Concertgoers left Central Park in a panic this past Saturday after hearing a loud noise which some believed to be gunshots at the Global Citizen Festival.
When a loud noise erupted at the show, people began sprinting for cover, jumping fences, and trampling one another, witnesses said. While some believed they had heard gunshots, others thought it may have been the sound of a fallen barrier. During the commotion, some people were injured and lost belongings.
#Repost: Today at Global Citizen Festival. Everyone thought there was a shooting or terrorist attack. It was terrifying. Lucky to be safe and it be a false alarm as a stage barrier fell that led to a stampede. Prayers with everybody in attendance. #SlideInWithUs pic.twitter.com/FdOm1KxYxI
— ticketdm (@ticketDM) September 30, 2018
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) September 29, 2018
While the show stopped briefly, an assistant chief with the Police Department, Kathleen O’Reilly, addressed the crowd, trying to calm fans by noting that there were no shots fired and the noise was from a barrier that had collapsed.
However, on Sunday, the chief executive of Global Citizen said the police determined the noise was actually from a member of the crowd stepping on at least one drink bottle and “popping” it.
“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,” CEO Hugh Evans said in a statement. “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.
“While NYPD originally advised that a fallen security barrier caused the noise, NYPD informed us today that it was the sound of an attendee(s) stepping on and popping a drink bottle(s). Once NYPD and FDNY determined that the situation was safe, and security infrastructure was established for re-entry, attendees were permitted to re-enter the event through select entrances, and the Festival resumed.”
He noted that while the festival was re-opened, some attendees were unable to re-enter the festival. While many fans were upset that they were not able to fully enjoy the show, attendees took to social media to explain how they were grateful that they were not hurt. Over the past few years, mass shootings have plagued the country, leaving concertgoers on edge at shows. Although chaos ensued and people began to run in fear, the possibility of gun violence did not surprise most.
A barrier fell at the Global Citizen Festival in NYC, people thought it was gunshots, and pandemonium occurred.
This is the world we now live in. This is how common mass shootings are.
— Mike McGranaghan (@AisleSeat) September 29, 2018
tonight was ridiculous. the fact that I can’t go to a concert with out being terrified of a gun man (allegedly) is a god damn problem that I shouldn’t be having in the first god damn place. #GlobalCitizenFestival
— sweettalking (@parpay_hates_u) September 30, 2018
Was just at the #GlobalCitizen Festival in Central Park where a barricade fell and people thought it was a gun shot. Everyone started RUNNING. We are ok, but that was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced. We’re living in really fucking scary times everyone. Stay safe.
— Arianna Davis (@ariannagdavis) September 30, 2018
Yes I was at #GlobalCitizen. And yes we were up front. Nearly got trampled. Having to hold your wife in the middle of a field of running people who thought they were being shot at is not my favorite thing. Headed home.
— Christina Ginn (@NBChristinaGinn) September 30, 2018
— Meg (@aboveashes) September 29, 2018
miss me with the bs, im not going to another global citizen event ever again. ??♀️ #GlobalCitizenFestival #GlobalCitizen . first it was a fence, then a sound barrier, and now it was WATER BOTTLES??? nope. i thought i was going to die last night. pic.twitter.com/1mpVdemFk0
— ang misses shawn 🙁 (@BROKENPARKERS) September 30, 2018
“To those who were injured or frightened by this experience, we sincerely apologize,” Evans said in the statement. “We recognize how traumatic this was for many of you.”
Global Citizen is a movement of citizens who are using their collective voices to end poverty by 2030. Throughout the day, $7.75 billion was raised, which is projected to affect the lies of 254 million people.