Tent Collapse Stops Pohoda

The final day of Pohoda Festival in Slovakia was stopped when violent winds caused a tent to cave in, killing one person and injuring dozens.

Local news agencies reported the festival, one of Slovakia’s major cultural events with a daily capacity of 40,000, was stopped at 4 p.m. July 18.

The Trencin airport site was shut down after freak winds reportedly lifted the O2 Arena tent into the air and dropped it back on the ground.

Apart from causing the death of a 29-year-old music fan from the Slovakian town of Piestany, the health ministry said 92 others were injured.

The ministry confirmed three people who sustained life-threatening injuries are at intensive care units, while 17 more severely injured people were hospitalized. The others were less seriously injured and treated by paramedics at the site.

Organiser Michal Kašcák reportedly suspended the festival for three hours and put out a weather warning to all fans intending to visit Pohoda on the final day.

Slovak Republic press agency TASR said an eye-witness described the tent as a “fly-trap,” as thousands flocked toward it because it was the only place where music was being played at the time.

Slovakia Today, the country’s English-language newspaper, previously quoted Kašcák as saying this year’s gathering could be Pohoda’s last. It was the 13th time it’s been staged, and during those years it’s become one of the major outdoors in the old Eastern Bloc market.

A police investigation is under way to see whether the organisers endangered the public by allowing the event to continue when the weather became threatening.

After the last evening was scrapped, thousands of festival-goers tried to leave the airport site by car, which had the local Trencin police struggling to deal with the gridlock.

The city provided extra buses to convoy fans away from the event and provided temporary accommodation. The council said stranded fans could spend the night in the sports hall.

The following night at Gurten Festival in Switzerland, Travis – one of the acts that didn’t get to perform at Pohoda – dedicated its set to the people in Slovakia.

The other acts on the Pohoda bill July 16-18 included

Basement Jaxx, Patti Smith, The Ting Tings, Pendulum and Razorlight.