None of us should be any stranger to how aggressive things can get at a hardcore show. But what happens when security gets too aggressive back? Apparently that very issue happened at a We Came As Romans show during Bodysnatcher‘s set.
The show took place on October 22 at Fête Music Hall in Providence, RI. We Came As Romans stated that folks were “wrongfully and aggressively” removed during Bodysnatcher, as witnessed by folks who were on tour with the band.
“The security team did not respond well, and the situation escalated further, even to the point of spitting in our crew’s faces, spitting on gear, threatening physical violence, and someone having to be physically restrained.”
Yikes. Of course, Fête Music Hall issued their own statement in response, claiming something very different went down. They say a fan had received multiple warning throughout the show and was eventually thrown out. They also claim that those who witnessed the event hadn’t seen the earlier behavior and thus didn’t know the full story.
“Many of you have read and/or commented on events that took place at Fete Music Hall on Sunday, October 22, 2023,” the venue’s statement reads. “We do not feel that what has been presented is a fair representation of the event of that evening as a whole.
“We first want to start by apologizing to the patrons who spent their hard-earned money on tickets to what should have been a fun night of catching their favorite bands. We are sorry that your night was cut short. The safety of our patrons is vitally important to us. We sincerely apologize to anyone who may have felt unsafe. We are sad, upset, and embarrassed by the way that this show was cut short. Additionally, we apologize to the dozens of talented, professional members of our venue’s staff who take pride in their work ethic and their contributions to the live music and arts communities and do not deserve the violent threats and negative attention being directed at them over the past several days.
“As venue operators, we want to address many of the concerns and accusations that we have spent the last few days both reading and listening to.
“On Sunday, members of our staff, a representative from our co-promoter, and the tour manager had a routine security meeting addressing the game plan for the night. The club was staffed by 10 security personnel, a more-than-adequate number for the size of the crowd anticipated. Three at the main entrance, one backstage, three behind the barricade, and three floaters roaming the ballroom floor.
“We were informed that moshing was to be expected/anticipated in a show like this, not unlike many other shows of the same nature that have been at Fete. It was decided that security would first handle incidents with a focus on de-escalation and warning patrons rather than removing an unruly patron from the venue. This is the manner in which Fête Security has handled matters such as this many times in the past, safely, and without incident. Fête Security is well trained in how to address situations as were anticipated on October 22, 2023.
“Through the first half of the show, things ran smoothly, and no one was removed from the venue for moshing. Patrons were enjoying the music, dancing, and having a good time. Our security had issued multiple warnings to one patron who had been involved in multiple altercations with other concertgoers. Unfortunately, during Bodysnatcher’s set, the patron who had received multiple warnings became involved in another altercation with other attendees. At this point, due to the several warnings this individual had received (five warnings), Fête’s security determined that this patron needed to be removed from the venue and became involved.
“Rather than allow Fete Security to do its job, it was at this moment that several members of the touring party then inserted themselves into the situation, without what we believe to be the appropriate context as to what was taking place and why. A member of the touring party then whispered something into the band’s ear, and Bodysnatcher then decided to end their set and yelled, ‘Fuck security; we are done here; into the microphone as they walked offstage, further angering the crowd and directing their anger toward Fête’s security, placing members of our security in an unsafe position. Members of our security and members of the touring party became involved in a heated argument. A few minutes later Fête was advised that We Came As Romans and Emmure were not going to go onstage, and the show was effectively over.
“We are deeply sorry that the events of Sunday escalated to a point where the bands and crew no longer felt comfortable performing. Fête Music Hall has been open for 12 years, hosting literally thousands of shows and catering to every genre of music imaginable, and our track record speaks volumes. We do hope that this statement eases the concerns of those who have been reading other postings. Fête is, and will remain, a safe and inclusive venue for all of its patrons, artists and staff.
“We have been thoroughly investigating any/all accusations and concerns relating to Sunday’s show and will continue to do so. If you have any questions, concerns, or footage that may be relevant to our efforts, we encourage you to contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Of course, if a fan really was getting aggressive and starting fights, it’s beyond reasonable to kick said person out. But this was a hardcore show, and it’s also entirely possible that the venue misconstrued an eager fan moshing and crowdkilling as someone actually trying to start fights. We’ll know more as the situation unfolds, but for now, it’s clear that there are some really disappointed fans out there who missed a good show.
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