Fans Injured At Street Scene

More than a dozen fans were hospitalized after Tool‘s performance at San Diego Street Scene August 5th, with one person listed in critical condition.

Although fire officials initially attributed the injuries to an intense mosh pit, witnesses told San Diego’s Union-Tribune the problems stemmed from an enormous crowd crush toward the front of the stage.

One man suffered critical head and chest injuries but was expected to survive, according to an acquaintance who spoke to the paper.

The commotion began during the first or second song of Tool’s set, Street Scene director of community relations Michael Trimble told Pollstar. When band members saw that fans were falling down, the group stopped playing and singer Maynard James Keenan repeatedly told the crowd to step back.

The band was able to finish its set without further incidents after things calmed down, but fire officials told the Union-Tribune dozens of fans had already suffered minor to moderate injuries including twisted ankles and broken toes.

“We’re very concerned about it,” Trimble said. “Street Scene strives to put on a very safe and orderly festival, and we’ve had nothing but compliments from the fire department, the police department and the city in terms of running one of the best-run Street Scenes ever done in its 22-year history.

“We’re still very concerned about the individual or individuals that are still hurt,” Trimble said.

Trimble said the festival met or exceeded all security and safety requirements for the event, and officials also brought in extra water for the crowd to keep fans hydrated.

“We went to great lengths to make sure people were going to be safe and were able to enjoy the show safely,” Trimble said, adding that a certain amount of rough activity is unavoidable “when you’re dealing with a band that has a very visceral type of following.”

“The band did the right thing by stopping after the first song when they saw how scary it became for people in the front area,” he said. “But the band stopped and we were able to respond accordingly to the incident. I know everyone was doing everything they could to get everyone out of harm’s way.”

More than 37,000 attended this year’s Street Scene, which took place in the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

A number of fans were also hospitalized after the 2004 edition of the festival, when a barrier collapsed during AFI‘s set.

– Niilo Smeds