Tributes pour in after acrobat falls to his death at Mad Cool music festival in Spain

Pedro Aunion Monroy was described as a ‘beautiful person inside and out’ and a “funny, handsome and talented friend’

Chloe Farand
Sunday 09 July 2017 16:10 BST
Pedro Aunion Monroy
Pedro Aunion Monroy

Tributes have poured in for the acrobat who plunged to his death in front of thousands at a Spanish rock festival.

UK-based Pedro Aunion Monroy was described by his friend as a “beautiful person inside and out” whose “energy, humour, altruism and smile will be missed by so many”.

The 42-year-old had been performing at Mad Cool Festival in Madrid when he fell from a height of around 100 feet. The Spaniard, who appeared to be wearing a harness, was inside a box hanging from a crane.

Paramedics attempted to save the aerial dancer, but he died at the scene.

His family said they were “devastated,” adding that Mr Monroy had been “doing what he liked most, a show at Mad Cool”.

Heartbroken friends and fans took to social media to pay tribute to the acrobat they described as a “funny, handsome and talented friend” and sent their condolences to his family and boyfriend.

Friends from Buenos Aires, in Argentina, wrote on his Facebook page: “In your passage through Buenos Aires, we had the privilege to meet you; we learned to love you for your sensitivity, tenderness, kindness humour and optimism. We are very sad for uou departure, we are going to miss you so much. We will always take you in our hearts and thinking."

Chris Rogerson, from Brighton, also wrote: "Such a lovely soul, we trained together in rugby last year and I remember him sliding round in the mud as he wouldn't wear studded boots! From the moment you first met Pedro he was such a warm and kind hearted person. Thoughts are with his family and friends."

Sergio Cittadino added: "Whoever met you knows well what an exceptional soul you were — thoughtful, kind and immensely generous. You will be missed Pedro — your selflessly giving out warmth and light through your beautiful, open, honest smile is what I want to remember you for. I feel honoured to have met you. Rip, my gorgeous friend."

According to his Facebook profile, the former actor trained at the the Royal Conservatory of Dance in Madrid and had lived in Brighton for at least two years.

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In a final tragic post on Thursday, the performer, from Madrid, uploaded an illustration showing him and his partner with the message: "I can't wait to see my beautiful boyfriend.

"Love, come to my arms!!!!!"

Mr Monroy, who also worked as a massage therapist at the Grand Hotel Brighton, was director of In Fact, a theatre company in south London.

His performance was scheduled in a half-hour slot between British indie band Alt J and the US punk rock band Green Day, who were due on stage at 11.25pm.

Witnesses described the chilling sight of the acrobat plummeting to the floor, while pictures posted on social media showed paramedics fighting to save him.

Despite the incident, Green Day's performance went ahead as planned spectators and fans took to social media to slam the decision of the festival organisers as "shameful".

Esther Ortega tweeted: "His name was Pedro Aunion Monroy. He was a beautiful dancer, choreographer and friend. He lost his life and you go on playing. Shame on you."

Steve Antony said: "My thoughts go out to Pedro Aunion Monro's boyfriend and family. Shame on you @madcooldestival for carrying on the show."

Adrian Randle, an actor from Birmingham, tweeted: "Did I just see someone die?" He added later: "I couldn't in good faith stay to watch Green Day perform after that. Thoughts go out to the family of the performer."

In a statement the California band later indicated they had been unaware of the severity of the incident.

"We just got off stage at Mad Cool Festival to some disturbing news," it said.

"A very brave artist named Pedro lost his life here tonight in a tragic accident. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."

Organisers of the Mad Cool festival defended their decision to carry on with the first performance, citing "mandatory" security measures.

A statement said: "In this situation it was officially deemed unsafe to have a large mass of people moving all at once, with the possibility of violent reactions, due to a sudden cancellation of an event of 45,000 people."

They said the three-day event would go on as scheduled to "pay tribute to all the artists that work everyday showing their talent in front of admiring and appreciative audiences".

"Pedro was a person totally committed to art, he deserves all our respect and admiration and we strive to ensure this," the statement added.

A later performance by British band Slowdive was cancelled.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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