and we re­flect on last week’s un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent in Not­ting­ham


Kerrang! (UK) - - Contents -

THERE ARE a va­ri­ety of rea­sons we go to gigs: to achieve per­sonal or col­lec­tive cathar­sis, to feel part of a com­mu­nity – or sim­ply to have a bloody good night out lis­ten­ing to your favourite mu­sic.

What none of us want, or ex­pect, when we book tick­ets is to be faced with the kind of scenes wit­nessed at Neck Deep’s show at Not­ting­ham’s Rock City on Oc­to­ber 9, when there was a phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion be­tween the band and the venue’s se­cu­rity over the lat­ter’s al­leged heavy-handed treat­ment of mem­bers of the au­di­ence. while the re­ported de­tails of the event are dis­puted and con­flicted, the re­sult was the band leav­ing the stage af­ter just two songs.

A state­ment is­sued by the band the fol­low­ing day said:“the events that tran­spired last night were re­gret­ful and deeply un­for­tu­nate.things rapidly es­ca­lated to a point that they should never have got­ten to.we be­lieve that vi­o­lence is never a so­lu­tion, and that ev­ery­thing that went down could and should have been han­dled bet­ter by all par­ties.”

We couldn’t agree more. Set­ting aside the con­fus­ing blur of phone footage, con­flict­ing ac­counts, and the in­evitable rush of think pieces that will spring forth, there’s one fun­da­men­tal thing we should keep in mind: when we go to gigs, we’re en­ter­ing into an un­spo­ken con­tract be­tween our­selves, the band we’re watch­ing, and the venue’s se­cu­rity – and mis­con­duct from one part of that equa­tion can and will have detri­men­tal reper­cus­sions on the oth­ers.

The job of venue se­cu­rity, first and fore­most, is to pro­tect fans, not vi­o­lently rep­ri­mand them while they are en­joy­ing a show in a man­ner seen up and down the coun­try night in, night out.this they would no doubt whole­heart­edly agree with, and the of­ten un­her­alded work that goes in to keep­ing our shows a safe event is to be ap­plauded.yet, still, a greater aware­ness or ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the crowd cul­ture, at any venue, would per­haps go some way to­wards en­sur­ing the events seen last week and beyond are avoided.

In turn, in or­der to have an at­mo­sphere of mu­tual re­spect, there are things fans need to re­mem­ber, too. We live in a cli­mate of height­ened se­cu­rity, in which keep­ing peo­ple safe in pub­lic spa­ces is paramount, and there­fore a job with in­tense pres­sures – so if there are cer­tain rules in place, they’re there in the in­ter­est of safety for all.

Last, but by no means least, as Neck Deep ac­knowl­edge in their state­ment, if we’re go­ing to con­tinue to keep gigs as a “pro­tected and pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment”, then vi­o­lence of any de­scrip­tion can never be the an­swer to vi­o­lence.thank­fully, while in­stances like the one at Rock City are not iso­lated, they are still rare.yet we can make them even rarer, and hope­fully nonex­is­tent, by re­mem­ber­ing ev­ery­one at gigs has their part to play in the safe en­joy­ment of the evening’s per­for­mance.

Af­ter all, the preva­lent mes­sage of our mu­si­cal world is one of unity, not di­vi­sion.


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