Storm hits Finnish music festival - 40 injured

Stages and kit damaged at heavy metal festival but the show goes on.
The storm, which lasted for five minutes, forced some bands - including Motley Crue - to cancel, but others performed anyway.
The storm, which lasted for five minutes, forced some bands - including Motley Crue - to cancel, but others performed anyway.

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A severe thunderstorm hit the Sonisphere heavy metal music festival in Finland on Sunday, injuring dozens and damaging the equipment of several bands including Motley Crue, organisers said.

"Strong freak wind gusts damaged the stages and knocked down tents and fences. Approximately 40 people were injured, two of them seriously," said a statement from the organisers, 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, Motley Crue 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 Motley Crue's, were cancelled due to damaged equipment.

Iggy Pop meanwhile opted to play an acoustic set due to the difficulty using electric equipment, and Alice Cooper had to borrow their equipment from Slayer to perform his set.

Stagehands plugged in 30 hairdryers and dry out kit for Iron Maiden, the headline act, so that they could play a delayed set.

“This is one of the most amazing concerts of my whole life,” the band’s front-man, Bruce Dickinson told the crowd, “For those of you that have rocked we f***ing salute you.”

"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.

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