A major crowd malfunction nearly ruined a Janet Jackson performance at The Global Citizens Festival on Saturday night — when hundreds of screaming audience members stampeded in Central Park thinking they heard gunfire.
It turned out that all they’d heard was the sound of metal NYPD barriers tipping over, police said.
Seven concert-goers attending the Global Citizens Festival suffered minor injuries from being shoved against a wall in the panic, police said.
The melee began just after Cardi B finished her set, and Jackson was due to take the stage.
“People were convinced it was a shooting,” said Patrick Lee, 30, of the UK. “It was really frightening.”
Police rushed to the scene en masse, for a time barring anyone who’d fled the lawn from returning.
But the show, on the Great Lawn, soon went on.
Chris Martin of Coldplay, who curated the event, came out to calm the crowd. “Nobody is trying to hurt anybody, and you’re all safe, OK?” he said.
He called NYPD Assistant Chief Kathleen O’Reilly to the stage.
“It was a barrier collapse,” she said. “There were no shots fired.”
Then, Jackson danced her way through an energetic, non-stop hour of hits, including ”Burn It Up” and her signature hit, “Nasty.”
“Janet saved the night,” noted concertgoer Carolyn Oliver, 62, of The Bronx. “And she looked good, too.”
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