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The Prodigy deny safety accusations

By | Published on Thursday 11 August 2011

The Prodigy

The Prodigy have issued a statement through their manager John Fairs “categorically” denying accusations that they acted in an “unsafe” and “unprofessional” manner when they performed at the Woodstock Festival in Poland last Saturday. The band says that the festival’s promoter, referred to as Mr Owiask, who seemingly made the accusations in he first place, actually acted unsafely himself.

In the statement, the band said: “It was brought to our attention by our production manager Karel Hamm on Friday night that Mr Owsiak had no intention of providing a safety barrier in front of the stage, despite signing a legally binding contract agreeing to installing barriers on 4 Apr 2011. This is the biggest open air European festival with a 500,000 capacity, and the provision of safety barriers is acknowledged as an essential practice at all festivals in Europe and indeed the world”.

They continued: “Without [a barrier] Mr Owsiak – and his event – would have been putting the crowd at huge risk, especially given the subsequent promoters report of 670,000 people in attendance. In reality, an event of this size should and must have several barrier lines. Woodstock is clearly in breach of the number one goal of The European Festival Association – YOUROPE – of which they are a member”.

A last minute barrier was put in place at the insistence of the band and their management, but this still did not meet safety regulations. According to the statement, Owsiak then “insinuated in the media” that the barrier had been put there because the Prodigy wanted fans kept away from them, and that they subsequently “fled the site” quickly under police escort because they thought “their barrier” had caused injuries, and didn’t want to stick around to find out for certain.

But, of course, the barrier was there to keep fans safe, not away from the band. And on the quick exit, the band’s statement continued: “There are always traffic queues in and out of festival sites – it was quoted that 124,000 vehicles attended the event. All headline artists use police escorts to get through traffic when severe delays are possible. It is necessary and not arrogant. Furthermore, it is advisable for the band to leave immediately after their performance to avoid the congestion leaving the site”.

Owsiak has not yet responded to the band’s statement.