Limp Bizkit Fans Injured During Band's Set at Australia's Big Day Out
Band Refuses to Perform Remaining Three Days of Festival
SYDNEY, Australia, January 27, 2001 "We'd like to express
tremendous sorrow over the injuries suffered by our fans during the Big Day
Out concert," says Limp Bizkit band members. "Concern for our fan's safety
and well-being is our first priority, and to have people hurt during what is
supposed to be an enjoyable and unifying experience affects us profoundly."
According to various press reports, an estimated 30 people of the
approximate 55,000 concert attendees were injured throughout the day during
the Big Day Out festival Friday at Sydney Stadium in Australia while numerous
bands performed including one girl who suffered a heart attack and was
taken to Concorde Hospital in Sydney during Limp Bizkit's set. [This girl died days later. 2/1/01.] After
careful consideration and numerous demands to Big Day Out promoters to bolster
security measures, Limp Bizkit has decided not to perform the remaining three
days of the festival.
Shaken by the injuries that occurred and what the band perceived as a
cavalier attitude toward fan safety by festival organizers, Limp Bizkit
ultimately do not have confidence that the last three days of the six-day
event will run smoothly with no one harmed and have opted to pull out rather
than take a chance that a fan may be injured. Upsetting the band further were
repeated verbal and written conversations with festival organizers regarding
requirements for crowd safety that were not respected.
At Friday's headline performance, Limp Bizkit stopped the concert several
times while singer Fred Durst pleaded with the crowd to look to the right and
left of each other, to calm down and to take care of each other. When a girl
apparently suffered a heart attack, the band stopped for 20 minutes so she
could be brought to safety, and wanted to stop playing altogether. Police officials on the scene, however, warned of a possible riot.
Limp Bizkit's attempts to calm the crowd were commended by festival
organizers, who said in a statement: "Several times during their performance
Limp Bizkit urged the audience to step back and assist fellow concert-goers in
need of assistance, and promoters compliment the band's diligence in this.
The organizers of the event would like to acknowledge the full co-operation of
Limp Bizkit through this difficult situation and their commitment to the
safety of their audience."
This attitude, however, is not shared by Limp Bizkit toward the promoters,
Creative Entertainment (Australia). During the first Big Day Out performance
Friday, January 19th, in Auckland, New Zealand, Limp Bizkit were forced to
stop their set while the crowd got under control. Singer Fred Durst spoke
directly to promoter Vivian Lees demanding heightened security, including such
measures as a proper barricade (a "T"-style barricade) and additional security
After the second Big Day Out show Sunday, January 21st in Gold Coast,
Australia, the band management threatened to walk if demands regarding
security concerns were not met. Promoters assured them they would meet their
concerns and 60 additional security measures were promised for the third show. Lees
countered, however, that a "T" barricade was not necessary, and that he could
not get a permit for one from Australian officials (a "T" barricade is
commonly used in Europe and the United States to break-up crowds, prevent
swells and allow security access to the middle of crowds).
"We basically begged this guy to increase security measures and were told
he has been doing the event for 10 years and that he knows what he's doing and
to leave him alone," said Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst.
"Though we tried to explain that crowds are different from 10 or even
3 years ago, we were ultimately frustrated by his response," noted Jeff
Kwatinetz of Limp Bizkit's management company, the Firm. "Any promoter who
sticks his head in the ground and refuses to believe that audiences have
changed is asking for a tragedy.
"Although many fans will be disappointed, which we all regret, I
personally commend Limp Bizkit for not wanting to put their fans in harm's
way," said Kwatinetz.
Currently no information is being released to Limp Bizkit or their
representatives regarding the welfare of those who were injured, including the
status of the girl who suffered the heart attack, or regarding what counter
safety measures would be put into effect during the remaining three days of
the festival if Limp Bizkit were to continue.
Prior to the Big Day Out, Limp Bizkit played at Sydney Entertainment
Center (a Michael Coppel production) in front of seven thousand fans with no
incident or injury.
"We deeply regret that we have to cancel any of these shows because we
hate disappointing our fans," Limp Bizkit states. "We love our fans, but we
don't want them to get hurt. We pray for the life of the heart attack victim.
"We'll be back to Australia to play for our fans under our own terms and
with proper safety and security."
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