Barrier collapse at Global Citizen Festival leads to mass panic and injuries amid “stampede”

Coldplay's Chris Martin was left to calm the situation at the event in New York City's Central Park

A barrier collapse at Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, New York City, yesterday (September 30) caused mass panic and confusion among festival goers.

Fans mistook the barrier collapse for being “gun-shot-like noises,” causing many to rush towards the exit in panic.

The ensuing confusion abruptly stopped the event amid fears for the safety of the 60,000 fans attending the event as people were injured during the charge with some witnesses at the event describing the scene as “stampede-like.”



It was left to Coldplay’s Chris Martin to calm the situation as he took to the stage with NYPD’s assistant chief Kathleen O’Reilly to reassure fans. Martin was the curator of this year’s event.

Martin said: “What happened is a barrier, I think, fell down. Of course it caused people to feel frightened and stuff like that. But nobody is trying to hurt anybody. You’re all safe, okay?”

Chris Martin (L) speaks onstage with NYPD officers after the crowd panicked when a security barrier fell during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Be The Generation in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) Credit: credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images

O’Reilly added: “There were no shots fired” and organisers Global Citizen took to Twitter to say “[everyone] is safe” before the event continued.

Later on, the festival organisers tweeted that an as yet unspecified number of people had been injured when the barrier had collapsed whilst also thanking the first responders “who ensured everyone’s safety and enabled the festival to go on.”

The Weekend, Janet Jackson, Cardi B – her first set since giving birth – and Janelle Monae were among performers at the festival. The Weend cut short his set due the the incident.