June 28, 2001
Riverdance – the Show which was due to open in Madrid for the first time ever on Thursday 28th June, was cancelled following a huge fire at Madrid’s premier arena Palacio de los Deportes earlier that morning. Thankfully no members of the Riverdance Liffey company were in the venue at the time.
The fire broke out on the roof of the arena at 9am on the morning after the load-in of the Riverdance production, after workmen arrived at 8.30am to carry out some maintenance work on the roof. The mayor of Madrid has confirmed that the workmen on the roof caused the fire and not Riverdance lighting equipment as has been reported in some media reports. Fifteen units of the Madrid fire brigade were called to fight the fire. A firemen and one workman were reported injured but not seriously. Riverdance would like to extend their best wishes for their speedy recovery. The thick smoke from the fire could be seen from all across the city but the fire was contained in a matter of hours.
Despite the huge damage to the Liffey Production, Senior Executive Producer Julian Erskine has stated that the company will recover from the massive losses incurred as a result of the fire. “There is absolutely no doubt that we will have the Liffey company back on the road and we will be in Cologne as planned in August. We hope to return to Madrid at the earliest opportunity to give our disappointed fans the chance to enjoy Riverdance.”
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