The Mad Cool Festival in Madrid on Friday marked the last show of Green Day’s European tour. Lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong would later write that at the moment the band was “excited to play our hearts out one last time.”
Sadly, before Green Day took the stage, concert goers were treated to a horrific accident involving an acrobat named Pedro Aunion Monroy. According to reports, the 42-year-old acrobat was performing in a box suspended by a crane. The equipment malfunctioned and he fell to his death.
About 30 minutes later, Green Day performed.
The band faced backlash for taking the stage following the fatal accident. The Green Day Twitter account has already addressed the tragedy:
But now Armstrong is explaining exactly what happened.
“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,” wrote Armstrong in a statement published on the Green Day website.
The singer explained that before their performance, they were told to wait to go on stage because of a “security issue.”
“Security issues are a normal occurrence and procedure at any show.. we were NOT told why which is also normal. We waited as we were instructed. Still, We had no clue there was any such accident,” he wrote.
Armstrong said they were eventually given the OK to perform and “everything seemed normal.”
“All of us were in disbelief” after the show, he added. Armstrong noted that he didn’t know why authorities didn’t tell them about the accident. If they had known, “We most likely would not have played at all,” he explained.
The singer ended the heartfelt message by writing that the band is not “heartless”:
We are not heartless people. The safety and well being at any of our concerts absolutely comes first. What happened to Pedro is unthinkable. Once again we are heartbroken for his friends and family. We are also shocked and heartbroken for anyone that had to witness this tragedy.