A single lighning bolt injured 51 festivalgoers when it struck at the With Full Force event in Leipzig, Germany.
Witnesses say fans were thrown into the air in the electric explosion. Three were admitted to a nearby hospital’s intensive care unit with serious injuries.
The festival featured Machine Head, Soulfy, Children of Bodom, Flogging Molly and Trivium among others. It was also to have included Lamb of God, but they were forced to cancel after the arrest of frontman Randy Blythe in Prague on a manslaughter charge.
Violent conditions built up throughout the evening on Saturday, resulting in the huge thunderstorm which struck around 2am. The web of lightning overhead was described as “like a strobe light”. Spiegel reports the bolt “left behind a wasteland of destroyed tents, panicked guests and a venue flooded with mud and deep puddles.”
Elsewhere in Germany, a lightning bolt from the same storm killed three woman and seriously injured another when it struck the small hut they were sheltering in. Another woman died when her car was crushed by a tree. Flash floods, fallen trees and hailstones the size of golfballs were also reported.