At Billy Idol's August 12 Del Mar Fairgrounds show...
"The stage perimeter was blocked off by a seven-foot metal fence that was covered to prevent viewing," says an attendee. "It was a V.I.P. area only. Thousands of fans were upset and intoxicated."
The free concert was held on the same day as a "microbrew fest."
"Halfway through the concert, security told me to leave the front pit because it wasn't safe," says the attendee. "People were sloppy-drunk and things were getting out of hand. As I was leaving the area, I witnessed the destruction of the fence and thousands of people pushing their way to the stage.... The paramedics and police arrived. I saw at least four people being taken out on stretchers."
Craig Dado, vice president of marketing for the Del Mar Fair, says, "It was a huge crowd, second biggest in our history.... There were 39,000 people, bigger than we expected."
Dado admits that people were not happy about the tall fence surrounding the VIP area.
"We realized it was a losing battle, so we let the fence come down. But people said, 'Hey there's no free booze here' and went back. No one got hurt."
What about the people taken away on stretchers?
"There were a couple of medical situations...typical for an event this size. It was an exciting non-incident."