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Police Blame Sound for Roskilde Deaths

Report cites poor sound as the major cause of Roskilde tragedy

December 22, 2000 12:00 AM ET

Danish Police have completed their investigation into the nine trampling deaths that occurred at the Roskilde Festival on June 30. The report concludes that poor sound was the "the most important reason for the accident," which took place during Pearl Jam's set.

In an initial investigation police had called Pearl Jam "morally responsible" for the tragedy, alleging that the band did not stop their performance immediately. The band repeatedly told police they were unaware of what was happening in the crowd and eyewitnesses later confirmed their account. Officials exonerated the group as the investigation went on.

The final report, issued on Dec. 21, was the culmination of over 900 interviews of concert organizers, concertgoers, performers and emergency workers. The report also concluded that the festival planners were late in stopping the concert due to indecision over who had the authority to do so. No criminal charges will be filed against any of the parties involved, essentially calling the tragedy at Roskilde an accident.

The Pet Shop Boys and Oasis, who were both scheduled to perform the day of the accident, subsequently canceled their performances. In a statement released on Dec. 18 on the Roskilde Web site (www.roskilde-festival.dk/2000/english/ the bands agreed to donate their performance fees to "measures to improve safety at future festivals" as well as to several international charities.

The statement concluded that "all parties hope that lessons learned from the festival will lead to improved safety for all future festival audiences throughout the world."

Meanwhile festival promoters are already looking ahead to "Roskilde 2001 -- 30 Years of Happiness and an Accident." The festival's Web site details plans for a memorial grove to those who were killed at least year's festival, as well a Roskilde 2000 Tragedy Fund and a lengthy posting on the Festival's overall policy and procedure for 2001.

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