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New Zealand music fest evacuates thousands over attendee's 'far-right tattoo.' Then authorities get a closer look.


'Deemed enough of a threat'

Image source: YouTube screenshot

About 5,000 people were evacuated from New Zealand's Homegrown Music Festival in Wellington on Saturday over concerns about an attendee who "was thought to be acting suspiciously" and apparently sported a "far-right tattoo," Stuff reported.

Massacres took place at a pair of Christchurch mosques just over a week before festival, and the country's prime minister last week announced a ban on all "military-style semi-automatic weapons."

What happened?

Those gathered at Homegrown's dub and roots stage in Waitangi Park were evacuated about 9.20 p.m. after security raised concerns, the outlet said.

"Police on Sunday morning said fears were raised about a man who appeared to have a far-right tattoo and was thought to be acting suspiciously," Stuff noted, adding that those concerns "sparked the evacuation."

Upon further review

But police said the tattoo turned out to be "traditional and not tied to far-right ideology," the outlet said, and the evacuated festival attendees were allowed back in after about 20 minutes.

Homegrown spokeswoman Kelly Wright said the concerns were "deemed enough of a threat to evacuate," Stuff reported, adding that the decision to evacuate "was just completely out of our control."

"Some of the Homegrown crew identified a person that they were concerned about, and police made the call that [the] person needed to be found," Wright told the NZ Herald. "It all happened at the changeover of the music, so people were moving around and police couldn't spot the person immediately, so they made the call to evacuate the stage."

Wright added to the NZ Herald that "the person was found, and it turned out that is was a completely innocent misunderstanding and everyone was allowed to return." She noted to the outlet that the whole evacuation took 28 minutes but that information saying it stemmed from a tattoo was inaccurate.

Here's a clip of the evacuation:

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