Danish Police Blame Pearl Jam for Deaths


Pearl Jam blamed for Roskilde Festival tragedy
Posted Jul 24, 2000 at 12:00am
Danish police delivered a report to the Ministry of Culture in their parliament on Wednesday charging that Pearl Jam was "morally responsible" for the nine deaths at the Roskilde Festival on June 30, sparking a quick and angry response from the band's manager.

The report, filed by Roskilde Deputy Chief Constable Bent Rungstrom, contained interviews with 280 concert-goers and blamed the group for inciting "violent behavior" from their fans by "whipping them into a frenzy" and encouraging crowd-surfing despite sloppy weather conditions.

Rungstrom and Roskilde Police Chief Uffe Kornerup also reported that festival organizers were not responsible for the incident. They cited a swell in the crowd as the cause of the surge towards the stage. A large group of concert-goers had just left another stage after the conclusion of a show and moved towards the stage where Pearl Jam were performing.

In the wake of the accusations, Pearl Jam manager Kelly Curtis fired off a response on the band's official Web site:

Pearl Jam are well known for their exciting live shows, but they have never, in their ten-year history of performing, "appealed for violent behavior."

Further, while "crowd surfing" is an audience "phenomenon" closely connected with many rock bands who are currently performing, it is not one that is encouraged by Pearl Jam.

As the band's manager, I find it hard to believe that after all that has transpired, the band's devastation over the tragedies that occurred at the Roskilde Festival during their performance, and their long history of attention to fan safety, that anyone would assign "moral responsibility" to them. That, I find "appalling" and ludicrous.

Pearl Jam has always, and will continue to do everything possible to ensure that their shows, and shows that they are a part of, are safe and enjoyable for those who attend.


No criminal charges are being filed at this time, though the police report now awaits review by the Danish Ministry of Culture.

Written by ANDREW DANSBY for RollingStone.com News

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