More than 30,000 people celebrated Madison’s twelfth Freakfest Saturday night with the amount of police citations and arrests dipping to a record low.
Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, said the last unofficial report he received said four arrests and more than thirty citations were made during the event.
A Madison Police Department report said most of the citations were for underage drinking and having open intoxicants on the street.
Resnick called the event a success, and there were no major incidents.
Resnick said he was outside of the event and entered it several times.
“Overall individuals attending the event seemed to have a pretty positive experience,” Resnick said. “It was a good, safe time.”
Although the number of those in attendance was an estimated 30,000, this was only the amount of tickets sold about halfway through the night of the event, therefore the attendance is estimated to be fairly larger, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
Resnick said other than the result of the Homecoming football game – a loss for the University of Wisconsin – it was a good weekend. There were more than 300 police officers patrolling the Freakfest area, according to an MPD statement. The amount of law enforcement created an adequate level of safety, Resnick said.
Verveer said he was very pleased with how Freakfest went. He was especially thrilled with the musical talent this year.
Police and fire officials were shocked with the popularity of the performing artist Big Gigantic, Verveer said.
Security grew concerned as the crowd to watch him continued to grow. Security ended up opening the VIP area to allow for more room, and no one was seriously injured, according to Verveer.
Police and fire officials had more problems outside the gates than inside, Verveer said. This was due to people who had been drinking all day at the football game, he added.
Of the four people taken to jail, most were for fighting, he said. There were several dozen people arrested for noncriminal offenses, such as underage drinking and open intoxicants, he added.
Last week, Verveer told The Badger Herald police presence would be increased downtown both Friday and Saturday night and at Camp Randall Stadium for the football game due to the convergence of Freakfest, a UW football game and UW’s Homecoming on the same day.
According to an MPD statement, a robbery occurred on North Brooks Street near Spring Street. And according to a UW Police Department report, 16 citations were issued at the football game and 77 students were ejected.
The MPD statement said two suspects approached the victim, one with a hand gun visible, and demanded the victim empty his pockets. The suspects ran away and the victim was not hurt. The suspects are described as black males in their early 20s.
Although Verveer was pleased with the low level of incidents inside the event, the most serious incident occurred on South Basset Street around midnight.
Verveer said police were on the scene for around six hours, investigating a “vicious assault on a young woman.”
Verveer said MPD will be releasing more specific details on the assault today.
As far as Verveer knows, the woman is from out of town and was visiting for the weekend.
“All in all, the event went very well,” Verveer said. “This event [Freakfest] was created in 2006 and the problems since then have gone away.”
Molly McCall contributed to this story.