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Saturday, 27 January, 2001, 09:04 GMT
Limp Bizkit quit Big Day Out
Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst
Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst: Appealed for calm
The American nu-metal band Limp Bizkit have pulled out of the Big Day Out music festival in Australia citing safety concerns.

Around 30 people had to be pulled out of the moshpit during the band's performance on Friday, as thousands of fans surged to the front of the stage.

One girl is reported to have suffered a heart attack and is said to be in a critical condition, with a further six people in a serious condition in hospital.

The organisers of the festival have blamed excessive heat and crowd excitement for the incident, which recalled the horrific events at the Roskilde festival in Denmark last year, at which nine people died from suffocation.

"Unfortunately the band performance was of sufficient intensity to provoke unprecedented and ferocious crowd activity in front of the stage," said the organisers.

Performance stopped

Limp Bizkit stopped their headline performance in Sydney several times while singer Fred Durst pleaded with the crowd to calm down.


We'd like to express tremendous sorrow over the injuries suffered by our fans during the Big Day Out concert

Limp Bizkit

When the girl apparently suffered a heart attack, the band stopped for 20 minutes and wanted to stop playing altogether. However, police officials on the scene warned of a possible riot among the 20,000-strong crowd.

"We'd like to express tremendous sorrow over the injuries suffered by our fans during the Big Day Out concert," said Limp Bizkit in a statement.

"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."

The band said it did not have confidence that the festival would run smoothly with no one harmed and so had decided to pull out of the last three days of the six-day event.

"We basically begged this guy (promoter Vivian Lees) 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," says 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," said 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."

Tension

In a statement the organisers said they regretted Limp Bizkit's decision, saying Australian audiences were looking forward to seeing the band.


Given the tension between the band and festival across a range of issues, the producers have expressed some relief at the departure of Limp Bizkit

Big Day Out promoters
"The measures proposed by Limp Bizkit were substantial, untested and radical changes to the existing structures and procedures in place for the show as understood by the Australian safety authorities,including the police and planning bodies," they said.

"Additionally, the changes would have required substantial revisions of existing safety protocols and the promoters were unprepared to introduce these measures at short notice and with little preparation for security staff."

"Given the tension between the band and festival across a range of issues, the producers have expressed some relief at the departure of Limp Bizkit," said the promoters.

More than 55,000 revellers attended the Sydney leg of the popular Australia-wide festival which featured Limp Bizkit, PJ Harvey, At The Drive In, Queens of the Stone Age, Coldplay and Powderfinger.

See also:

27 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Australia swelters in heatwave
19 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Bands back Roskilde safety plan
01 Jul 00 | Europe
Fatal crush at rock festival
27 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Pearl Jam: Festival deaths 'avoidable'
25 Apr 00 | Entertainment
MP3 site takes the Bizkit
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