Vancouver's Breakout Festival Ends in Chaos After Lil Baby Cancels PNE Performance

Lil Uzi Vert and Polo G also reportedly missed their sets at the fest's 2022 edition this weekend
Vancouver's Breakout Festival Ends in Chaos After Lil Baby Cancels PNE Performance
Photo (left): Frank Schwichtenberg
Chaos broke out at Vancouver's Breakout Festival Sunday evening (September 18) following a last-minute cancellation from festival headliner Lil Baby.

Videos circulating online from the event, which returned to action for the first time since 2019, show festival attendees raiding drink fridges, toppling a bar tent and emptying onsite recycling bins — actions which allegedly caused "significant damage" to the city's Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) Amphitheatre.

In a statement shared Sunday at 9:30 p.m. PT, Breakout Festival organizers announced that Lil Baby was "too sick" to perform, adding, "We know you were looking forward to seeing him but these circumstances are beyond our control."

In a subsequent apology published today, organizers called the actions of festival attendees "the worst case scenario of disappointment," writing, "we want to apologize to everyone who peacefully left the venue, as well as, the venue staff and the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood for the way Breakout 2022 ended. We do not condone violence or destruction of property and are utterly disappointed with the way some of our patrons acted at this year's event."

Organizers added that there would be forthcoming "information and details regarding partial refunds for 2-Day and Sunday Breakout 2022 ticket holders."

Lil Baby, who wrapped a summer tour alongside Chris Brown in late August, confirmed his illness in a respective statement shared via his Instagram story (archived below). "I have been going so hard these past few months without any breaks that it finally caught up with me. And my body completely shut down," he wrote. "I owe you guys big time and will for sure make up for it soon." 

Lil Baby's cancellation followed a Saturday lineup change that saw Trippie Redd take the headlining slot in place of Lil Uzi Vert, who organizers shared was "no longer ... performing due to unforeseen circumstances." On September 16, organizers announced that Polo G and SoFaygo would not be making the trip, with Pressa and Boslen added in their place.

A statement from the PNE published today reads, "Our first priority is for the safety and wellbeing of our staff as many were deeply affected by the reaction of guests and behaviour that ensued. We thank the Vancouver Police Department for their quick and professional response which prevented the situation from becoming much worse. To our neighbours - the PNE is incredibly sorry for the actions of those guests and impact this behaviour may have had on our community. We will be undertaking a full investigation and will be making further statements shortly."