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Tragedy in Arad

Three people were killed in a stampede trying to enter the Mashina concert at the Arad festival on Tuesday, July 18, 1995.

This preliminary account was sent by Alan Scheer:

It all started with the Mashina concert. Of course the concert was going to be huge..but they didn't expect the numbers that did arrive. The warm-up band, Tippex, started playing and too many people tried to get in.

The crowds were so enormous that the festival organizers decided to let everyone in for free..with or without a ticket. That caused a stampede and one of the walls fell down on a crowd of people.

Two teenagers died on the spot (one from Beersheva and another from California) and a girl died a few days later in the hospital.

At first they thought the festival would continue but Shlomo Artzi decided to pull out and then all the other artists pulled out too. He said he could not sing to the faces of the parents in the audience. There was a huge outcry in the country. President Ezer Weizmann went on t.v. and blamed the problem of the youth in the country..said the country has become too Americanized..too much Madonnna and Michael Jackson and McDonalds (that made the head of McDonalds really angry) and people started blaming the people of Arad..saying they are greedy, etc. Then the people of Arad went on t.v. and said that many volunteers make up the festival so...

No one knows what the future will be..there may not be another Arad music festival because of the shame people are feeling today.

My brother was at the Yehudit Ravitz concert during all of this. He said he could hear many sirens and Yehudit even made a joke about it (She said they are coming to take me away-which is strange for Israel..don't you think..I can't imagine joking about sirens there)But my brother said he doesn't think she heard how many sirens there were and he could and knew something terrible had happened. was big news and very sad.

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