Limp Bizkit cleared of responsibility for fan's death -- An official inquiry exonerates Fred Durst of blame for a mosh-pit melee that killed an Australian teen two years ago

By Gary Susman
Updated November 11, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

Limp Bizkit were cleared in an official inquiry over an Australian girl’s death in a mosh pit at their performance in Sydney two years ago, but the coroner said the band and singer Fred Durst could have done more to calm the moshing crowd.

”He should have acted more responsibly,” coroner Jacqueline Milledge said of Durst in Friday’s inquest report, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. ”I accept that it may have been difficult for him to stop because of the intensity of his performing. However, it is very clear in the video that his words were inflammatory and indeed insulting to the security staff who were engaged in their best efforts to extricate crucially injured patrons from the crowd collapse.”

Durst expressed little relief at his exoneration, saying in a statement, ”No one is a winner in a court case where a young girl has lost her life. This has been a terrible tragedy.” Milledge placed primary blame on the security provided by Creative Entertainment, promoters of the Big Day Out festival at which 15-year-old Jessica Michalik died of a heart attack in January 2001. ”For promoters to be taken by surprise because their headline act causes excitement and reckless behavior shows they did not turn their mind to the crowd reaction to a particular performer,” Milledge said.

”I think we do have to take a bit of responsibility for this,” Creative Entertainment’s Vivian Lees told the Herald. ”Everyone’s had a major wake-up call from this.” Lees said he would not invite Limp Bizkit back to future rock festivals, though not because of crowd-control concerns. ”I think Limp Bizkit are past their use-by date,” he said.

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