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Monday, 3 July, 2000, 02:53 GMT 03:53 UK
Festival crush victims remembered
festival-goers
Festival-goers stunned by the deaths
A memorial service has been held in Denmark for the eight people killed at one of Europe's leading music festivals.

About 1,200 people attended the 50-minute service at a local cathedral in Roskilde, with many sobbing and holding each other as they sat in the pews.

Among those at the service were many festival-goers, some wearing jeans and shoes covered in mud.

Police say the victims suffocated to death when they were crushed by a panicking crowd during a performance by the American rock band Pearl Jam at the Roskilde festival on Friday.

Show goes on

Despite the deaths, the festival has continued on schedule, with many of the bands dedicating their performances to the dead and injured.


Victims remembered by a minute's silence
Victims remembered by a minute's silence
But British bands Oasis and the Pet Shop Boys pulled out of the festival on Saturday as a mark of respect.

Festival organisers said the money that was to have been used to pay the bands would be donated to a fund to support the families of the victims.

At the site of the festival, letters and flowers were tucked into the barbed wire on the barrier in front of the stage in remembrance of those killed.

A makeshift memorial of flowers and candles, to the side of the area, which was cordoned off for much of Saturday, has been fenced in.

Organisers, who prided themselves on having one of the safest festivals of its kind, said they had taken all possible security measures and defended the decision not to end the four-day event early.

Drugs and drink

As Pearl Jam played just before midnight on Friday, fans began pushing forward to get closer to the stage.


victim
Eight people were crushed to death
Band members shouted to the crowd of about 50,000 to move back and halted the performance when that did not happen.

The grounds at the annual festival near Roskilde were muddy after a day of rain.

The victims, all men, slipped or fell in front of the stage and were trampled.

Roskilde's deputy police commissioner, Bendt Runstroem, said some members of the audience had been "over-excited".

"We can never give a 100% guarantee that there will be no accidents when you have crowds like this in a festival of this sort, and groups of young people who have drunk too much or taken drugs," he said.

First held in 1971, Roskilde, west of the capital, Copenhagen, was inspired by the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

This year the event attracted about 100,000 fans, mostly from northern Europe.

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See also:

01 Jul 00 | Europe
Fatal crush at rock festival
01 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Brit bands pull out of festival
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