UPDATE: Fifteen suspects charged in VPD Breakout Festival investigation

Vancouver, BC – A months-long Vancouver Police investigation has led to mischief charges against 15 people in connection with an incident at last summer’s Breakout Festival at the PNE Amphitheatre.

“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 behavior,” says Inspector Dale Weidman, who led the investigation for VPD’s Major Crime Section. “We’re grateful to everyone who came forward with tips and helped us identify these suspects.”

Vancouver Police launched a criminal investigation after the last-minute cancellation of a headline act at the PNE Breakout Festival on September 18, 2022, when a small number of concert goers deliberately destroyed property in and around the venue, causing more than $300,000 damage and sparking street-fights in the surrounding residential neighbourhoods.

Breakout Festival
Breakout Festival Thugs

Investigators analyzed security images from the venue and collected cellphone video from bystanders to identify the people responsible for inciting the violence and destroying property after the concert was cancelled.

B.C. Prosecution Service has now approved mischief charges against 15 people.

Those charged are all men aged 15 to 22 at the time of the offences. All but three suspects live in communities outside Vancouver, with some living as far away as Prince George, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan.

BACKGROUND

September 19, 2022

Vancouver – Vancouver Police made multiple arrests and have launched a criminal investigation after violence erupted when a concert was abruptly cancelled last night at the PNE Amphitheatre.

Fights broke out inside and outside the venue, and significant property damage occurred when destructive concert-goers became hostile following an announcement that a headlining act would not be taking the stage.

“Vancouver Police officers were already inside the venue and providing extra security when several hundred people began fighting and destroying property in the Amphitheatre, on the PNE grounds, and in the surrounding neighbourhood,” says Constable Tania Visintin. “Dozens of extra officers were redeployed from other areas of the city to restore order, with some officers having bottles and other objects thrown at them.”

Metro Vancouver Transit Police were among the officers who responded and helped Vancouver Police restore order.

Though no major injuries have been reported, there is likely thousands of dollars in property damage. Garbage bins and food vendor kiosks were overturned and damaged during the chaos. Tables, refrigerators, and tents were knocked down and thrown. Several people climbed various fixtures including a tall lamp post.

Seven people were arrested and taken to jail for breach of the peace, however, the criminal investigation will likely take months to complete.

“We will conduct a full and thorough investigation into the actions of anyone who destroyed property, put concert-goers in danger, or committed other criminal acts,” adds Constable Visintin. “Though this investigation will take time, we will pursue criminal charges against people who participated in this violence and destruction.”

Vancouver Police Department

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