Story by AFP, pictures provided by Arto Lehtinen:
A severe thunderstorm hit the Sonisphere heavy metal music festival in southwestern Finland Sunday, injuring dozens and damaging the equipment of several bands including MÖTLEY CRÜE, organisers said.
“A severe thunderstorm hit (the) Sonisphere Festival in Pori, Finland this afternoon at approximately 4:00 pm (1300 GMT),” the organisers said in a statement.
“Strong freak wind gusts damaged the stages and knocked down tents and fences. Approximately 40 people were injured, two of them seriously,” the statement said, adding that those hurt had been taken to hospital for treatment.
Some 30,000 people were attending the two-day festival, where groups like IRON MAIDEN, ALICE COOPER, Mötley Crüe and IGGY POP had been scheduled to play, and the organisers said they were “doing everything we can to ensure that the show can take place.”
However, one of the stages suffered massive damage and had been closed, and several concerts, including Mötley Crüe’s, were cancelled due to damaged equipment.
Iggy Pop meanwhile opted to play an acoustic set due to the difficulty using electric equipment, while Alice Cooper had borrowed equipment from SLAYER, the organisers said.
Iron Maiden, the highlight of the festival, would also play the finishing concert as planned Sunday evening, although the set had been slightly postponed, they added.
“The show will run so long as it can run safely,” Sonisphere Festival series producer Stuart Galbraith said in the statement.
According to Finnish media, a plane chartered by Iron Maiden had been severely damaged at the local airport, as had a small helicopter.