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French man loses hand in pre-festival clash

Seven people, including five police officers, were injured on Friday night as police broke up an illegal rave in Brittany.

Violent clashes broke out after 400 gendarmes were dispatched to shut down the party, a so-called ‘teknival’ which had been organised in violation of an 11pm curfew, at a racecourse near the commune of Redon on the evening of 18 June.

The rave was held on the eve of the annual Fête de la Musique festival – which takes place in a reduced-capacity format today (21 June) – and was intended to commemorate Steve Maia Caniço, a young man who died after falling into the Loire river during Fête de la Musique in 2019. ‘Justice for Steve’ protesters hold the police responsible for Caniço’s death, which occurred after officers moved in to break up a gathering in Nantes.

Authorities say some partygoers pelted police with molotov cocktails and pieces of breeze block

Local authorities had secured a legal order against the party, which involved as many as 1,500 people. The National Gendarmerie seized equipment including sound systems and generators after dispersing the crowds.

Speaking to AFP, local prefect Emmanuel Berthier describes the “very violent clashes” on 18 June between police and the ravers, who “had an objective: to confront the forces of public order”. Authorities say some partygoers brought metal pétanque balls to the rave, while others pelted police with molotov cocktails and pieces of breeze block.

Two police officers suffered serious enough injuries as to need hospital treatment, while two ravers were also injured – including one man who lost a hand in the violence. Organisers of the rave accuse police of choosing ‘violence instead of dialogue’ after firing tear gas grenades at the gathering.


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Music fans injured in screen, barricade collapses

Incidents at two separate live music events this weekend left around 50 fans injured.

Thirty people sustained injuries at a 20,000-capacity rap concert in Essen, Germany on Saturday night (31 August), when a large LED screen fell into the crowd. Police told reporters that two fans were left in a “critical condition” following the incident at the Marteria and Casper concert.

The concert was immediately cancelled and fans evacuated from the area of Seaside beach, Lake Baldeney. According to some reports, extreme weather contributed to the collapse.

The rappers later took to social media to thank “our crews, the emergency services and local authorities” for their professional response.

Incidents at two separate live music events this weekend left around 50 fans injured

In the United States, more than two dozen festivalgoers were injured at AEG-promoted Bumbershoot music festival at the Seattle Center. A steel barricade separating the crowd from the stage collapsed during a performance by DJ and producer Jai Wolf.

“Saturday night at Bumbershoot Festival there was a steel barricade failure that resulted in several non-life threatening injuries,” read a statement issued by festival organisers. “Those injured were handled by on-site medical teams and further treatment continued at an area hospital as deemed necessary.”

The show was rescheduled for the following evening, with entry granted to all those with Saturday Bumbershoot passes.

Tyler the Creator, Lizzo, the Lumineers and Her were among the acts to play at the three-day festival.


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‘No evidence’ of failings in Falls crush, finds Vic govt

WorkSafe Victoria, an agency of the state government of Victoria, Australia, has dropped its investigation into the organisers of Falls Festival, finding there is “insufficient evidence” to pursue a prosecution over the crowd crush last December.

The incident, which left 76 people injured (initially reported as 80), 19 of them seriously, occurred after a performance by DMA’s on Friday 30 December when large crowds attempted to exit the Grand Theatre in Lorne through a small exit, recently narrowed further by the construction of a new bar.

In an interview with The Guardian in January, victim Tim Hunt described the stampede as being “like a riptide”, speaking of his horror at people’s screams and “bones snapping from [the] pressure”. Festival co-producer Jessica Ducrou said the festival was “completely devastated” by the incident and promised to launched its own investigation into the causes.

In addition to a private class-action lawsuit on behalf of injured festivalgoers, organiser Ash Sounds – a division of promoter Secret Sounds – faced an inquiry by WorkSafe Victoria, which was investigating possible offences under the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.

“All the conditions … such as crowd control, crowd size, and positioning and size of exits, had been met

Announcing the results of the investigation yesterday, WorkSafe says it has determined there is “insufficient evidence” to pursue a prosecution, finding that “all the conditions imposed by various bodies in relation to the event, such as crowd control, crowd size, and positioning and size of exits, had been met” by Ash Sounds.

WorkSafe visited the festival site shortly after the incident and requested changes to its lay-out to prevent future crowd surges, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

“As a result, WorkSafe found there was insufficient evidence to establish any offence under the 2004 OHS Act and no further action will be taken,” concludes WorkSafe’s statement.

The class-action suit, meanwhile, which seeks unspecified damages from Secret Sounds, is still ongoing.

Live Nation acquired a 51% stake in Secret Sounds last December.


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Stampede at Falls Festival injures 80 people

A stampede at Secret Sounds’ Falls Music and Arts Festival in Australia on 30 December  has injured 80 people.

The incident took place after a performance by DMA’s on Friday and was caused by crowds leaving the Grand Theatre.

Falls Festival Co-Producer Jessica Ducrou responded to the incident yesterday, and pointed to “misinformation in the media” that suggested the event didn’t have adequate safety measures in place.

“We are completely devastated by the crowd crush that occurred, and we are beyond shattered that a number of our festival patrons were injured and impacted by this event.”

“With over 20 years of experience running festivals behind us, we are completely devastated by the crowd crush that occurred with patrons exiting The Grand Theatre, and we are beyond shattered that a number of our festival patrons were injured and impacted by this event,” Ducrou said via a Facebook post.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to clear up some of the misinformation that has been appearing in the media.

“Patron safety is paramount to Falls, we spend a lot of time engaging with local authorities, emergency services, on a local and State level, specialist consultants, local and State Council and various other community services to ensure we are offering the safest environment for our patrons.

“Thanks to the level planning and support from those parties, The Falls Festival in Lorne has had an impeccable safety record for the past 24 years.”

Security measures included 15 security guards, the immediate suspension of programming on Friday night, a medical structure on site as well as ambulance, medical, police and fire staff members.

The event has promised to launch an investigation into the various contributing factors and has called for those affected to get in touch via email or on Facebook.

Ducrou added: “To those that were affected, on behalf of The Falls Festival, we would like to apologise and let you know that we are deeply upset by this incident and your experience.

“There will be a full debrief of the incident and an investigation into what the causes were which will update you all on, as soon as we have that outcome.”


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Seven hospitalised after crush at YouTuber show

Twenty-eight people were injured in a crush at a New Jersey show by YouTube celebrities the Dolan Twins on Saturday night.

Those hurt mostly suffered ankle injuries and bloody noses, according to Freehold Township police officer Daniel Rehberg, and seven required hospitalisation. Rehberg estimates that the audience at the 2,100-capacity iPlay America were mostly girls between 11 and 15 years old, reports the Asbury Park Press.

In a video posted to Twitter, one half of the duo, Grayson Dolan, can be seen removing his shirt to screams from the audience. The uploader, @Helenizaam, writes: “No wonder people were passing out and breaking legs smh [shaking my head]”.


Police were called not long after the show started at 19.00, but the twins later resumed their performance. “Everyone settled down once we got on stage and told everyone ‘please settle down,'” Rehberg said.

The Dolan Twins, 16-year-olds Grayson and Ethan (pictured), have nearly two million subscribers on YouTube and are currently headlining the 4OU tour of the US, promoted by Mills Entertainment.

Lightning strikes twice at Rock am Ring

The final day of Rock am Ring was called off after over 70 people were injured by lightning.

Severe storms battered Europe over the weekend, leading to the deaths of at least 18 people amid widespread flooding in Germany, France, Romania and Belgium.

Writing on its Facebook page, Rock am Ring, promoted by Marek and Andre Lieberberg, explained that the municipality of Mendig had revoked the festival’s licence – a decision accepted by the Lieberbergs, citing their “responsibility for the welfare of the fans” – explaining: “On the first day of the festival more than 80 visitors were injured by lightning strikes […] and admitted to hospital. Because of the risky situation, we ask you to go back home by noon on Sunday. We regret the decision extraordinarily, however [we] ask you to understand this urgent situation, which is due to the bad weather.”

Black Sabbath were booked to headline on Sunday.

“We regret the decision extraordinarily, however we ask you to understand this urgent situation”

It is the second time in two years that festivalgoers at Rock am Ring, held at Mendig airfield, near the Nürburgring racing circuit, have been struck by lightning: at last year’s event 33 people were admitted to hospital, although that festival went ahead as planned.

The cancellation came after attendees were told to seek refuge in their cars or tents during storms on Friday and Saturday, although the festival later resumed. “We quickly took refuge in our tents; the storm was right on top of us,” wrote Bild reporter Eileen Primus, who was covering the festival. “The band had to flee the stage.”

Perhaps watching events unfold across the Atlantic, the final day of Governors Ball – which would have seen Kanye West, Death Cab for Cutie and Bat for Lashes play to tens of thousands of fans on Randall’s Island in New York – was also cancelled preemptively: promoter Founders Entertainment said there was a “high likelihood of lightning” forecast for Sunday.

Forever Summer victim had taken legal highs

One of the five people who died at the Forever Summer festival in Manila on 21 May had taken MDMA-like designer drugs, a postmortem examination has revealed.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) confirmed traces of two synthetic stimulants – MDMA methylene homolog and methylenedioxycathinone, the latter of which is found in the khat plant – both are which are ‘legal highs’ yet to be banned in the Philippines.

It has not been disclosed which victim is confirmed to have taken the stimulants.

The National Bureau of Investigation confirmed traces of two synthetic stimulants yet to be banned in the Philippines

The NIB is still investigating reports that the five had taken ‘green amore’ – a mix of MDMA and shabu, or methamphetamine (‘crystal meth’) – while at the festival. NIB doctor Wilfredo Tierra, who carried out the postmortems on Bianca Fontejon, 18, and Lance Garcia, 36, says both victims’ hearts were black and that they had watery fluid in their internal organs, likely as a result of an adverse reaction to drugs.

It has since arrested five people in connection with supply of drugs at the event.

IQ earlier this week reported on the proliferation of unregulated legal highs in Europe: In 2015, 98 new substances were detected in the EU for the first time, bringing the number of new psychoactive substances (NPS) monitored to more than 560, of which 70% were detected in the last five years.

One death, multiple injuries at Sacramento fest

One man died and another six were injured in a day of violence and incident at a festival in Discovery Park in Sacramento, California, yesterday.

102.5 Live, promoted by radio station KSFM, was attended by up to 18,000 people and featured music from rappers Fat Joe (pictured), E-40, Tyga and Ty Dolla $ign.

Witnesses told KXTV that the deceased was involved in an altercation with another man. “Somebody punched somebody, one time,” said food vendor Carlos Valenzuela. “He fell backwards and hit his head and was basically unconscious from then.”

The 31-year-old victim was taken to Sacramento’s UC Davis Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. Police are requesting witnesses to the attack to come forward.

Earlier in the day, at least six people were injured when a food vendor’s deep-fat fryer and ignited two nearby propane canisters. A crowd of people scattered when the fire broke out, causing trampling injuries, said Sacramento Fire Department.