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Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Panic Ensues As People Mistake Fallen Barrier For Gunshots At Festival

Every year, thousands of people pack into Central Park in New York City for Global Citizen Festival, a concert that boasts big headliners and free tickets, all for the cause of ending extreme poverty by 2030.

This year, however, there was some panic at the festival that almost halted the concert.

Just ahead of Janet Jackson’s set at the Global Citizen Festival, a fallen barrier caused panic among the 60,000 attendees–who reportedly thought it was the sound of gunshots.

Witnesses at the scene told the New York Times that the confusion and fear of an active shooter at the music festival nearly caused a stampede as concertgoers fled. Chris Martin, who was on the stage at the time, tried to calm the attendees down.

“What happened is a barrier I think fell down. Of course it caused people to be a bit frightened and stuff like that. But nobody is trying to hurt nobody. You are all safe,” he said to cheers before handing the microphone to NYPD’s assistant chief Kathleen O’Reilly, who also reassured the safety of the attendees.

“Everybody relax, calm down,” she said. “It was a barrier collapse. There was no shots fired. Hopefully the show is going to go on. We just have to reassess the situation and try and create a new safety lane. We’re going to have to try our best.”

Global Citizen later tweeted out that there were a few injuries caused by those running away, etc, but the show would go on.

And the show did just that. After some amazing sets from the likes of Cardi B and Janelle Monae, Janet Jackson took the stage–and even brought out Q-Tip out as a surprise guest to perform their classic hit “Got ’til It’s Gone.” The Weeknd ended out the night with an amazing performance, and the rest of the night went off without a hitch.


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