MADRID, Aug 13 (Reuters) – One person was killed and dozens were injured when high winds caused part of the main stage to collapse at a dance music festival near the Spanish city of Valencia in the early hours of Saturday, regional emergency services said.
Other infrastructure was also damaged when gusts battered the Medusa Festival, a huge electronic music festival held over six days in the east coast town of Cullera, south of Valencia.
The festival, where French DJ David Guetta was due to play on Saturday, had DJs scheduled to play throughout the night on Friday across five stages.
Of the injured, three suffered serious trauma injuries and 14 had more minor injuries, regional emergency services tweeted. Regional health authorities said later that 40 people were attended to.
“We are completely devastated and saddened at what happened this morning,” organisers said in a statement on the festival’s Facebook page.
They said “extraordinary” weather conditions had caused damage to various infrastructure on the festival site.
“At around four in the morning unexpected and violent strong winds destroyed certain areas of the festival, forcing management to make the immediate decision to vacate the concert area to guarantee the safety of attendees, workers and artists,” organisers said.
The festival was suspended for the time being, they said.
DJ Miguel Serna was on the main stage for his 3 a.m. to 4 a.m set when the incident occurred.
“It was a tense few minutes, I’ve never experienced anything like it before,” he wrote in an Instagram story on Saturday.
“The tragedy happened just at the end of my session on the main stage, just below it, which was the most affected (area). It was a few moments of horror, I am still in shock.”
National broadcaster TVE showed images of strong gusts of wind battering against people’s tents in the middle of the night.
“We are in a state of shock because we were 30 metres away (from the stage). It could have been me, it could have been anyone,” Jesus Carretero, who was at the festival with his brother, told TVE.
National weather agency AEMET said there had been “strong gusts of wind and a sudden rise in temperatures” during the night, with gusts of 82 kph (51 mph) recorded at Alicante airport in the Valencia region.
Reporting by Jessica Jones and Elena Rodriguez Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Frances Kerry & Ros Russell