"It seems like there were a lot of people who came to the concert to cause problems," said police spokesperson Liz Wylie. "It seems like they were probably intent on causing trouble from the get go."
The Saturday night concert was the KISS FM Old School Fiesta, headlined by the 1970s band War. All of the victims, whose identities were not released, are male, and police gave their ages as 18, 25, 26, 32, 33 and 36. None of their injuries were life-threatening.
According to some reports, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Shoreline Amphitheatre security needed help breaking up some fights, and called on 14 Mountain View police officers who were patrolling the area outside the venue as usual. No arrests were made, but some concertgoers were asked to leave.
At 9:30 p.m. a larger fight broke out, stabbings began to occur and police were again called in. This time, 36 officers were called for backup from six local law enforcement agencies, including Palo Alto, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Stanford, the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol. Some wore riot gear.
Police were originally investigating three stabbings, but three other stabbing victims later came forward, including one who flagged down an ambulance that was leaving the amphitheatre and two who later walked into the hospital.
According to posts on the Voice's Town Square online forum, the fighting soured much of the evening.
"Around 7 p.m. the tension in the air suggested we put our shoes back on because the fact that we would have to run was becoming more evident," wrote a Town Square user by the name of Melisarene.
"There were thousands and thousands of people on the lawn, families, children, pregnant women and quite a few who were looking for trouble," the poster wrote. "After the first fight started and appeared to be getting under control, another bigger one was erupting and then another and so on. As we were quickly leaving, groups of scared people were running for their cars. Driving out we saw multiple police cars and an ambulance racing towards the mess — that was about 8 o'clock. I can't believe they didn't shut it down until 10:15 p.m."
Amphitheatre staff shut down the concert at 10:15 p.m., after War finished playing and 15 minutes before the concert was originally scheduled to end. After the stabbings began, amphitheatre staff reportedly turned up the lights but opted not to end the concert. The venue stopped serving alcohol at 8:30 p.m.
Creighton Burke, vice president of marketing for amphitheatre operator Live Nation, addressed the problems in a statement via e-mail.
"At Live Nation we take our responsibility to provide a safe and enjoyable concert environment for all of our patrons very seriously. Unfortunately on Saturday night a few irresponsible patrons caused isolated fights in which there were several injuries. We worked closely with local authorities to quickly get the situation under control. While these types of incidents are rare, we continually monitor our security measures to ensure that concerts can be enjoyed safely by all and not disrupted by a few unruly patrons."
No suspects have been arrested, the motive is unclear and the weapon or weapons are unknown. The victims have either been uncooperative or unable to provide information for an arrest, police said.
Anyone with information on the stabbings can anonymously call police at (650) 903-6344.