The band are forced to call a halt to their performance in Auckland as New Zealand goes mad for the US rockers...

LIMP BIZKIT, headliners for the 2001 BIG DAY OUT tour, were forced to halt their performance to alleviate a crowd crush at AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND earlier today (January 19).

More than 35,000 people streamed into the Ericsson Stadium for the first fixture of the six-date festival tour, which also features Placebo, Coldplay, PJ Harvey and Mudvayne, which will now travel to Australia.

Performing on the main stage as the final outdoor act at 9pm, Limp Bizkit stopped playing during its set to plead with the 15,000 strong crowd to stop pushing towards the crowd barriers in front of the stage. Numerous fans were lifted from the crowd by security, but no serious injuries were reported.

Clearly the highlight for the majority of the crowd, fans eventually complied with requests in time to allow the band to complete its set safely.

It is the seventh time the Australian festival has been held in New Zealand, with crowd figures slightly down from last year.

But the warm weather and the stellar line-up of local and overseas acts saw fans and promoters declaring the Big Day Out a success.

Highlights included a powerful set by PJ Harvey, Rammstein’s on-stage pyrotechnics and an earnest showing by Coldplay, although the local crowd appeared less than familiar with the group who have yet to reach celebrity status in New Zealand.

In the Boiler Room, the festival’s dance stage, the night belonged to DJ Carl Cox, who was the evening highlight, despite having pulled a six-hour shift from midnight the previous evening at one of Auckland’s biggest nightclubs.

As reported earlier on NME.COM the Happy Mondays were also scheduled to perform in the Boiler Room, but failed to show up after being forced to halt their journey in Bahrain for unknown reasons.

Promoters say the band will rejoin the tour at the festival’s next fixture on the Gold Coast in Australia on Sunday (January 21).

And LA-based hip hop trio The Black Eyed Peas were forced to perform without the services of Will I Am, who was forced to return to the US after an incident at Customs at Auckland Airport.

Of the Australian acts, melodic rockers Powderfinger, who played on the main stage immediately before Limp Bizkit, drew as big a crowd as any of their international counterparts. The band, who have been causing a stir in Britain, currently have the Number One album in Australia with ‘Odyssey Number Five’. It is slated for release early this year in the UK, and the band will be touring the country.

The Big Day Out is Australasia’s biggest music festival, and will now head to Australia, where most the country is at the tail end of a heatwave, with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees were recorded this week.

American rock act Queens Of The Stone Age will join the tour when it reaches Sydney, having cancelled their planned performance on the Gold Coast.

Remaining dates for the tour are:

Sydney (January 26)

Melbourne (28)

Adelaide (February 2)

Perth (4)

NME.COM will be following the antics of the Big Day Out troopers as they blaze a trail across Oz, and bringing a full-on Sydney special, with exclusive news, reviews, gossip and photos, so click back for regular updates.