“The festival will open its doors tomorrow (Saturday) at 4:00 p.m., with a first concert on the main stage which will start at 5:45 p.m.”, of the Togolese metal group Arka’n Asrafokor, declared the president of the Eurockéennes, Matthieu Pigasse, during a press conference.

A safety commission must nevertheless give its approval to this resumption on Saturday, but “we are very confident”, he added.

Thursday around 4:40 p.m., the festival site was hit by “an extremely brutal, unpredictable weather episode, which manifested itself in very strong winds and very violent rains”, recounted Mr. Pigasse. This “storm” lasted “a very short time, less than 5 minutes”, he added.

“It was very impressive, I had time to welcome the first festival-goer and ten minutes later, there was panic at the entrance,” said festival director Jean-Paul Roland.

Significant material damage occurred and a technical structure, a tower that supported electrical equipment, fell on festival-goers. Balance sheet: six slightly injured and one seriously injured, still hospitalized for multiple fractures, in stable condition.

“It is a tower which had been checked, validated by all the services and which was weighted more than measure”, according to Mr. Roland. “Fortunately it happened at the very beginning of the festival”, when only 4,100 spectators were present on this site which can accommodate around 30,000 per day, he noted.

After the passage of the windy episode, all the road and rail traffic lanes leading to the “Eurocks” site were cut off by falling trees, hampering the intervention of the emergency services and the departure of festival-goers.

The organizers and the prefecture of the Territory of Belfort, placed Thursday in orange vigilance by Météo France, then decreed the cancellation of the evenings of Thursday and Friday. Stromae and the duo Bob Sinclar and Pedro Winter were featured in the first, Nick Caves, Clara Luciani and even SCH in the second.

“The artists who have been deprogrammed have reacted with a lot of understanding and kindness and we can’t wait to reopen the doors,” said Matthieu Pigasse.