When you attend a musical festival you expect, and even hope, for something exciting to happen that will make your experience unique. However, the excitement-turned-terror which went down at the “Tomorrowland Unite Festival” in Barcelona is certainly not something anyone saw coming.
Close to Disaster
Crowds of more than 22,000 concert-goers were evacuated yesterday after a main stage was engulfed in flames. Social media images of the fire show huge flames with a cloud of thick smoke hiding the entire front of the stage as people fled. While luckily no severe injuries were reported and fans were safely evacuated, there were a few people treated for panic attacks and shock.
The Tomorrowland festival, whose main event is hosted in Belgium, gets more popular annually, with tickets to events usually selling out in minutes. At this exact stage Steve Aoki, world-famous DJ, was set to perform a few hours after the fire broke out. Organizers of the concert state that the fire was caused by a “technical malfunction” however, the exact source of the fire is still unclear, with hypothesis ranging from fireworks gone wrong to a piece of equipment overheating.
A Brief History of Fires
This is not the first time a fire-hazard has threatened the lives of concert goers. In fact, the trend of fire-related disasters striking densely packed crowds of people is more common that you would think. Back in 2009 in Bangkok while the band tragically named Burn played, a fire burned through a Nightclub where the band was performing. But this time the people attending where not as lucky and 66 people tragically lost their lives. Zoom out a little and in 2003 you’ve got yet another stage-fire when a nightclub in the USA went up in flames. Here the death toll was even higher, at a staggering 200 people killed, including the lead guitarist of the band playing, Great White.
These two examples, and more in stages all over the world, show that mixing high powered technical equipment with cramped places has incredibly dangerous potential. Luckily in our case those professionals manning the Tomorrowland concert were trained enough to act in a manner which secured a safe evacuation for all the people within the range of danger. However, it remains a daunting situation to attend a concert awaiting a fire of passion, and instead…just get a real, scary, and potentially life-threatening fire.