LIMP BIZKIT TOUR IN DOUBT?

Fears over safety on the Napster-sponsored event continue to grow...

Clouds are beginning to gather around LIMP BIZKIT’s upcoming Napster-sponsored free tour as the fallout from the ROSKILDE FESTIVAL disaster continues to grow.

Doubts are being expressed in the US over the way the first-come-first-served ticket allocation will function amidst fears that crowd safety will be at risk if large numbers of fans are turned away.

The tour, sponsored by the MP3 file-swapping software provider, is due to hit a series of 3,000-5,000-seater venues throughout ten US cities, starting in Detroit’s State Theatre on July 11. Limp Bizkit and support band Cypress Hill are scheduled to play two nights in each of the cities in a bid to perform for as many fans as possible. But industry experts still feel this isn’t enough.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of concert magazine Pollstar, told US website [url=]www.sonicnet.com that he thought the first-come first-served means of allocation was “an absolute prescription for disaster”.

He went on “If you have a situation where you have 17,000 kids show up and you let 3,000 of them in, you’re going to have 14,000 unhappy Limp Bizkit fans out in the street outside the venue. That’s not something that any venue manager in their right mind would want to have to cope with. I can’t imagine that any insurance company would cover a situation like that.”

Limp Bizkit‘s manager Peter Katsis has countered, saying security is a priority and that staff will be on hand to deal with four times the venue’s capacity. He has denied that the tragedy in Roskilde, where nine Pearl Jam fans were crushed to death following a crowd surge, had changed the policy on security.

Dave Christiansen, a partner in concert-safety consulting firm Crowd Management Services, has pointed to another problem that may arise. “When you have a free event, you get more people who break the rules and cause problems,” he said, adding, “When a person purchases a ticket, it’s almost like it becomes property and there’s more of a respect factor. When a person gets in for free, there’s nothing there. The attitude you get is, ‘What are you gonna do kick me out of a free event?'”

Limp Bizkit could not be reached this afternoon (July 7), but a UK spokesperson for the band insisted the dates would go ahead as planned.

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