Violence and chaos broke out around Bogota’s Simon Bolivar park Wednesday night, when hundreds of frenzied fans tried to crash heavy metal band Metallica’s first Colombian concert in eleven years.
Bogota’s Regulatory Center of Emergency Services reported that four policemen and four civilians were hospitalized throughout the evening for cuts, lesions to the head and one fractured leg. One youth was stabbed with knife in the hand.
130 people were arrested and property was vandalized and destroyed, as ticketless fans tried to storm the venue in order to catch a glimpse of their rock-god idols.
Radio Santa Fe reported that prior to the concert, there were posts on social networking site Facebook inciting fans to crash the Metallica concert.
Estimates of audience numbers by Colombian media sources oscillate wildly between 20,000 and 70,000.
Authorities implemented security measures as heavy as the band’s music, with some 1,500 police employed to stand guard during the event, as well as four tanks and several police trucks.
There were no reports in the Colombian media that the tanks had been deployed.
The Metallica riots are reminiscent of those that rocked Bogota during a concert by British heavy metal group Iron Maiden in March 2009.
Metallica last played in Colombia on May 2, 1999. To view their 2010 and 1999 playlists, click here.