Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen
by Lena Grossman | Sun., Sep. 30, 2018 2:35 PM
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen
UPDATE: Global Citizen Festival Founder and CEO Hugh Evans released a statement following Saturday night's concert and the chaos that ensued after a fence barrier fell. In his statement, Evans wanted to "sincerely apologize" for the events that transpired. According to the announcement, the NYPD advised, "In the 7 o'clock hour yesterday evening, some attendees heard a loud noise causing significant alarm to those attendees who believed it sounded like gunshots. Upon hearing the noise, some attendees moved to swiftly exit the Park, and some were injured in the process. NYPD quickly determined that the noise was not gunshots, made an announcement on stage, and worked alongside FDNY, event security, and Global Citizen to ensure public safety."
The "popping noise" that people heard reportedly came from the sound of someone stepping on a bottle. There were some injuries when fans ran out of the concert grounds. Evans wrote, "To those who were injured or frightened by this experience, we sincerely apologize. We recognize how traumatic this was for many of you."
Read Evans' full Global Citizen Festival statement here.
Chris Martin tried to calm the crowd on Saturday night at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City after panic ensued due to a fence barrier collapse.
"It's chaos," an eyewitness said.
The Coldplay singer attempted to reassure the emotional crowd bu explaining what transpired. "What happened is a barrier fell down," he said. "Of course it caused people to frightened, but nobody is trying to hurt anybody."
Martin then called up NYPD Assistant Chief Kathleen O'Reilly to confirm. O'Reilly said, "Everyone relax, calm down. It was a barrier collapse. There were no shots fired."
When the "Fix You" singer got the microphone back, he tried lightening the mood a bit. He said, "If you want to come back and you're not too frightened by Hugh Jackman's huge muscles and you wanna come back, this is the time. Slowly, gently, kindly to each other."
WATCH: Chris Martin and NYPD Assistant Chief Kathleen O'Reilly explain that a fence barrier collapsed at #GlobalCitizen Festival; there were no shots fired: "You're all safe." pic.twitter.com/wiAbyMVjqh— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 29, 2018
Andrew Kirk, the Global Director, Public Relations, Corporate Communications and Scripting for Global Citizens told E! News, "We did have a minor incident. A barrier collapsed and it made a noise...Police say no cause for alarm."
NYPD tweeted about the incident and confirmed Chief O'Reilly's news. "There were NO SHOTS FIRED at #GlobalCitizenFestival. The sound was a fallen barrier," the department wrote.
NYPD's counterterrorism Twitter account said the same message and encouraged everyone to "remain calm." Allen Devlin shared a video on Twitter of fans running in all directions at the peak of panic. He tweeted, "Chaos breaks out at Global Citizen Festival in Central Park in NYC. People sprint for Exits."
Armie Hammer's wife Elizabeth Chambers said she was injured in the incident.
"Torn knee situation and scariest moment of my life," she wrote on Instagram Stories. "What's being reported is the opposite of what [happened]. We all heard gunshots, it was the most insane stampede, people were trampled, screaming, crying, running for their lives."
Since the fence collapse, police started letting attendees back into Central Park. Performances continued throughout the night as well, including sets by Janet Jackson and the headliner, The Weeknd.
Fifty Shades Freed star Dakota Johnson gave a speech before The Weeknd's show and gave away her phone number in the hopes of receiving messages from sexual assault survivors and sharing those with the world to get their stories heard.
NYPD confirmed the festival would continue that night. They tweeted, "The show must go on! @GlblCtzn is continuing. Rest assured our NYPD officers are out here protecting you."
—Reporting by Holly Passalaqua
(This article was originally published on Sept. 29 at 5:25 p.m.)
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