Limp Bizkit’s tour manager said today (March 1) that a Sydney concert where a teenage girl was killed was understaffed and poorly managed. Alexander Murdoch MacLeod was the first person from the Fred Durst-led band’s management to appear at the Australian inquest into the death of 15-year-old Jessica Michalik, who was caught in a crowd crush and suffered a heart attack at the concert on Jan. 26, 2001. She died five days later.
Six other people were hospitalized after the multi-band Big Day Out show, which drew a crowd of 65,000. Limp Bizkit pulled out of its Australian tour afterward and criticized concert organizers for providing inadequate security and safety measures, a claim organizers have denied.
MacLeod told the Glebe Coroner’s Court that he was worried about the crowd’s safety only minutes before Limp Bizkit went on stage. “My state of mind prior to them starting that performance was one of fear,” he said. MacLeod said he expressed his concerns about crowd safety to Big Day Out organizers that day and a week before the band’s performance.
In a 15-page statement presented to the court, MacLeod said: “The number of security staff and medical personnel were insufficient to deal with the number of patrons in the mosh pit. In part, the security guards did not appear to be sufficiently trained nor did they know what to do in the event of a crowd collapse,” he said in the statement. He also accused organizers of compromising safety to cut costs.
Two members of Limp Bizkit will give evidence to the inquiry via video link June 17-19. The inquest before Coroner Jacqueline Milledge was adjourned until June 6.