Saturday, October 4, 2003

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A concert that was to feature an on-stage suicide of a terminally ill person was postponed yesterday because the Web site that was to broadcast the event was attacked, the operator of the site said.

The Web site for the band Hell on Earth was attacked yesterday evening by a flood of data from computers somewhere in Hong Kong, said Jason Trindade, the operator of a San Diego, Calif.-based technology company that hosts the site.

“There’s been a huge amount of traffic, which causes the server to lock up,” he said.

Mr. Trindade said he was told by Hell on Earth leader Billy Tourtelot that the performance would be postponed, possibly until next weekend.

Several attempts to reach Mr. Tourtelot last night were not successful.

City and state officials had warned they would pursue criminal charges if the band went through with the suicide plan, and a judge had issued an order banning the event.

Mr. Tourtelot had said yesterday morning the concert and suicide would take place last night in two separate, undisclosed locations in St. Petersburg, Fla.. He wouldn’t give any more details on the venues.

The announcement last month that he would host the suicide of a terminally ill fan led the city to ban the event with an ordinance and prompted the court injunction. The band asked fans to visit its Web page for the performance, but no video was shown. Instead, a link to another site appeared, as did the following message: “Next week the show will go on.”

Mr. Trindade said the site was victimized by a denial-of-service attack, which is designed to hamper or shut down a computer system by flooding it with huge amounts of data. He did not immediately know how the site would address the problem.

Emergency dispatchers in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County reported they had no calls reporting a suicide.

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