The organiser of a Dutch music festival has defended the decision to allow Metallica to play through a heavy storm despite severe weather warnings.

The heavy metal legends were the headline act at the Pinkpop festival in the Netherlands on Monday night (09Jun14), but promoters were under pressure to cancel the set and evacuate the venue after a huge thunderstorm struck.

Organisers instead delayed the show in Landgraaf by an hour, urging the crowd of 70,000 to stay away from the sound and lighting masts, and then let Metallica take to the stage as planned.

The decision to play through the storm prompted a barrage of criticism, but Pinkpop boss Jan Smeets has now insisted evacuation was a more dangerous option, telling the county's Nos broadcaster, "The worst thing you can do is to evacuate... Outside (the venue) you do not know what might happen... There is no room to evacuate... People then panic. You should try to prevent people from running because they trample each other," adding that he was "very happy" with the safety plan that was agreed on.

Smeets has also won the support of local mayor Raymond Vlecken, who has backed the decision not to call off the Metallica show.