Police say that four people have been charged after turning violent during a mass fence jumping incident which took place at the Perth leg of Listen Out festival in September.
One of the most watched videos following the Perth leg of the event wasn’t of an act, but of hundreds of people illegally jumping the fence in an attempt to gain entry to the festival.
Now, Western Australia Police tell the ABC that two men and two women in their early 20s have been charged with a number of offences, including biting and assaulting an officer, and as a result will face the Joondalup Magistrates Court at a later date.
A man who witnessed the incident from inside the festival tells the ABC that the mob of fence jumpers looked organised, all arriving at the same time and attempting to overwhelm police forces. “I assume someone sent something around on social media,” says the witness, Cal.
Cal says he had been standing about 30 metres away when he saw the jumpers push over a fence and run through a no-mans-land before trying to scale another fence, but few actually made it in. “We saw 10 people make it in,” he says.
“It was right next to the main stage. A number of rock projectiles were narrowly missing people. Their friends on the inside were ripping the fences down.”
After a time police called in a dog squad and more backup in riot gear, who disbanded the group and issued moved on notices. Police are also investigating an aggravated robbery complaint in which a woman was mugged.
Listen Out organiser John Wall tells the ABC he was “extremely disappointed with the behaviour exhibited by fence-jumpers in Perth”.
Police actually commended the behaviour of punters at last weekend’s Sydney leg of the festival, despite more than 100 being arrested for drug-related offences.
Although this year’s Perth incident was bad, it’s not exactly a new thing for the city. Gatecrashers tore down a fence and successfully stormed the festival in 2014, and last year a similar group managed to get a fence to fall but were chased back out of the venue by police.
Catch the footage of Listen Out’s 2016 Perth fence jumpers, below.
Listen Out 2016 Fence Jumpers: Perth