Tributes to acrobat who fell to his death at Madrid rock festival

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Tributes have been paid to a British-based acrobat who fell to his death at a Spanish rock festival.

Aerial dancer Pedro Aunion Monroy plunged 100ft in front of thousands of horrified music fans at the Mad Cool event in Madrid.

Paramedics attempted to save the 42-year-old, although he died at the scene.

On Saturday a family member said Mr Monroy had been "doing what he liked most, a show at Mad Cool", adding: "We're devastated."

Mad Cool Festival - Day 3

Meanwhile heartbroken friends paid tribute to the "beautiful person inside and out" whose "energy, humour, altruism and smile will be missed by so many".

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.

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.

Posts on the Brixton firm's page showed a routine involving a performer in a smoke-filled box hoisted in the air before the floor falls away, leaving the acrobat suspended on a bungee cord.

Footage of the incident broadcast by Spanish national television showed a similar box high above the stage before tragedy struck late on Friday night.

Mr Monroy's 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.

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."

Despite the incident Green Day's performance went ahead as planned, although a later performance by British band Slowdive was cancelled.

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."