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Netizens condemn slippage at Metro Festival

Netizens condemn slippage at Metro Festival

Brawling security guards, overturning security barriers, noise in the neighborhood: Netizens lamented on social networks several events that occurred during the Metro Festival, last weekend, in Montreal.

In some videos that have gone viral on Instagram and TikTok, festival-goers can also be seen entering the site without paying or even fighting. join dutyThe event’s organizer, Olivier Primo, condemns these actions and specifies that an internal investigation is underway to shed light on these actions. These actions cannot be justified. These events are unfortunate, but we are still on them, and here we are to improve them. »

Olivier Primo thinks that the fact that there have been so few festivals of this size in the past two years due to the pandemic may have played a role in angering some festival-goers. “But that does not justify [ces agissements] ‘, he says.

According to Montreal Police Service Public Relations (SPVM) public relations officer, Véronique Comtois, five festival-goers have been arrested, including one for assaulting a security guard and the other for armed assault on a police officer. , which is currently under investigation.

Sports journalist Daphne Malboff went there crying from the heart on Twitter, denouncing the absence of security guards around the festival. “To get home, I walked in the middle of the street because I was afraid to walk on the sidewalk, near the alleys, because the place was not well lit,” she explains, adding to the number of drunk people harassing her when she came home after a day’s work.

“I think it’s up to the town to figure out the proper performance of a festival that really upsets the residents,” she says. However she stresses that it is a “festival featuring local artists” and that it is normal to have a lot of noise and a lot of people when you are in town. “But not feeling safe going home is what drove me to write [les tweets]. »

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At the time of this writing, Pierre Lessard Blaise, Mayor of Mercier Hochelaga Maisonneuve, has not responded to our interview requests.

political reactions

join duty, The mayor of the Mercier neighborhood Hochelaga Maisonneuve, Pierre Lessard-Bliss, explains that the territory of the Olympic Park is not under municipal administration. “A leaflet was sent a few weeks before the festival to inform the citizens that the Olympic Park is responsible for the event, and thus direct any complaint to the Olympic Park,” he explained. “I have no permission to award promoters who are welcome on the site.”

And on the maintenance of the building, he added that “we didn’t have a great series of calls about hygiene in the strip” and that “when I toured the strip on Monday afternoon, the work was done.”

For its part, the Montreal Mayor’s Office said, Valerie Plant, “regretted” the behavior of some spectators over the weekend. “We would like to remind festival-goers to demonstrate good citizenship, at all times, for the safety of all and respect for those residing near the festival,” Press Officer Mariechem Goudreau said in writing.

It also maintains that a contingency plan in the event of a surplus has been submitted “well and appropriately” prior to the event being held by the Olympic promoters and park, at the city’s request.

“We will be in touch with regulators to determine what can be put in place to avoid this kind of overflow,” she adds.

‘People were excited to celebrate’

Student Sami McNicol attended the festival on its opening day last Friday. She says she never felt in danger, but nonetheless notes that the crowd was special, she says. “We are coming out of the pandemic, I feel people are eager to celebrate.”

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During rapper Lil Pump Show Friday night, she reported that Olivier Primo had to interrupt the concert by going up on stage to discourage the audience from indulging in not a hole, which can become violent. a not a hole It occurs when members of the audience bump into each other in a form of brutal dance, often at the bottom of the stage.

“This is done in many festivals. When we see that things are moving a lot in the foreground, we calm the enthusiasm,” explains Olivier Primo, who adds that the organizing committee has warned the artists that any encouragement not a hole That would lead to their concert being cancelled.

Last November, it was such mass movements, among others, that led to Astroworld Festival Tragedy, in Houston. During a concert by rapper Travis Scott, ten people died, suffocated and were trampled on by the crowd, while hundreds of others were injured.

Despite this warning, student Sami McNicol decided to leave a song before the end of the last show of the evening. “It was heavy; it became a habit to push people around. At least it was easy to get out.

Olivier Primo plans to release a third edition of the festival next year, still in the Olympic stadium sector, but not necessarily in the arena, believing that there could be more space near the Saputo stadium. He says he’s confident about the future of the event, which was all sold out last weekend.

“This is the second year we have worked with the site, and there is already a significant improvement compared to the first year,” he asserts, in addition to planning to increase the workforce next year to limit damage to the neighborhood.

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He believes it “would be very important to have a greater off-site presence”.

Let’s see in the video