The conduct of LIMP BIZKIT at the Australian BIG DAY OUT concert has been defended for the first time on day four (November 22) of an inquest into the death of a fan from injuries sustained at the show.
Lisa Marie Ryan, a 17-year-old fan – and best friend of Jessica Michalik, the fan who died – told the Sydney inquest that as events unfolded and a horrific crush developed in front of the stage, Bizkit frontman Fred Durst “was telling everyone to look out for each other and to help each other out”.
The band had come under criticism earlier this week in the inquest when Big Day Out security contractor Peter Rozen said the band’s response as the tragedy unfolded did not help security guards in their efforts to aid the injured.
“The security officers that entered the moshpit did so under volatile conditions and while being publicly mocked and most unfairly criticised by the band in a manner that… frustrated their efforts to save lives,” he said.
However, in her statement to the hearing Lisa Marie Ryan said she felt Durst “was just trying to communicate with the crowd on their level”.
Ryan also told the inquest that she had a “gut feeling” something bad had happened to her friend on January 26. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that she said she noticed security guards pull a limp body from the moshpit in front of the stage following a crowd crush
When Jessica did not arrive at a pre-arranged meeting place two hours later she became alarmed. Jessica’s mother contacted her the following day to say her friend was in a critical condition in hospital.
“I don’t blame anyone,” Ms Ryan said. “The band did their job. I think they should employ more security guards, there were so many people.”
The hearing continues.