10/07/2017 11:47 AM AEST | Updated 10/07/2017 11:47 AM AEST

Green Day Responds To Criticism For Performing Festival Set After Fatal Acrobat Stunt

"We are not heartless people."

Theo Wargo via Getty Images
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong (centre) has defended the band after they were criticised for performing a festival set after an accident resulted in the death of a performer.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has released a statement after criticism that the band was insensitive to play a set immediately after an acrobat's death at the Mad Cool Festival in Spain on Saturday night.

Pedro Aunión Monroy fell to his death during an aerial stunt which went wrong in front of a crowd of 35,000 people. After a brief delay, Green Day took the stage and performed a set, which many saw as insensitive after witnessing the accident.

In the statement released on their website, Armstrong said the band was not made aware of the accident until after the band members had finished their set.

"Last night at the Mad Cool festival in Spain there was a horrific accident... Many of you are wondering why we continued to play our show after the accident. Green Day did not hear about the accident until after our show was over. We didn't even know there was an acrobat performance at all.

According to Armstrong, the band was in a backstage compound about 1km away from the main stage, and were told to wait to go onstage due to a "security issue".

"Everything seemed normal. the crowd and fans had a good time. We got off stage and drove back to our artist compound. It was there when we were told the shocking news about Pedro. All of us were in disbelief.

I don't know why the authorities chose not to tell us about the accident before our concert. All we know is what was said after our concert...

If we had known prior to our performance we most likely would not have played at all. We are not heartless people."

Festival-goers also criticised the event's managers after the decision was made to continue the performances immediately following Monroy's death.

The Festival released an official statement on its website, expressing grief at the 42-year-old's death, but standing by the decision not to halt the performances.

"In order to preserve the privacy of Pedro's family, there were no statements made nor was his identity revealed without the family's prior knowledge."

The festival also claimed the show continued after a decision was made between state and local security forces as well as the festival's own security management.

The festival plans to honour Monroy with the consent of his family.

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