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Fence-Jumpers and Gate-Stormers Crash the Lollapalooza Party

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 8, 2011 1:00PM

Arrests are made after a crowd rushes security at Lollapalooza. Photo by Flickr user misterbuckwheattree.

Fence-jumpers come to every show. Maybe they are a bunch of cheapskates. Maybe they just love music enough to take their chances at injury. We saw them at Pitchfork, and despite the many attempts to curb their enthusiasm, we'll probably see them forever. Lollapalooza organizers added border security patrol and extra fences to deter fence-jumpers this year.

A crowd rushes security at Lollapalooza. Photo by Flickr user misterbuckwheattree.

But when a fence closes, a gate is apparently forced open. Flash mobs -- not the dancing kind -- stormed the gates en masse to overwhelm and befuddle security. Time Out Chicago called the gate crashing the festival's "biggest non-music story." Tankboy saw some gate crashers get caught in the media area Saturday.

Whether this is a new idea or no (Ed. Note: It isn't. The gate crashing at Lolla a couple years back for Rage Against the Machine's set was particularly memorable. — CS), it's definitely a more dangerous way of busting into a festival than one dude with a backpack and a plan and maybe a sprained ankle. Chicagoist Flickr pool contributor misterbuckwheattree shared the photo below of what appears to be a group storming the gates, and the photo above, showing some some of the unsuccessful stormers, who were tackled by security.

Anders Smith Lindall wrote about the gate-storming over on the Sun-Times today after getting a tip.

A crew member driving one of the golf carts that serves as a festival shuttle told me, unprompted, that I should write about the flash mobs that organized yesterday on "Tweeter" (her term) to crash the festival. She said large groups would gather and wait for an opportunity, sometimes hiding in bushes, before assaulting the perimeter in a coordinated burst. Those caught were kicked out and some even ticketed, she said.
Lindall found a few videos on YouTube of what appears to be groups storming the gates. We've included a few below, which features some tackling by security at the end. As the girl says in the video below, "This is how you get trampled." (See also: festival seating, Cincinnati)