Pinkpop reckless in storm reaction: professor


Professor Guus Pemen of the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) believes Pinkpop has been careless with people's lives, and that the organizers were more lucky than prepared that the storm-battered concert did not result in any injuries or death. The professor wonders why Pinkpop neglected signs of Monday's heavy storm.

Storms killed five people in Western Germany on Monday somewhat close to the Dutch border. Organizers at Pinkpop halted all performances and told people to hunker down or look for shelter. Pemen asks himself if these kinds of heavy storms aren't easily spotted on weather sites such as

"If you know that thunderstorms like this are on their way, you have to act much sooner," he said. "It's more luck than wisdom that this ended well. If such a thunderstorm hangs directly above the festival grounds, then there will certainly be victims."

Professor Pumen is a researcher at the TU Eindhoven, studying the effects of thunder. Lightning strikes are mimicked inside the laboratory. "In this way we can measure the power and effects of a strike", the professor tells Omroep Gelderland.  According to the festival organizers, there were several lightning diversion systems in place to limit the danger.

Thunder expert Pemen says that this is not enough at such large events. People should have been warned much earlier, and the festival should have shut down earlier, not the moment the storm hit, Pemen says.

The organizers of XO Extrema Outdoor dance festival in Aquabest in Eindhoven say that they dealt with the situation similarly. Sending people home suddenly would cause panic, says organizer Laura van de Voort.

She says the festival has been fully prepared for 'emergency weather conditions'. All stages have been grounded, several lightning rods have been placed around the site and tents suitable for  strong winds will keep people safe, Van der Voort says.