The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) has announced charges against more than a dozen people in relation to the riot at the Breakout Festival one year after the incident on the PNE grounds.
The violent incident happened Sept. 18, 2022, after headliner Lil Baby failed to take the stage at the concert event, which was announced to the crowd as they waited for the rapper to perform.
The crowd turned their frustration on the PNE grounds, causing in excess of $300,000 in damage to the Vancouver venue. The violence spread beyond the PNE, as street fighting and other incidents spilled into the neighbourhood.
"Approximately 1,000 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," stated the PNE in a press release at the time of the incident. "It is our understanding that there was additional damage to property outside of Hastings Park, in the community, and to local businesses."
In response to the violence and damage, the VPD launched an investigation including an online portal to help identify the worst offenders during the riot, many of whom were caught on videos posted to social media.
On Sept. 19, 2023, the VPD announced that 15 people are now being charged.
“We spent months collecting evidence and analyzing video in the aftermath of the Breakout Festival, and we promised to do everything we could to arrest those responsible for their violent and destructive behaviour,” says Insp. Dale Weidman in a press release. “We’re grateful to everyone who came forward with tips and helped us identify these suspects.”
Those charged are all men and teens who were aged between 15 and 22 at the time of the incident. Of the 15, three are from Vancouver, with others coming from as far away as Prince George.