Criminal investigation begins after violence, arrests at Vancouver music festival

VANCOUVER — Seven people have been arrested and a criminal investigation is ongoing after a disturbance Sunday night by fans attending a music festival in east Vancouver.

VANCOUVER — Seven people have been arrested and a criminal investigation is ongoing after a disturbance Sunday night by fans attending a music festival in east Vancouver.

Fights broke out inside and outside the PNE Amphitheater following the sudden cancellation of main act rapper Lil Baby in the final hours of the two-day BreakOut festival, said a statement from the Vancouver police on Monday.

Hostile spectators caused extensive property damage to the amphitheater, surrounding park and neighborhood before order was restored, police said.

A statement from the Pacific National Exhibition says about 4,200 guests left the venue after it was announced that Lil Baby would not be performing, while about 1,000 people “turned their disappointment into a violent outburst.”

He said the result was “hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage” to PNE property inside the Amphitheater and Hastings Park, where the site is located.

“We understand there has been additional damage to property outside of Hastings Park, to the community and to local businesses. For this, we are extremely sorry to our neighbours,” the statement said, adding that the CWP is determining how to support businesses. or residents who have been affected by the violence.

The police estimated the property damage at “thousands of dollars”.

The PNE said it would work with the BreakOut festival promoter, Timbre Events, and their insurer, to ensure the damage is repaired quickly.

const. Tania Visintin said the seven people arrested were being held for breach of the peace, but the criminal investigation is likely to take months.

“Although this investigation will take time, we will pursue criminal proceedings against those who participated in this violence and destruction,” its statement said.

The hip-hop and rap artist whose sudden cancellation has been blamed for causing the disruption issued an apology via Instagram early Monday.

Dominique Armani Jones, who performs under the name Lil Baby, said he had been “pushing hard” for a few months and his body was “completely off”, causing him to rub his part of the event.

“I sincerely apologize (to) Vancouver, Canada, the BreakOut Festival and everyone who attended,” Jones wrote.

“I owe you guys a lot and will definitely make it up to you soon.”

The PNE statement says Jones left the room after saying he was not well enough to play, a decision that was made immediately before his scheduled appearance. Staff on site were not informed of the change until after he left, he added.

The organization thanked the police for their quick response to the violence, saying it prevented the situation from escalating.

The PNE said it planned to carry out a “full investigation” into the event.

Jones’ debut studio album, “Harder Than Ever,” was released in 2018, yielding the Billboard Hot 100 single “Yes Indeed,” which he recorded with Drake.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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