During his tribute to Jessica Michalik at Sydney Soundwave, Fred Durst has come out and slammed Big Day Out for making him go on stage 11 years ago; the concert where she was tragically crushed in the crowd, dying of asphyxiation five days later, aged 16. During what has been a blistering performance, Durst stopped the show to pay tribute to Jessica, with her father George Michalik joining him on stage and handing out water bottles to people at the front of the stage.
11 years ago, unfortunately it’s a day I’ll never forget. Something fucked up and tragic happened that day, we lost a 16 year old girl named Jessica. I told [Big Day Out in 2001] this barricade is not safe there’s gonna be a riot and it will be your fault…We’re here for Jessica [Today] let’s rock this motherfucker right now!
In an interview with the Herald Sun earlier this month, Durst reiterated his claims that the Big Day Out promoters ‘spun the tragedy and poisoned Limp Bizkit’s name’, Durst said:
It was manipulated by the promoter in their favour because everybody needed a scapegoat. After that, the offers to come to Australia weren’t exactly pouring in. For a while, it felt wrong, and we needed to step away.
It didn’t just happen out of the blue…We were fighting with promoters the whole time.
During the inquest the BDO promoters blamed Limp Bizkit and Fred Durst for the crowd crush. However, Coroner Jacqueline Milledge said BDO promoters did not put adequate safety arrangements into place to prevent crowd crushing. She also stated that Fred Durst should have ‘acted more responsibly’ during the rescue process.