On June 30th, 2000, at the Danish music festival Roskilde, nine fans would make their way to see the incredible act Pearl Jam and never return home. Yesterday saw the band pay tribute to those who lost their lives.
The crowd swelled on that day, they lurched forward and the mosh pits got tighter and tighter. It even saw Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder beg the crowd to move back so those being crushed at the front could get some air. Sadly, that never happened.
Nine men aged between 17 and 26 died from suffocation, caught between the crowd and the railings in the front. It was a dark day in the band’s history and one that the group were keen to pay tribute to.
“An unexpected moment intervened that forever changed all involved,” Gossard wrote on behalf of the band. “The 9 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…”
“It’s the most brutal experience we ever had,” recalled Vedder to SPIN in a 2001 feature. “I’m still trying to come to grips with it.”
He also added: “The intensity of the whole event starts to seem surreal, and you want it to be real. So you sit there with it, and you cough it up and re-digest it. You still want to pay respect to the people who were there or the people who died and their families. Respect for the people who cared about you.”
See the full statement, below.