Funeral held for Brighton acrobat who died in Madrid show

Pedro Aunión Monroy Image copyright Pedro Aunión Monroy/Facebook
Image caption Pedro Aunión Monroy was a trained dancer, specialising in aerial stunts

The funeral for a Brighton acrobat who died during a performance has been held in Spain, a family friend has said.

Specialist aerial dancer Pedro Aunión Monroy was suspended in a cage during the Mad Cool festival in Madrid on Friday when he plunged 100ft to his death.

A Buddhist ceremony was held on Saturday and a Catholic cremation carried out earlier.

His friend Gary Taylor said Mr Monroy was a "huge bundle of energy".

He told the BBC a Prince song was played during the funeral for the Portslade-based dancer, and his ashes will be buried with his grandmother's in Spain on Monday.

Image caption Gary Taylor has paid tribute to his 'kind and energetic' friend

"Pedro and his partner Mike are both Buddhists and [Mike] said afterwards it was a very powerful experience," Mr Taylor said.

"Pedro was a huge ball of energy, a very big character and a very kind man.

"I've got a lot of funny memories, but far too few memories now. He was a big showman and died as you might expect, with an audience.

"His family are lovely... they are all devastated and shocked."

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Mr Monroy's last Facebook post before his death

Mr Monroy died between performances by Alt-J and Green Day, and paramedics spent 30 minutes trying to revive him.

It is unclear at this stage what caused the fall.

Mr Taylor said he expects there will be an investigation into the circumstances, as the Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, had told the family she wanted to know exactly what happened.

Image copyright European Photopress Agency

Mr Monroy had his own performance company, In Fact Aerial Dance, based in Brixton, London, and previously worked as a self-employed massage therapist at The Grand Hotel, Brighton.

In statement on the 45,000-ticket sell out festival's website, directors Javier Arnaiz and Farruco Castromán said they did not initially inform the audience or the bands the fall was fatal because of "security reasons".

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