I'm off to bed in a moment, so I'll make it short. Basically, the rain was pouring down, so the sound was pretty much drowned. I usually wear ear protection despite having a major hearing loss, but that night I had to take it off because I couldn't hear a thing.
Anyway, as mentioned earlier, just before Alive started (the guitarist had actually started, but Eddie stopped him), the sound was killed, all the lights went on (and we're talking a lot of light) and Eddie was creying, begging people to step back, because people were caught on the ground. They started pulling people out of the area around 10 meters from the stage (around 5 or so meters ahead of me), a lot of them with blood coming out of ears, mouth and so on. A lot of people were treated right in front of stage, with the worst cases being hauled off to the Ambulances which had been called in from all surrounding counties. A lot of people had cardiac arrest, because their rib cages had been crushed due to the pressure (they had been cought on the ground during crowd surges). 8 of them were declared dead on arrival at the local hospital, with the 9th, an Australian, dying a few days later when his respirator was switched off by his parents.
The victims were:
Carl-Johan Gustafsson, 20. Anthony Hurley, 24. Frank Nouwens, 23. Marco Peschel, 26. Jakob Svensson, 17. Allan Tonnesen, 17. Fredrik Turesson, 22. Name unknown, 22
A year later, it was determined that it was due to unruly behavior among the crowd (a lot of people made "trains" (putting hand on the shoulders of the guy ahead of you) and went straight for the area in front of the stage, adding to the congestion), poor communications (noone knew who had the authority to stop the concert, so in the end it was the bands manager who had to walk up to Eddie and tell him to stop), poor secuity measures (the area in front of the stage was completely out of control - but some say that it had been worse during concerts with bands like Rage Against the Machine) and whole lot of others. During the investigation, the Festival took a lot of cheap shots from the press (one newspaper even went as far as saying, in an intern note, that they wouldn't stop until Roskilde Festival was closed for good & Leif Skov (then the spokesman for the Festival) under arrest).
The 9 treees is the symbol of the 9 who died, and it has been named a permanent memorial. The stone in the center wears an inscription to remind us "... how fragile we are...."
However, in 2001 Roskilde Festival relaunched with massive security measures, and even their worst critic, Paul Wertheimer, named them the safest Festival in 2001.
This is the new setup in front of Orange Stage (the main stage - the canopy tent was bough from Rolling Stones back in the 70's). You should be able to see the crowd safety workes in Orange vests in the middle of the picture
Roskilde Festival 2003 starts in a week with Metallica, Iron Maiden, Björk, Dave Gahan, Darren Emerson, Blur, Coldplay & whole lot of other bands.
[Edited 2003-06-18 00:19:03]