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Last Updated: Sunday, 5 October, 2003, 04:00 GMT 05:00 UK
'Suicide' broadcast called off
The band had planned to broadcast their concert via the internet
The band's plans have generated controversy - and publicity
An internet broadcast of a rock concert in Florida that was to feature a suicide did not take place - apparently because the band's website was attacked.

Hell On Earth, a "death metal" band fronted by Billy Tourtelot, had said they planned to help a terminally ill man kill himself during a gig on Saturday in the city of St Petersburg.

But the operator of the band's website said they had suffered a denial-of-service attack, being flooded by data.

"There's been a huge amount of traffic which causes the server to lock up," Jason Trinidade of a San Diego-based company that hosts the site told the Associated Press.

Tourtelot told the Associated Press that the concert did take place but he did not know whether the suicide, which had been planned for a separate location, had happened.

The band's avowed plans caused widespread controversy.

'Horrifying'

Last Thursday, a judge granted St Petersburg City Council an emergency injunction forbidding the band from going ahead with the performance, even if it was an "illusion".

Tourtelot had initially planned to stage the concert at a local venue but the theatre's owner cancelled it, fearing members of the audience might carry out copycat suicides and leave him liable.

Tourtelot then vowed to go on with the performance and show it live on the band's website.

He said the suicide was intended to raise awareness of the right to die.

Florida Governor Jeb Bush denounced the band's plans and said they might be prosecuted under a state law banning assisted suicide.

The band's stance was also condemned as "horrifying" by a UK campaign group.

Julia Millington, of the ProLife Party, said: "It is absurd to equate death in such circumstances with the phrase 'dying with dignity'; it could hardly be less dignified.

"We cannot believe that fans would support this event, during which somebody will end his life. Has life become so cheap that people will actually watch someone die for entertainment?"




SEE ALSO:
Rock band plan 'suicide' show
30 Sep 03  |  Entertainment



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