If you’re putting tens of thousands of people in an arena or festival grounds, it’s normal to some injuries sustained by fans at rock festivals, like that time two lightning strikes injured 33 people at Rock am Ring or that time Firefest ended early due to some measly gun shooting and stabbings but now, looks like Chicago’s Riot Fest had to deal with a really messy mosh pit that could have almost ended with casualties.
System of a Down headlined the Riot Fest in Chicago this weekend and the fans were so eager and excited to see them that the mosh pit turned into a gigantic mess of people and mud, with people trampling into each other and almost asphyxiating those who ended up at the bottom of the pile. One of those unfortunate souls tells his experience:
I fell over during System of a Down, then someone fell on top of me so I couldn’t breathe…Then once they got up, someone else fell on top of me. It was never ending. At one point I had someone on top of my back, and someone either sitting or standing on my head, pushing my face down into mud. I couldn’t breathe the entire time, but then any breath I could take I was close to inhaling muddy water. It was the scariest thing in my entire life cause I had no idea how long I’d be trapped for. Apparently System of a Down had to stop playing so paramedics could get me out, I was unconscious at that point so I have no memory of it. Both of my eyes are blood red from passing out due to lack of air + someone crushing my head + screaming for my life.
And the guy telling his story is described as an “aspiring wrestler,” so even a meathead feared for his life. You can watch some fan-footage below from the incident and realize how much of a cluster-mess it was. One of the unwritten rules about metal shows or festivals is to be aware of your surroundings and help those who fall down on the pit. Obviously, at a festival scale, its more difficult to notice these things but when things turn into a deathtrap, that’s when you have to step in and do your part. Kudos to System of a Down and the security crew at the festival for avoiding another tragedy.