Falls Festival-goers Injured in Lorne Crowd Crush
60 people have been injured and 19 hospitalised after a stampede between sets.
More than 60 people have been injured and 19 hospitalised after a stampede at Falls Festival's Lorne leg on Friday evening. The incident occurred after DMA's finished their set on the Grand Theatre Stage, when many in the crowd tried to make their way to see London Grammar on the Valley Stage.
The Age reports that a number of patrons slipped and lost their footing during the move, resulting in leg, rib, hip, pelvic, head, facial and spinal injuries and fractures, as well as cuts and bruises. "It was quite a chaotic scene and required a major response," said Ambulance Victoria state health commander Paul Holman.
Punters took to social media to post about the traumatic and chaotic experience, including reports of broken bones, panic attacks, people passing out, trampling and many fearing for their lives. "This was the most scariest thing ever! I will never forget what I saw last night," wrote one Falls attendee. "It's hectic and she said it was the worst thing she has ever experienced in her life," posted the sister of another.
Festival organisers also took to social media to issue a statement, reflecting the fact that entertainment in the Grand Theatre was suspended for the remainder of the evening, but noting that normal programming will resume on Saturday. Many responses to their post have been rightfully critical of the setup that allowed the incident to occur in the first place — this isn't their first time hosting a popular event of this size, with a mass migration between stages and sets a common occurrence not just at Falls, but at every other music festival.
The Lorne crowd crush occurs just days after a 21-year-old woman was struck and killed by a falling tree branch at the Lost Paradise festival on the NSW Central Coast. With plenty of festivals in full swing over New Year's — and the peak festival period upon us during summer — here's hoping for a safe rest of the season. If you're attending a fest, look after each other.
Image: Falls Festival.
Published on December 31, 2016 by Sarah Ward