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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 09:41 GMT
Durst offers to testify at inquest
Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit pulled out of the tour after the tragedy
The singer of US rock band Limp Bizkit, Fred Durst, has offered to testify via a video link at the inquest into a fan's death at a concert.

The singer said he will be too busy to attend the coroner's court in person.

The court in Sydney, Australia, is examining the death of Jessica Michalik, 15, who suffered a heart attack during a crowd crush at the January 2001 Big Day Out concert in the city.

A band spokesman told Glebe Coroner's Court, Sydney, that although several managers from the band's touring group had made written statements and could testify in person, Durst was unable to.

The scene of the Sydney 2001 Big Day Out gig
Mourners laid floral tributes at the scene of the tragedy

Coroner Jacqueline Milledge welcomed the singer's offer, but has yet to decide whether his video evidence would be acceptable to the court.

The counsel for the promoter of the event, Mark Dean, said video evidence was not good enough because witnesses were not bound by perjury laws.

He said statements from the band's witnesses included criticism of security staff which were disputed.

The crush happened during Limp Bizkit's headlining set at the event.

During the concert, the band stopped their performance several times while Durst pleaded with the crowd to calm down.

When news of the girl's injury became clear, they stopped playing for 20 minutes.

They only resumed because police at the scene feared the crowd might riot.

Limp Bizkit
Limp Bizkit have topped the UK charts

Jessica died in hospital five days after she suffered the heart attack.

Thirty others were injured, six of them badly enough to be taken to hospital.

The band blamed poor security and festival producers for the incident.

Jessica's parents, George and Barbara Michalik, said not enough had been done to prevent the tragedy.

But festival organisers said the cause of the trouble was excessive heat and crowd excitement.

Limp Bizkit pulled out of the travelling Big Day Out festival after the incident.

They later said they would return to play in Australia in the future, but never again at a Big Day Out event.

See also:

01 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Limp Bizkit 'devastated' by fan death
19 Jul 01 | Music
Police question Limp Bizkit
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Limp Bizkit snub festival
27 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Limp Bizkit quit Big Day Out
25 Apr 00 | Entertainment
MP3 site takes the Bizkit
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