Western Australia Police were forced shut down the event with influencer Anna Paul after rowdy fans stormed a mall and caused a crowd crush.
Hundreds of teenagers descended on a Stax pop up store in Perth‘s CBD on Sunday for the chance to see the 23-year-old influencer as she tours the country.
Dozens camped outside the store overnight to be first in the queue, which had grown to several thousand by 7am, five hours before the event was due to begin.
Stax was unable to proceed with the meet and greet after the crowd spiralled out of control, forcing police to intervene and shut it down.
The chaos has sparked outrage from devastated fans who have slammed Stax over how the event was organised.
A meet and greet with popular influencer Anna Paul (pictured) descended into chaos in Perth on Sunday
‘It was very disappointing,’ Tiffashleigh explained on TikTok.
‘I just wasted five hours of my day to go meet Anna Paul, which I didn’t even get to.’
She arrived at 7am, well before before the chaos erupted three-and-a-half hours later.
Those in the queue were marked with a number to avoid similar scenes which occurred in Melbourne several days earlier.
‘It was nice, and chilled and calm, I made friends with girls sitting in front of and behind me,’ Tiffy recalled.
‘We were sitting down playing games and watching TikToks.’
‘Between seven and 10 o’clock, a long line really started to develop and then around 10.30am, a man with a camera starting filming the long line down the street.
‘Everyone thought it was Anna and started pushing and screaming and that’s when the chaos started.’
She claimed the crowd was pushed into the side of the street ‘like sardines’ as more police arrived.
‘People were constantly pushing you from behind so you literally had no choice but to push forward the person in front of you, even though you didn’t want to or get trampled on and fall,’ she recalled.
Tiff believes several fans were let into the store to meet Anna before the event was cancelled 15 minutes after it started.
‘The cops told me and a few other girls four people had collapsed and a few got trampled on,’ she said
‘There was a girl in the Stax store being treated by paramedics.’
Tiff summed up the day as very disappointing
Another claimed there was already 2000 people when she arrived by 7am.
‘So Anna Paul, we still love you but f**k you Stax for not knowing how to organise an event because we asked all the cops and rangers and they had no clue there was an event happening,’ TikTok user Thaliahorgan.x said.
Stax owners has since apologised to disappointed fans, adding they were heartbroken the event was unable to proceed.
‘We are overwhelmed with the response and cannot thank you all so much for continually supporting STAX. and all that we do,’ a statement on Instagram read.
‘As you can imagine this is not how we foresaw today going, I am personally heartbroken that we cannot go ahead. We love and appreciate each and everyone of you.’
Footage posted on social media shows hordes of followers packed shoulder-to-shoulder outside the Stax store, an activewear brand promoted by Paul, on Hay Street, chanting ‘Anna!’ as they waited to catch a glimpse of the star.
WA Police were forced to intervene when ‘tensions’ arose after some attendees reportedly ‘jumped the queue’ as a massive crowd converged on the venue.
Police cancelled a pop-up event in Perth to meet influencer Anna Paul (pictured) after hundreds of teenagers descended on the scene
Furious fans have lashed out at Stax after
‘Police attended a clothing store store in Hay Street Mall at the request of store’s management due to the store expecting about 200 to 300 people to attend an event publicised on social media,’ WA Police said.
‘A significantly larger crowd than expected attended. Tensions among some parts of the crowd were noticed to increase with allegations of ‘queue jumping’.
‘Police requested the assistance of St John Ambulance after several people collapsed and required medical assistance.’
The event was expected to run from 12pm to 4pm but was cancelled prematurely, with officers dispersing fans from the area.
WA Police said the event as cancelled after consulting with the store’s management ‘due to the size of the crowd’, ‘lack of appropriate security’, and insufficient capabilities to cope with the higher-than-expected numbers.
Paul released a statement on Instagram just after midday saying police ordered organisers to close down the event because of crowd control concerns.
‘Due to safety the West Australia police had to shut down the Perth meet and greet early,’ she wrote.
‘It became a huge safety hazard… thank you for being amazing… I am so so sorry we tried our very best to work with the police but it got too much.’
Anna has spent the past week on a meet-and-greet tour through Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth
The Queenslander, who boasts a combined seven million followers across TikTok and Instagram, spent the past week touring through Sydney and Melbourne mingling with crazed devotees.
Similar scenes were captured at both events as besotted fans flocked to see her, bringing gifts, including flowers, letters, posters, and clothing.
The Perth meet-and-greet was her final stop, where she was due to promote her new collaboration with Stax and sell items from her collection in person which are not usually available for WA consumers.
Paul started out as a lip-sync artist on TikTok before moving into a lucrative career posting content on subscription-based site Only Fans, where she is one of the highest earners.
As of April, her net worth was an estimated US$6 million to US$7 million, which includes her lavish waterfront mansion on the Gold Coast.