Ten rock fans, mostly teenagers, were crushed to death at a heavy metal rock concert on Feb. 9 in Bandung, about 100 miles southeast of Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.
The concert, held in the 1,000-capacity Asia Africa Arts Hall, was crammed with 500 more than the maximum capacity.
Dozens more were injured as the fans tried to leave the over-crowded hall after the performance by Beside, one of the Republic’s most sought-after heavy metal bands. The concert was organized to launch Beside’s latest album, Against Ourselves, released on a local indie label, Absolute Records.
Local government official Edis Siswadi suggested that compensation might be negotiated for the families of the victims.
Stampedes are commonplace at Indonesian rock concerts and sporting events, particularly in provincial towns with inadequate crowd control measures.
In December 2006, 10 died when Ungu, a popular rock band, filled the 6,000-capacity football stadium in the province of Kedungwuni to almost double its capacity for a concert. In 2004, eight people died in two separate stampedes at concerts by Indonesian pop group Sheila.
Bambang Suparsono, Bandung’s city police chief, confirmed that 15 members of concert organizers were questioned on alleged charges of distributing free drinks, including alcohol, which caused a mad rush. Initial reports revealed that the victims died from suffocation. Suparsono confirmed that the police were conducting an investigation.