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Tyee reader offers eye-witness account of LiveCity melee

A Tyee reader who was there when the barricade collapsed at the Alexisonfire concert last night describes the mayhem and lays blame on "the intolerant crowd" in a comment posted to the thread for this article:

"The Alexisonfire performance for LiveCity Yaletown on Tuesday night got cancelled due to the crowd's violence. Not 10 seconds into the main vocalist's performance, the band stopped playing and asked everyone to move back. Turned out the first three rows of people were falling on top of one another, breaking the barrier (and their bones). Some victims ended up being carried away in the ambulance due to the bone sticking out of the body.

"When the band announced the cancellation, people responded negatively with comments such as 'Alexisonfire sucks!' and 'F--- the police!'. Clearly, they made the right choice...."

A press release issued by the city reads:

During tonight's Alexisonfire concert at David Lam Park, a section of a concert barricade in front of the stage gave way, causing several injuries.

Mid-way into the band's first song, the crowd surged forward, causing a section of the barricade to collapse. The band stopped playing immediately, and asked the crowd to step back. The crowd was informed that the show was cancelled, and they dispersed quickly and co-operatively.

"Safety at Live City Vancouver our primary concern, and the response of Live Nation, our producer, was immediate," said City Manager, Dr. Penny Ballem, in a statement to the media earlier this evening. "When the incident occurred, everyone acted quickly, professionally, and took appropriate action. The security and on-site emergency medical response teams provided immediate assistance and care, the band kept people calm, and the crowd dispersed safely."

Approximately 19 individuals were injured when the barricade collapsed. Live Nation's planned emergency response was initiated, as on-site emergency medical staff and security responded immediately and 911 was called. All injured individuals were assessed and treated at the scene in the on-site medical facility that includes emergency doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

Nine individuals were taken to hospital for further assessment.

The concert barricade used at Live City Yaletown is standard for large concert venues and festival environments. Live Nation has used similar fencing for concert venues for over 20 years. It is unprecedented in their experience for such a failure to occur.

"We sincerely regret that individuals were injured at David Lam Park," said Dr. Ballem. "The city is gratified that the response was quick and professional, and relieved that the injuries are not serious. Finally, I want to thank the members of Alexisonfire and Live Nation for their quick action to ensure the safety of all involved."

The entire barricade will be replaced, and the site will re-open tomorrow for its regularly scheduled program.

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

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