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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK
'Mayhem' before Limp Bizkit death
Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst at Woodstock in 1999
Singer Fred Durst will give evidence by video link
A Limp Bizkit tour manager has told an Australian inquest of the "absolute crowd mahyem" before the death of a fan at a festival last year.

Chris Gratton said organisers and promoters behind the Big Day Out festival were to blame for the death of a 15-year old girl crushed during the band's set.

He rejected accusations Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst aggravated and provoked the crowd by screaming obscenities at them.


Guards did not appear to recognise the signs that people were distressed

Chris Gratton
Limp Bizkit tour manager
Jessica Michalik, 15, died following a heart attack suffered after being caught in the crush during the the set on 26 January 2001 in Sydney.

"This is one of the scariest things I have ever seen - I have been doing this for over 12 years and I have never, ever seen something so frightful," Gratton said, after being shown video footage of the night.

He said Michalik's death could have been prevented if the promoters had stopped the show.

"It would have been a simple matter for the promoters to have killed the band's sound and to have taken immediate control of the sound and lighting systems in the arena," he said.

Video link

He said security staff "just stood back and did nothing" when a crowd of up to 50 people collapsed yards from the stage.

"They did not appear to recognise the signs that people were distressed and needed to be removed," he said.

Durst is due to give evidence using a video link from Los Angeles on 17 June.

The inquest is investigating all the events leading up to Michalik's death.

At the end of the inquiry, coroner Jacqueline Milledge can recommend charges be filed, but prosecutors do not have to act on the recommendations.

See also:

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