Kanye West to perform at festival where crowed rushed stage
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TEMPE, Ariz. — An Arizona music festival is set to resume for a Kanye West performance after as many as 12 people were injured when a crowd rushed a stage, officials said Sunday.
Tempe Police Sgt. Damon DeSpain said the department is working with other emergency responders and the event promoter to prevent a repeat of Saturday night at the Summer Ends Music Festival.
Witnesses said a horde of revelers pushed toward the stage during a reggae performance, and some people got stomped or couldn’t breathe.
“We are asking that concertgoers come prepared by staying well-hydrated, dressing appropriately for the hot weather and wearing sunblock,” DeSpain said.
Nine people were taken to a nearby hospital after the incident around 7 p.m. at Tempe Beach Park, city fire officials told KNXV-TV (http://bit.ly/1OZaFFb).
One person was transported to a hospital from the concert in serious condition with a head injury.
Tempe fire officials said two juveniles also were taken to a hospital in serious condition. No details on their injuries were released.
Tempe Fire Medical Rescue, aided by Scottsdale and Phoenix fire crews, arrived at the scene after initial reports said as many as 40 people were hurt when concertgoers began rushing the stage.
People who were at the front of the stage had trouble breathing.
Paul Folk, 55, of Gilbert, told the Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/1iU0eqH ) crowds rushed the stage when the reggae band Rebelution came on. After three songs, people were getting crushed near the stage, the Republic reported.
“There’s been lots of scuffles and dehydrated people because everyone’s been drinking,” Grand Canyon University student Hailey Ferris, 18, told the newspaper. She reported being afraid of being trampled.
Concert promoter Tom LaPenna told the Republic that the plug was pulled on Rebelution’s set because of a “medical emergency.” LaPenna worked to get the fans to move back and allow medical professionals access to the area in front of the venue’s east stage.
West is scheduled to take the stage Sunday night.