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Jessica Anna Michalik
Jessica Anna Michalik
7 January 1985
|Died||26 January 2001 (aged 16)|
Concord, New South Wales, Australia
|Education||Cromer High School|
|Occupation||Student (Eleventh grade)|
|Parent(s)||George and Barbara|
Jessica Anna Michalik (7 January 1985 – 26 January 2001) was an Australian teenage girl from Dee Why, Sydney who died as a result of asphyxiation five days after being crushed in a mosh pit during the 2001 Big Day Out music festival during a performance by nu metal band Limp Bizkit.
The Coroner's Court of New South Wales findings into her death criticized the crowd control measures in use at the time, and also criticized Limp Bizkit lead singer Fred Durst for "alarming and inflammatory" comments during the rescue effort. Michalik's family and best friend Liza Ryan have maintained that it was a series of factors that contributed to Michalik's death and no one party was to blame.
The band At the Drive-In had taken exception to the vigorous moshing during their performance earlier that day. Their lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, at the conclusion of their song Cosmonaut addressed the crowd saying "I think it's a very very sad day when the only way you can express yourself is through slamdancing" then after pointing at an audience member crowd surfing saying "look at that... you didn't learn that from your best friend! You learned that from the TV!," and finally stating to the crowd "You're a robot, you're a sheep" before bleating at them several times and leaving the stage around 10 minutes into their set.
The band Grinspoon, Michalik's favourite, performed at her funeral, and a "minute of noise" tribute has been observed at subsequent Big Day Out festivals. Limp Bizkit paid tribute to Michalik during their Soundwave 2012 performances in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, by displaying a banner on their set with Michalik's name on it as well as talking about the serious dangers that come with mosh pits and the need for crowd control.
- Comments by an event manager about Coronial Inquest Report (in pdf format)
- The Jessica Michalik Contemporary Music Endowment (in pdf format)
- A big thumbs up for troubled Big Day Out, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 November 2002
- Insurers sue over death, The Age, 13 August 2005
- Anna Cock, "Jessica's tragedy — Thoughtful girl with a passion for rock bands", 2 February 2001, The Daily Telegraph, Surry Hills (Sydney, Australia), pg 4.