Acrobat falls to death before crowd at Mad Cool festival

Mad Cool Green Day
The Mad Cool stage before Green Day's performance. Photo credit: Green Day Rock n Roll Italy / Facebook

Warning: This story contains details that may disturb some readers.

An acrobat has died in a tragic accident at a music festival in Spain, attended by about 35,000 people.

The performer plummeted 30 metres to the ground in front the crowd, and died on impact.

The incident happened moments before Mad Cool festival headliners Green Day were due to come on stage - but the performance carried on.

Mad Cool has issued a statement. A translation of it says: "Mad Cool Festival regrets the terrible accident that the aerial dancer suffered during the second day of the festival.

"For security reasons, the festival decided to continue with its programming.

"We send our most sincere condolences to all his family.

"Tomorrow Saturday 8, during the festival, we will render a heartfelt tribute to the artist."

Green Day has also issued a statement online saying: "We just got off stage at Mad Cool Festival to some disturbing news.

"A very brave artist named Pedro lost his life here tonight in a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."

It is not clear if the band knew of the accident before they performed.

The acrobat was performing a stunt accompanied by the song 'Purple Rain' by Prince in a small cage above the crowd in Madrid during a break between British bands Alt-J and Green Day.

It was thought he was secured with a harness around the waist, but it snapped and he plunged about 30 metres to the ground, Spanish newspaper El Mundo reports.

In footage posted online, onlookers can be heard screaming as a figure falls from the cage.

The performance was being broadcast on large screens to the crowd.

Emergency services soon confirmed the man had died as a result of his injuries.

El Mundo reports that police consulted with festival organisers before allowing it to continue.

Some attendees have expressed disgust on social media about the decision.

Javier Erquiaga tweeted: "Ashamed of you. An artist dies just 20 metres from you and you still play. Worst band on the planet."

"Green Day shouldn't be playing right now"

The cause of the accident is being investigated.