Pearl Jam have remembered the nine fans who were crushed to death during their Roskilde show on the 20th anniversary of the tragedy.
Posting to their website, Pearl Jam released a heartfelt statement saying that “nothing has been the same since” that day.
Remembering that the show began as “a normal festival show day”, they continued that the events that later unfolded “forever changed all involved. ”
“The nine young men who were trampled. The lives of their families and loved ones who had to endure imagining their deaths over and over and the reality of never seeing them again. Every person at the festival who witnessed what was happening and tried to do something, maybe pulling someone up, or not being able to…
“And those, like our band, who never realised anything was going on at all until it was too late… All of us forever waiting for the news to be different.”
As members of the band became fathers in the years following the tragedy, they explained that their “understanding of gravity and the loss felt by the parents of those boys has grown exponentially magnified as we imagine our own children dying in circumstances like Roskilde 2000.”
“It is unthinkable, yet there it is. Our worst nightmare.”
They added: “Everyone failed to live up to what was needed in those hours before and in those days following the tragedy. The festival, the media, us included. We retreated and became angry after many reports implied PJ was responsible. Our words were nothing to help at that point. We hid and hoped that it wasn’t our fault. We have been trying our best to unhide ever since.
“We’ve met some of the families over the years. With some, we have forged strong friendships…sharing and supporting each other. Some we do not know. Young men who loved PJ and wanted to get up close. That was the through-line of all those who passed that day,” they said.
“We hope we will never know what that loss feels like. We hope.”
Finally, they added: “We are forever in the shadow of your pain and loss and we accept that shade and are forever grateful to share that sacred space. The space created by the absence of those 9 young men.”
Eight men aged between 17-26 were killed in a crowd crush as Pearl Jam took to the stage at the Danish festival on June 30, 2000, while a ninth man died five days later in hospital.