‘Total Disaster’: Violent Mob of 4,000 People Storm Daddy Yankee Concert in Chile

General view during the Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee 'La Última Vuelta World Tour' sh
JAVIER TORRES/AFP via Getty Images

Over 4,000 people stormed Santiago, Chile’s National Stadium on Tuesday night to illegally attend a concert by Puerto Rican reggaetón artist Daddy Yankee, breaking down security barriers, scuffling with police, and ultimately tearing down the division between general admission and the VIP area within the venue.

Chile’s national police, the Carabineros, confirmed late on Tuesday that the harrowing images of mobs pushing aside officers and fans who had rightfully purchased tickets were made possible by an organized effort by thousands of people to attack the venue. The owner of Bizarro Live Entertainment, the production company in charge of hosting the event, claimed on Wednesday that authorities had uncovered group messages on Whatsapp featuring hundreds of people discussing the attack on the event.

Police and local government authorities at press time are reporting only minor injuries from the chaotic event, despite videos from the venue depicting a potentially deadly situation.

Daddy Yankee is one of the most prominent figures in the urban Hispanic music genre of reggaetón. He announced his retirement from music and is currently on what he claims to be his final world tour, titled La Última Vuelta World Tour. The artist has yet to comment on the chaos at his concert on Tuesday at press time, but he is scheduled to deliver two more performances in Chile before he departs.

The Associated Press

Daddy Yankee performs at Premio Lo Nuestro on Feb. 16, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Images taken by fans and bystanders of the area surrounding the concert on Tuesday showed individuals shoving past venue security and tearing down gates. Some appeared to clash with police, creating a danger of a potential stampede or police action that may affect others in the crowd.

Inside the venue, thousands of people could be seen stuffing into areas not designed for large numbers of people. A mob of people appeared to take down the gate between the VIP area and general admission to illicitly enter that area.

At least one social media video taken inside the venue showed that, in addition to thousands of people entering the concert without tickets, independent vendors took advantage of the total lack of admissions screening to set up small snack and souvenir stands for attendees.

Widespread, but unconfirmed, reports also surfaced on social media of individuals mugging others inside the concert itself while Daddy Yankee performed and of delinquents vandalizing cars and stealing tires from the parking lot while their owners were inside the stadium.

Police ultimately intervened to avoid a second round of violence outside upon the concert ending, using tear gas and water cannons to dispel the crowd.

The fiasco has become a major national controversy in Chile, prompting local government officials and Bizarro, the event organizer, to loudly condemn each other for the events occurring.

Bizarro issued a statement late on Tuesday accepting no responsibility for what occurred, claiming that the concert took place “under a strict security and logistics protocol.”

“We doubled human, technical, and planning resources coordinated to face the wave of violence and delinquency that mass events have lately experienced in our country,” the statement read, an apparent barb against the leadership of far-left Chilean President Gabriel Boric, who won last year’s presidential race amid a wave of leftist violence against the campaign of conservative opponent José Antonio Kast.

The event organizer claimed to have met with “everything and more than what authorities demanded” regarding security that insisted that “no incapacity [existed] among those who are organizing, but rather on the part of those who are responsible for what is going on regarding crimes on the streets and the areas outside where these occur,” referring to the police.

The founder of Bizarro, Alfredo Alonso, said in an interview on Wednesday that police had identified multiple Whatsapp chat groups dedicated to organizing a mass attack on the Daddy Yankee concert.

“It is important to highlight here that there were between three and four organized groups, which we have identified, we have their Whatsapp groups, and we are putting this evidence in the hands of authorities,” Alonso said, claiming that some Whatsapp groups contained over 1,500 people.

Santiago and federal government officials, meanwhile, condemned Bizarro for its allegedly poor security planning. Boric’s official delegate to the Santiago Metropolitan Region, Constanza Martínez, said in interviews on Wednesday that Bizarro’s hired security officials had abandoned their posts and simply allowed people through.

“There were moments that we have registered in which security guards abandoned the access points, they were not present,” Martínez reportedly confirmed. “There were guards who were ill-prepared and the appropriate number were not there.”

“I think the responsibility of giving all the guarantees that an event even graver than what happened yesterday will occur again is fully in the hands of the production company,” Martínez said. “Fortunately, no one was gravely injured, an so we don’t want this to be a question that is at the whim of the production company, so we are going to make demands for this to improve and ensure all the conditions so that no one is hurt.”

Some Chileans took to social media to mock Martínez for failing to take responsibility, given that shortly before the concert began, she posted a video on the Chinese social media outlet Tiktok boasting of having set in place major security measures to ensure a safe and fun night.

The Chilean government has, at press time, greenlit Daddy Yankee’s second concert set to take place on Saturday night — apparently at the objections of the local mayor — but organized an extra police security cordon further out from the venue to prevent mobs from assembling.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.


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