Sonisphere Fan Dies

One of those seriously hurt when a violent storm hit Sonisphere Festival in Finland Aug. 8 has died from serious head injuries.

The 50-year-old man whose name has not been disclosed died in the University Hospital of Tampere. Police were expected to release more information Aug. 20.

“We are obviously shocked and devastated and would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of the victim – the thoughts of Team Sonisphere, Iron Maiden and all Sonisphere fans are with you,” event co-promoter and Kilimanjaro Live chief Stuart Galbraith said in a statement.

The mini-tornado and thunderstorm hit the festival site at Kirjurinluoto, where Pori Jazz Festival is held, Sunday afternoon.
The sheer force of it tore off parts of the stage’s support scaffoldings, blew away tents and wrecked equipment, causing injury to more than 40 people. Ten needed hospital treatment.

The second stage was rendered useless as part of the ground support collapsed and the lighting and sound rigging wasn’t secure.

Pori police have confirmed they were happy with the organisers’ safety arrangements and said there was no case of negligence.

They said the natural forces unleashed were on such a scale that it is impossible to blame the event organisers for the destruction.

“The storm rolled in with high winds, dark clouds and violent intense rain. Suddenly as the trees swayed it became dark as night,” said Alice Cooper tour manager Toby Mamis, after his act had to switch stages and borrow gear from Slayer in order to play its slot. “It was an amazing experience – what had been a warm sunny but muggy day turned ugly within minutes.”

This year’s run of 11 European Sonisphere Festivals has featured such top metal and rock acts as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Rammstein, Anthrax, Slayer, Motley Crue, Iggy & The Stooges, Pendulum, Alice In Chains, Alice Cooper and Placebo.