THIRTY HURT AT EMINEM GIG

One man left critically ill after a crowd surge as the superstar rapper makes his live return...

EMINEM was forced to dramatically halt his live return at a festival in Washington last night when more than 30 people were injured, one of them critically, in a crowd surge.

The drama happened during the rapper’s set at the 40,000 capacity HFStival, an event organised by local radio station WHFS-FM at the city’s Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium.

One man suffered a heart attack, but was revived at the scene and another four people were rushed to hospital with unspecified injuries. Most of the other injured were walking wounded with cuts and bruises.

Witnesses told NME.COM that Eminem appeared onstage 20 minutes later than his billed time at about 8pm and that he had performed two songs without incident.

But during his third song, it became apparent that something was wrong at the front of stage and police urged the singer to quit midsong.

Dozens of people had lost their footing as they were squashed against a five-foot barrier at the front of the stage and were trampled as the audience behind them surged forward in a worrying echo of the Roskilde tragedy in 2000 when nine festival goers were crushed to death during a set by Pearl Jam.

A 20-year-old man suffered a heart attack and was pulled over the barriers by security guards and police. He was reportedly in a critical condition last night at the Washington Hospital Center.

Festival goer Christopher Hunter told NME.COM: “At first, people didn’t know what was going on so in my section, people started to boo Eminem.”

But then as security and police struggled to reach the injured, Eminem repeatedly urged the crowd to “back the fuck up”. He then implored the crowd twice to take one step back and eventually, all the injured were rescued.

After half an hour, the authorities told the star to resume his performance.

Another festival goer who wished to remain anonymous told NME.COM that he’d left the festival after seeing The Strokes earlier in the day because of a “bad atmosphere”. He said: “You could tell something bad was going to happen.”

The festival continues today.

Were you there? Email us at newsteam@nme.com and tell us your story.