An Australian coroner criticized rock act Limp Bizkit and the organizers of a January 2001 open-air music festival over the death of a teenage fan caught in a crush at the event during the band's perf

An Australian coroner criticized rock act Limp Bizkit and the organizers of a January 2001 open-air music festival over the death of a teenage fan caught in a crush at the event during the band's performance. Following the completion of an inquest that began nearly a year ago, senior New South Wales deputy coroner Jacqueline Milledge also recommended educating teens about the dangers of crowd surfing and violent dancing in concert mosh pits.

Milledge ruled that 15-year-old Jessica Michalik was crushed to death by the crowd last year at the Sydney stop of the Big Day Out festival tour. She said festival organizers Creative Entertainment didn't properly assess the risk of crushing.

"For promoters to be taken by surprise because their headline act causes excitement and reckless behavior shows they did not turn their mind to the crowd reaction," she told Glebe Coroners Court in Sydney.

Milledge also criticized lead singer Fred Durst for not stopping the performance. "He should have acted more responsibly," she said. "I accept that it may have been difficult for him to stop because of the intensity of his performing."

But she accused Durst of using language that was "inflammatory and indeed insulting to the security staff who were engaged in their best efforts to extricate crucially injured patrons from the crowd collapse."

Outside the court, Big Day Out organizers Vivian Lees and Ken West praised the coroner's recommendations. "I think we do have to take a bit of responsibility for this," Lees said. "Everyone's had a major wake-up call from this."

In a statement, Durst said Limp Bizkit would only return to Australia when concerts were better organized. "No one is a winner in a court case where a young girl has lost her life," he said. "When the industry is properly regulated I look forward to bringing the Limp Bizkit band back to Australia."


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