Hundreds Jump Fences During Lollapalooza

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s the one part of Lollapalooza that few people saw until now — hundreds of young people rushing a fence and knocking it down, then running right past security.

As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, authorities have confirmed that there were no more than 30 arrests at Lollapalooza the entire weekend. And, despite the potential for injuries, police insisted it’s not their job to guard the gate at a private event.

“It happened multiple occasions, different times throughout the weekend – multiple locations,” said Jacob Thom, who volunteered at all three days of Lollapalooza.

Thom said large crowds gathered several times, charged the gates at Lollapalooza and simply rushed past security guards.

“There’s nothing you can do when you have five security guards, who most of the time just want to get out of the way,” Thom said.

The three-day music festival drew a record-setting crowd of more than 270,000 – many of whom paid upwards of $200 for a three-day pass.

Thom attended all three days of the fest as a volunteer.

He said that people could have been trampled and severely injured by the crowds of gate crashers.

“There was one incident, an ambulance came out afterwards because an old man had got crushed, just standing around, and severely concussioned, bleeding,” Thom said.

In YouTube video of one of the gate-crashing incidents, two police officers rushed up the stairs to end a stampede. But Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said Monday that guarding the gate isn’t their job.

“We’re there to provide for the public safety,” McCarthy said. “We don’t work as bouncers for admission purposes.”

The superintendent declined to comment on whether or not Lollapalooza officials had provided enough security for the festival.

Thom, who shot a gate-crashing video on his cell phone, said the real answer might be spreading out the crowds by spreading out the event.

“Perhaps having more after shows, more dispersed shows in different locations of the city, rather than one central location, might help,” Thom said. “If they had multiple parks … maybe the crowd would disperse easier.”

Thom’s thinking was that there are just too many people in too small an area for security to handle all the crowds. He said by spreading out the acts to other, smaller venues, it would make the shows easier to secure.

Mobs of gate crashers apparently used cell phones to coordinate their stampedes and gather the biggest numbers at the most poorly defended entrances.

But the people hurt the most were the lollapalooza’s organizers, who lost untold amounts of money to crowds of people crashing the gates. Organizers did not return calls for comment on the gate crashing incidents.

  • Matthew Joseph

    just goes to show how this 90210 generation is nothing but worthless selffish and lazy. Also with the tax break this moronic concert needs to pay. Tazers and shotguns with bean bags next time.

    • Mike

      Yeah, becase everyone who went to Woodstock paid!!!!!

      • Paul

        Woodstock “turned” free, after the crowd was WAY more than expected…..

    • Dovile

      @Matthew One question: do you live in Chicago? This world class festival got million of dollars into city budged. I bet you are one way or another benefiting from this

  • Mohammed Bin

    Where is Leroy Goldberg what his comments are truly need? All of this lawlessness. I am embarrassed as Chicago resident. These Flash mob must be stopped. Leroy I guess you must be over on 16th and Kedzie get your supplies!

    • Jermain Williams

      Wait a minute there Mr. Mohammed. There is an astronomical difference between a gang of vicious black ass gangsters, beating and robbing innocent people, and a group of people sneaking into a music venue. You just can’t even compare the two. 30 minor arrests the entire weekend? Can you imagine what would have happened if over 200,000 young blacks had assembled in one place? My god, they would have needed alot of body bags. You need to think before expressing such a ridiculous opinion.

  • OK

    Why even hire security? they were worthless.

    • the kid

      They just need the rite security guards………… boy i wish ole i wish

  • the kid

    So if security/police would have use psysical force and really hurt someone then what would the public have to say. Everyone that ran into the event without paying are thieves. Security / Police should have used force a fat lip / bruised ribs go a long way.

  • south side guy

    Way to go Montrey Security Group you rock!!

  • Captain Hook

    Went to a concert last year for the first time in over 20 years and it was the scariest thing ever. Things have really changed. At the end of the concert people were just wandering around the parking lot like zombies, they couldn’t find their cars. Got back to the hotel and one of the concert goers was running around the halls naked. The only thing I could think of is if we had to rely on the people at the concert for survival, we’re in serious trouble.

  • CPD Liars

    Good one, CPD. I guess mob activity, vandalism, criminal trespass, breach of the peace, and criminal mischief aren’t crimes. I’d love to live in your world. Thanks so much for protecting us against the real crimes. You’re doing such a bang up job.

  • larry

    Wild animals! They would burst out screaming in a large crowd guess imma stay on the SOUTHSIDE.

  • Dave p

    I’m sorry , this video just show kids taking advantage of a couple of uncaring security guards . Were they threatening ? No . Did the guards act appropriately ?
    Yea probably for their pay scale..Is it worth the headline ? Not in the least.
    In my time I probably would have stopped that cute blonde…at least till I asked for a number.
    Dumb news.

  • Grant Park Left A Muddy Mess After Lollapalooza « CBS Chicago

    […] But that didn’t meant the festival was without its problems, some of which were captured on a shocking video. […]

  • Mikey J

    Honestly I understand why those kids were trying to get in. Besides the excitement and adrenaline rush of storming into an area that you shouldn’t be allowed to go into without paying, most of these kids could not pay as all tickets were sold out. SOLD OUT meaning the venue had made as much money as possible from ticket sales already. The only options for these kids was either jumping the fences together or buying a single day ticket stub from a scalper–which we all know is risky at best–for $200 a pop.
    Personally, I gave high-fives and cheers to many of the jumpers who managed to get in just before their favorite bands were starting to play, as did many other people who had legitimately bought their way in.

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