A massive onstage fire broke out at the Tomorrowland Unite Spain Festival necessitating the evacuation of some 22,000 attendees from Parc de Can Zam, the venue of the popular musical show.
The emergency evacuation procedure was flashed on the giant screen at the venue as the fire surged on stage.
Flames were seen billowing out from the stage causing thick black plumes of smoke to drift towards the panic-stricken crowd who ran helter-skelter in the opposite direction, away from the blazing stage.
While firefighters are investigating the cause of the conflagration, the Tomorrowland website has released a statement attributing the cause of the fire to a “technical malfunction.”
Going by the video footage doing the rounds on social media, the source of the fire seems to have been the speaker system on the left of the stage or thereabouts. What is frightening, though, is the speed with which the fire engulfed the stage. Providentially, no casualties or injuries have been reported by the authorities.
One eyewitness reported on social media that the stage “just exploded.”
Meanwhile, there are some reports from the local media blaming on stage pyrotechnics for the blaze which has not been confirmed as of now.
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A fire department statement said: “At this time, the fire is totally extinct although very hot areas remain and the entire assembly structure is at risk of collapsing.”
It is understood that a simultaneous Tomorrowland show was going on in Belgium at the time of the Barcelona blaze being live streamed to giant screens in Barcelona. The Belgium performance continued uninterrupted while the Barcelona stage burned in a raging fire – the Belgium performers apparently unaware of the developing situation in Spain.
A number of irate fans vented it out on social media criticizing security arrangements; questioning the absence of the fire crews; and demanding refunds.
“I’m going straight to the point, the money? Chonglin Zhan Lee wrote on a Facebook event page.
Several ambulances and fire trucks were dispatched to the site but other than anxiety attacks no injuries were treated, according to reports.
“The Firemen’s initial hypothesis is that there was an overheating of the material used in the construction of the stage during the presentation of a pyrotechnic spectacle,” the website reported.
“Steve Aoki – best known for his chart-topping collaboration Just Hold On with One Direction star Louis Tomlinson – was due to take to the stage at 2am (1pm UK time),” reports the “Mirror.”
The “special effects are synchronized with the show in Belgium adding value to the global connection,” says the promo literature.
“The fire brigade’s initial hypothesis is that there was an overheating of the material used in the construction of the stage during the presentation of a pyrotechnic spectacle,” Globo reports.
A Facebook post by Tomorrowland organizers said:
“Tonight, July 29th 2017, the UNITE Barcelona stage caught fire due to a technical malfunction.
“Thanks to the professional intervention of the authorities all 22.000 visitors were evacuated safely and without reports of injuries.
“Authorities will follow up and continue the investigation with the local Spanish organizer of UNITE.”