More than a hundred people holding candles gathered on Hviezdoslav Square in Bratislava on July 19 evening to remember the young man who died at the Pohoda music festival on July 18 and express their support to the people who were injured and for the festival itself, news wire TASR wrote.
The country’s biggest open-air music festival, called Pohoda, ended tragically after a massive thunderstorm and gale-level winds tore down the tent covering the O2 Arena, which was hosting a concert attended by hundreds of people on July 18. The accident has taken the life of a 29-year-old man from Piešťany and another 52 people were injured at the festival’s site – the military airport in Trenčín, according to the website of daily Sme.
“I came here to remember the person who died there and I hope that the three people whose lives are in danger will pull through,” one of the participants told news wire TASR.
People have been expressing support for the festival in several ways. Many have joined groups on Facebook that have been supporting Michal Kaščák - the main organizer of the event.
Kaščák had said that this could be the last annual running of the event, according to daily Sme.
The people who gathered in front of the Slovak National Theatre said that the festival should continue.
“These things happen,” said one young girl in the crowd as quoted by TASR. “The most important thing is that the festival should continue, as it is a event that also promotes Slovakia abroad.”
According to Katarina Uhrinová from the Bratislava Mayor's Office, Kaščák and his team managed the situation as well as they could.
"Pohoda should definitely continue,” Uhrinová told TASR. “The team of organisers isn't responsible for what happened. It was a natural disaster.”
The police are now investigating the tragic accident. According to SITA, approximately one hour before the massive storm hit the area, Kaščák, warned people about the approaching storm, recommending that families with children should leave the area. The festival was also suspended for three hours. However, the concert at the O2 Arena tent, which collapsed in the storm, was still ongoing.
The Pohoda festival is Slovakia’s largest and most popular open-air festival, which mixes various music genres with accompanying events such as film screenings, theatre performances, and programmes for children as well as discussions on politics and society.