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Vancouver’s Breakout Festival ends in riot after Lil Baby’s last minute cancellation

By | Published on Tuesday 20 September 2022

Lil Baby

Vancouver’s Breakout Festival ended in a riot on Sunday night, after Lil Baby cancelled his appearance at the very last minute due to illness. The rapper’s headline performance was due to close the proceedings, meaning the event didn’t get its grand finale. Plus, confirmation of his cancellation followed several other no shows over the two day festival.

Police were called in to end the violence as hundreds of angry audience members caused “hundreds of thousands of dollars” of damage to the site. Seven people were arrested, but there were no serious injuries reported.

The festival announced that Lil Baby would not be appearing at around 9.15pm, which was just 45 minutes before the event’s 10pm curfew.

In a statement on Instagram on Monday, the rapper said: “I would like to start off by saying I truly apologise Vancouver, Canada, the Breakout Festival, and to everyone who was in attendance. I have been going so hard these past few months without any breaks that it finally caught up with me. And my body completely shut down. I owe you guys big time and will for sure make up for it soon”.

As well as Lil Baby, Saturday’s headliner Lil Uzi Vert, plus Polo G and Sofaygo, also pulled out of the festival, leaving many feeling angry. One attendee told CBC: “I paid for two days, $260, and probably four of the artists I bought the tickets to see cancelled, and I also got pepper-sprayed and bashed my knee out with a baton – so overall it was not a good night”.

In a statement yesterday, the event’s venue, the Pacific National Exhibition, said: “Approximately one thousand of the guests turned their disappointment into a violent outburst that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to PNE property inside the amphitheatre and in Hastings Park. It is our understanding that there was additional damage to property outside of Hastings Park, in the community and to local businesses. For this, we are incredibly sorry to our neighbours”.

One of Breakout’s promoters – Canadian music company Crescendo1 – said that it would be offering partial refunds to attendees as a result of the various cancellations.

“Last night’s end to the 2022 Breakout Festival resulted in the worst case scenario of disappointment due to Sunday’s final performer cancelling and we want to apologise to everyone who peacefully left the venue, as well as the venue staff and the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood for the way Breakout 2022 ended”, the company said in a statement on Instagram.

“We do not condone violence or destruction of property and are utterly disappointed with the way some of our patrons acted at this year’s event”, it went on. “[The] safety of our guests and venue staff is our number one concern. We did everything to make Breakout a unique and enjoyable experience for Vancouver’s rap fans”.

“We want our audience to know we did everything in our power to make every festival a success and we want to thank every loyal fan and all of the staff who attended the events over the years”, it concluded. “Stay tuned for information and details regarding partial refunds for two day and Sunday Breakout 2022 ticketholders”.

So, seemingly people who only attended on Saturday will not be compensated for their headliner also pulling out.

This is not the first time Breakout has has struggled with getting headliners to honour their bookings. At the 2018 event, it was announced that Migos would not be playing the Sunday night just 20 minutes before they were due on stage. At the time, the festival said in a statement that “for reasons beyond our control Migos didn’t make it to Vancouver”.

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