Vancouver police identify top 10 suspects in riot at Breakout Festival after Lil Baby no-show

Vancouver police identify top 10 suspects in riot at Breakout Festival after Lil Baby no-show

Vancouver police have released a list of 10 suspects wanted in connection with a riot that erupted at a music festival in mid-September.

The chaos took place in and around the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) grounds during the Breakout Festival on Sept. 18. Police say rioters caused more than $300,000 in property damage after headline act Lil Baby cancelled due to alleged illness half an hour before the scheduled end of the show.

On Tuesday, Insp. Dale Weidman with the Vancouver Police Department's Major Crime Section announced investigators have narrowed down a list of the night's worst offenders after scouring video footage submitted by concert-goers.

"We are asking people to identify suspects and hold them accountable," said Weidman.

Vancouver Police Department
Vancouver Police Department

Anyone with information about any of the top 10 suspects is asked to visit VPD.ca/top-10 and use the online form to submit a tip.

The suspects, said Weidman, are primarily facing mischief charges for destroying property, and the severity of their penalties will depend on whether or not they have prior criminal backgrounds.

Police say more suspect images will likely be released in the coming weeks.

WATCH | Aftermath of the riot at the PNE Amphitheatre:

Weidman said a team of officers combed through more than 40 video submissions that showed people destroying food kiosks and light fixtures.

Police say the violence spilled into the surrounding neighbourhood, where fights broke out.

Videos from the scene also show people tearing down tents, throwing garbage cans and swarming the venue's beer garden. Others flipped over refrigerators and snapped concession tables.

Police arrested seven people for breach of the peace on the night of the riot. No serious injuries were reported.

The VPD, whose investigators have been working with PNE staff, said many of the young people who worked the event were working their first jobs and were upset by what they witnessed.

"Their staff got really traumatized," said Weidman.

Apologies from Lil Baby, PNE

People travelled from across the province to attend the two-day festival on Sept. 17-18, paying up to $350 for a ticket.

Prior to Lil Baby's sudden cancellation, the event had already seen a number of last-minute changes to its weekend programming.

Fans leaving the venue on the Sunday night said cost and cancellations were a source of frustration.

Rich Fury/Getty Images
Rich Fury/Getty Images

"Biggest joke of my life, spend $200-$300 to travel, then all that money for the tickets and then it's a wash ... biggest waste of my money, of my life," said Will Thompson, who had travelled several hours from B.C.'s Kootenays to get to the festival.

Lil Baby apologized to fans on Instagram, saying his body "completely shut down" Sunday after working for months.

PNE spokesperson Laura Ballance offered an apology to area residents immediately after the violence.

"The PNE is incredibly sorry for the action of those guests and the impact this behaviour may have had on our community," said Ballance in September.