Friday night’s System Of A Down set at Leeds saw 22 fans crushed under the weight of the crowd after a surge pushed the front security barrier back half a metre. The show was stopped shortly into the set after a girl became trapped. Although the number of people requiring medical attention was down 25% on last year, it’s yet another incident at Leeds, and follows the rioting and chemical toilet fires at last year’s event.
SOAD bassist Shavo Odadjian commented, "We asked everyone: 'If all 60,000 of you can take a step back' and everyone looked at us as if we were crazy."
Mean Fiddler’s Festival Director, Melvin Benn, made a statement too: "During the first few minutes of the System Of A Down performance, the front of stage barrier moved approximately half a metre. This resulted in a young girl trapping her foot. The performance was halted for a few minutes to release the girl and re-pin the barrier. The medical services have reported that 22 people were treated for minor injuries and the whole SOAD and Metallica performances continued with no further incident. “
Apart from this drama, and the usual bouts of lights being pulled down across the campsites, there were no reports of any other major dramas at Leeds. Fans commented on the swift response of security guards on the northern site. Reading too, had a fantastic vibe throughout the weekend. Security was considerably improved over previous years, and although campfires were being lit inside the main arena, they were quickly extinguished.
The highlight at Reading was Blur’s Damon Albarn falling off the stage during ‘Beetlebum’. Seemingly away with the fairies, Albarn came down with a bump when he landed on his knees on the lower portion of the stage used by the camera crews filming the show. "I’ve always been uncool," he commented. Blur’s set was a mixed-bag of tepidly received tracks from 'Think Tank', and a host of classics, including ‘Popscene’ and ‘Parklife’ which featured Phil Daniels.
Other highlights included a storming Kinesis performance on the Radio 1 Stage and Linkin Park saying that they wanted to shit.