A3C Festival & Conference has shared more information about a panic and stampede that occurred during Lil Wayne's headlining set at the hip-hop festival over the weekend. While initial, confused reports from people at the show seemed to believe that there was a shooting, festival representatives says that no shots were fired and the rush was the result of a fight that got out of hand.
A3C executive director Mike Walbert shared a statement with The Fader giving the official account of the show. Walbert began his statement by explaining how excited they were to host Wayne's first live performance following the release of Tha Carter V. "We understood the significance of the moment," he said. "It was to be a special night for hip-hop, Atlanta, our team, Lil Wayne and everyone in attendance."
It wasn't meant to be, however. A fight shortly after the set began spiraled out of control and sent the crowd running.
"Less than 10 minutes into Lil Wayne’s set two individuals started to fight each other," Walbert explained. "Several people in the crowd attempted to break up the fight, including a Georgia state trooper who was on-duty providing security. In trying to break up the fight, we understand that the trooper withdrew his Taser, which reportedly omitted a red light. The Taser was not used, but upon seeing the Taser, several members of the crowd yelled 'gun,' which caused a panic in the crowd and people started rushing away."
The festival representative said that he was "thankful that there are no reports of serious injuries" and that they "are determined not to let this incident define the truly amazing week of events."
In the email, Walbert noted how easily the story could be twisted to suit negative views of hip-hop as a whole. "It’s easy to write about. You can cut and paste a headline and video from a cellphone," he told the magazine. "It also fits a larger narrative that national media portrays day in and day out about hip-hop culture. It’s sad. But it’s not the story that came out of A3C this past week."