I guess most of you have heard of the tragic thing that happened at the Hultsfred Festival
in Sweden, June 17th, 1999, during Holeís show. A 19 year old girl was killed in the mosh
pit, and found about 30-50 meters from the stage, behind the mixer board.
This girl was someone I knew, and I would like to call her a friend, because even though I had only met her the very same day, I had heard about her months before from one of my friends, and me and my friends spent the entire day in the company of her and her boyfriend, who were both really sweet people.
Since the magazines and news papers and even the TV news mess some things up, I thought Iíd tell my side of the story, since I was next to her almost the whole time, unlike all the media.
Hole were playing after The Cardigans. The Cardigans started at 10 p.m., and Hole at 12.30. We figured that if we got there before The Cardigans finished, weíd be able to run up to the stage, while the crowd that had seen The Cardigans walked away, when The Cardigans were finished. So we waited around for the The Cardigans to finish, and when they did and the crowd spread, there were already alot of people infront of the stage. Hole fans who had been in front during The Cardigansí show, just to make sure they really got a good spot for the Hole show. So when we got there, we had about two or three people infront of us. My two friends said they didnít want to be in the mosh pit, but that theyíd stick around for company, as long as it didnít get too packed with people. Vampiria and her boyfriend intended to stay, and so did I.
At this point it was 1 hour and 10 minutes to go.
When there were 45 minutes left, it started getting really packed with people, and the security guards had to start handing out water. My two friends left to go further back and find a good place to sit in the grass.
By now everyone was getting really warm and 30 minutes later, the crowd started getting really rowdy, moving from side to side, due to people pushing and shoving. I never really thought it would get much worse, even though I was prepared that it might get just a little bit rougher.
Boy, was I mistaken.
When it was only 5 minutes left, the stage lights went out, and the crowd went crazy. The security guards had to start lifting people over the fence, and the show hadnít even started yet!
The pressure was getting unbareable, and then suddenly the intro to Old Age started playing, and the band came on stage. The crowd went totally ballistic, and even though I had only two people infront of me, I still couldnít see a thing. I did manage to cath a few glimpses of Courtney, Melissa and Eric, but none of Sam, and what I saw of the other three, summed up would be only a few seconds.
They started with Violet, and I managed to sing along with about 1/3 of the song, then the crowd moved so much to the side that I nearly lost my balance, and I never really regained it until a great while later. At this point, I noticed that Vampirias boyfriend tried to lift her up, so that the guards could pull her out of the crowd, but it took quite a while for them to grab her. Then suddenly both Vampiria and her boyfriend were gone, but I wasnít surprised. With this crowd, you would be lucky to have one and the same person in sight for more than 5 minutes.
I'd like to add though, that according to the news papers, Vampiria was laying on the ground, but that is NOT correct. She was standing up the whole time that I could see her.
At this point I was starting to panic, because everyone around me was taller then me, and I kept getting pushed down. I raised me hands and waved my arms around, in hope for the guards to see me, but I kept getting pushed further and further back.
People in the mid section (the section infront the middle of the stage) fell, and were laying, sitting and crawling on top of eachother. I managed to stay on my feet for a while, but then the people in front of me moved back, and I fell too, into a kind of sitting position. I could feel I was stepping on someone, and I couldnít do a bloody thing about it. I saw this girl lying on the ground, passed out, with at least three or four people on top of her. To my lower left I had a guy kneeling, begging me to help him, and even though I couldnít help him up, I tried to push people away from him. Then the people next to us were pushed to the side, so that they nearly fell over me, and I paniced even more. My feet were stuck, and I kept grabbing peopleís arms and clothes to try and pull myself up, but without success. By now I was so exhausted that I started thinking "Thatís it, I give up. Is this the way Iím gonna die?" But then this guy infront of me spotted me, and I pleaded for him to help me up, so he grabbed my hand and started pulling. My feet were still stuck, and he yelled to me to try and break free. I was just about to unzip my boots, when suddenly someone grabbed my elbow from behind, and pulled me up, and for one moment it seemed like I got enough space to catch my breath. I wasnít being pushed, I wasnít being grabbed, and it only took me a moment to realize that it was now or never, so I started making my way to the back. It was a bit hard at first, since it was packed with people, but it seemed like just knowing I might survive this after all, gave me an enourmous will power, so somehow I finally got out of the "danger zone". Out at last, people obviously saw the condition I was in, and moved out of my way to let me stumble by. I hadnít started crying until just about now, and when I finally got to the very back, I sat down and cried like Iíve never cried before, hysterically.
After a while I managed to pull myself together a bit, got up, and stumbled over to a couple of guards, and asked for something to drink. I have no idea why I did that.
The guard told me they didnít have anything, but that I should probably go to the sickbay. He saw what fucking condition I was in, and he told me to go to the sickbay. He didnít offer to take me there. Did he really think I would find my way to the sickbay all by myself, when I hardly knew what the fuck I was saying?
Asshole, jerk, bastard.
Not getting any help from him, I tried to find my way to the sickbay, but gave up, and stopped a guy who was picking up litter, and asked him where the sickbay was. He pointed, but then asked if he should take me there. I think I nodded, because he grabbed my hand and walked off with me. He couldíve taken me fucking anywhere, I wouldnít have known, but he was a nice guy, so he took me straight to the sickbay, and started looking around for someone to take care of me. By then I had pulled myself together to the point where I realized where I was, and that there were empty chairs, so I just said that maybe Iíd just better sit down instead. So he helped me over to a chair, and I heard him tell someone that I was in shock.
Then I was left sitting there, and I started crying again, this time even worse than before. Suddenly this woman kneeled beside me, and without a word started stroking my arm to comfort me. Then I started babbling that I had been in the Hole crowd, and that I had seen a girl on the ground, and that I didnít know where my friends were. I wonder if she knew what the hell I was talking about at all. She told me to take deep breaths, and after a while I had calmed down, and told her Iíd go outside to get some air.
I sat down on this sidewalk type thingie, and suddenly remembered that my two friends had said that they might go see another band, and that we would meet at the reception at 2 a.m. Luckily for me, the reception was just next to the sickbay, so I didnít have to wander around to find it.
At this time, it mustíve been around 1.30 a.m., and according to the news papaers, this is when Vampiria was found behind the mixer board, not breathing.
People gave her CPR, and then drove off with her in an ambulance. I saw this ambulance swoosh by, but didnít really react. Then I started thinking what if my two friends hadnít made it out of the hole mosh pit? What if they still were in there? So I paniced once again, and wandered off to find the stage they said that other band they wanted to see was playing, but I didnít find it, so I went back to the reception. The whole time I felt like grabbing every person walking by, shaking them, asking them to tell me where my friends were. But no one would know, and luckily I had enough sense by then to realize that.
When I got back to the reception I was soo worried that I started crying AGAIN, and this really sweet girl who was sitting next to me, touched my arm and asked "Whatís the matter?" I blurted out everything that was upsetting me, and she put her arm around me and told me that my friends would be okay. Either they did make it out in time, or the security guards had rescued them. Then she told me she had been in there too, and she had passed out, and when she woke up she had been on the ground. I donít know how, but somehow she got out of there.
Then I calmed down for the millionth time, and we started talking about Hole and Courtney, and finally decided to go back and check what the whole scene looked like now. They had just played Northern Star, and were now playing the last song, Celebrity Skin. When we saw the stage, it was PACKED with people. According to the press, Courtney brought up about 50+ people on stage. You could hardly see the band members.
When I saw this, I recalled Courtney shouting "If you want to come up on stage, just fucking do it!" or something like that. People have said that it was partly her fault that everything got out of hand, because she said that, but itís not true. The crowd was out of control even BEFORE she said that. Her saying that didnít make it worse, nor better. What did piss me off about the band though, was that they didnít stop the show. I remember on this bootleg I have, the band walk off stage and refuse to come back until the crowd has calmed down a bit. Thereís this girl talking in the mic, saying "A girl cannot be in a mosh pit and live."
Where did that Courtney go? The Courtney that looked after her crowd like that?
Sure, I emailed the press saying that the fact that she kept taking people up on stage when she was only allowed to do it during one song, probably saved a couple of people from getting killed. They would still have been pulled out of the crowd by the guards, but if they hadnít gotten on stage, they wouldíve returned to the crowd. Not a very good idea, right?
Plus, the people that got up on stage were the people who were in front, meaning they were the most exhausted ones. The people behind them hadnít been fighting for as long as they had, the people behind them had more energy.
So I told the press to translate the number of people on stage, to a number of possible deaths, and see how they liked that result.
Anyway... A little past 2 a.m., my two friends showed up, and I threw myself around the neck of one of them and just cried.
Turned out she, and my other friend, had stuck around to see the entire show, so she told me what she could remember from it. She said that at the end Courtney had taken her top off, and told all the girls on stage to do the same, or to get the hell off of her stage. That really pissed me off, and I lost ALOT of my respect for Courtney right there and then.
My friend also told me other bits and pieces, and I must say that Iím truely and deeply disappointed with Courtney.
After all this we went back to our trailer, and got some sleep. We didnít find out about Vampiria until the next day.
A couple of days after I posted this story on my page, a guy named Jim contacted me. He had also
been in the mosh pit, and his experience was VERY much like mine.
If you want to read his story, go here.
It's in Swedish right now, but when I find the time, I'll try to translate it into English.
Also, recently me and my web-sister Lilly (who ran Glitter Glamour Trash) got to talking about all this, and it turned out she too had some bad Hole-show experiences: June 3rd, and June 17th.
Now I beg you all to please sign this guestbook, just to show your support and symapthy, and
forward your condolenses to Vampiriaís family and friends. Please don't sign it with
ramblings about wether Courtney is to blame or not. This guestbook is for Sara's memory, and
Sara's memory only. All entries that ignore this request, WILL be deleted. People have
written enough crap in Sara's own guestbook. I won't have it in mine.
Read the entries that are still in the old guestbook
The pictures that used to be here, have now been taken down, as you can see, but are still
aviable in the Hultsfred
Picture Gallery section, along with the pictures I took myself.
All around the web, people are putting up pages to honor Sara, and to me (and to Saras family and boyfriend too, I'm sure)
it's a really sweet gesture.
TŚrar (it's in Swedish)
Till Minne av Sara Odin (also in Swedish)
Tommys sida (also in Swedish)