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"This is so painful. I think we are all waiting for someone to wake us and say it was just a horrible nightmare. There are absolutely no words to express our anguish in regard to the parents and loved ones of these precious lives that were lost."
—Pearl Jam, from their official Web site
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8 DEAD AT PEARL JAM CONCERT

Fans Crushed During Set, Band Cancels Dates In Wake Of Roskilde Tragedy
Eight fans were suffocated and trampled to death during Pearl Jam's performance Friday (6/30) on the main stage at the Roskilde Festival outside Copenhagen, Denmark.

Police report that approximately 25 others were injured, one critically, at the annual three-day outdoor festival that attracted nearly 50,000, MTV Online reports.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and the rest of the band pleaded with the crowd to move back from the stage and stopped the set. But the band's calls for order were apparently unheeded. Performances, however, on the main stage were stopped after the incident, but continued on six other stages.

Protestant Bishop of Roskilde, Jan Lindhardt, led a prayer and commemorative moment of silence Saturday (7/1) as the festival continued with additional security. Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys canceled their Saturday sets out of respect for the dead and the continuing lack of adequate security.

"Security arrangements have not changed fundamentally since last night and they are concerned that there could be a repeat of yesterday's tragedy," a joint statement from the two bands read. "It would be disrespectful for those who were killed and their families to perform in front of the site where the deaths occurred. Our sympathies and condolences are with the family and friends of those killed."

In a statement on Pearl Jam's official Web site, the band said it was devastated. "This is so painful. I think we are all waiting for someone to wake us and say it was just a horrible nightmare," the band said. "There are absolutely no words to express our anguish in regard to the parents and loved ones of these precious lives that were lost."

Following the tragedy, the popular Seattle-based band canceled its July 2 and July 3 concerts, according to its official Web site. The shows had been scheduled for Werchter, Belgium and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Witnesses said fans caught up in the enthusiasm began pushing forward, leaving some up front screaming and climbing on top of each other to get air. By the time Friday night's antics subsided, eight fans were trampled to death and 25 more injured.

On Saturday, only hours later, the main stage was starkly silent as knots of concertgoers gazed at flowers covering the muddy ground where their fellow fans died. Victims included a 23-year-old Dutch man; a 26-year-old German; three Swedes aged 20, 21 and 22; and three Danes, two of whom were 17 and 22, respectively. Police withheld other identification details pending notification of relatives.

"Once you were down in the mud you couldn't get up. It was impossible," said Thomas Daun, 18, of Sweden, who was up front Friday night.

Meanwhile, the 30th edition of the festival continued Saturday on the festival's other stages. Event spokesman Leif Skov said it went on because "life is stronger than death."

Organizers of the festival criticized Oasis and Pet Shop Boys for pulling out of the festival. "By refusing to play for their fans, the festival management feel that the bands are actually causing the fans more of a risk as they will now seek out the other smaller stages," the organizers said on their Web site.

"The Roskilde Festival management are of the opinion that the bands that decide to follow through with their concerts on the existing and approved conditions show both respect and consideration to the dead, their families and the audience."

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