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“It's been 20 years since that day. A normal festival show day...show up 5 hours ahead. Wait for your slot. I barely remember it... Sunny, I think. Lou Reed played, I think. Then rain and wind. But nothing has been the same since.” Read the full statement at the link in bio.
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