Band statement lambasts press and event organisers...
LIMP BIZKIT have declared their “disgust” over the reporting of their involvement in a fatal crowd crush during Sydney’s Big Day Out festival in January.
The band have come in for heavy criticism at an inquest into the death of 15-year-old student Jessica Michalik during a crowd crush at the event. In their statement, authored by Bizkit manager Peter Kantsis, the band declares its good safety record prior to the Big Day Out tour and claims to have been misled by event organisers over security.
“We are disgusted,” it reads. “It was hard enough to deal with the loss of Jessica’s life after all of our warnings to the promoters of the BDO, now we are forced to deal with journalists who seem to have no time to check their facts before printing, and even more appalling we are in fear that the focus of the press continues to drift further away from the more important issues of security, and that the lives of other concertgoers will continue to be put into danger in the future.”
The statement lists the Big Day Out as the only large festival the band have played in the last few years that did not utilise secondary barriers for crowds of over 60,000.
“Limp Bizkit’s agent sent a written demand on behalf of the band and management for a T-style barricade,” it says. “The Big Day Out staff responded to the letter by written notice stating that
the “Australian Permitting Body” would not allow a T-style barrier.
“Unknown at the time to the management or band, it turned out that there is no such thing as an “Australian Permitting Body” for concerts.
“Very few BDO security staff ever actually went into the audience.
“It was not surprising that Fred Durst told the crowd, ‘We are on our own here, we need to look out for each other, if you see someone down, pick your brother up.”
Previously, the coroner stated that Durst had claimed to have been in contact with the Michalik family, but this was later found to be false. Limp Bizkit‘s statement insists that: “Fred Durst has NEVER claimed to have personally visited or spoken to the family of Jessica Michalik.”
“If anyone bothers to watch the episode of the American TV show ‘Access Hollywood’ quoted by the Australian press, they can see it is the TV show’s host Pat O’Brien who claims this, NOT Durst.”
The statement also claims that the tour manager stayed behind in Sydney after the group abandoned the tour to keep in contact with the family.
Limp Bizkit paid for airline tickets for the girl’s parents to scatter her ashes in Los Angeles and visit Chicago, New York, London, and their native Poland before returning to Australia. The inquest continues.