Last Monday night, a Neck Deep gig in Nottingham was cancelled two songs into their set as violence broke out between the security and the band.
Many fans uploaded video footage of the incident, in which the band walked off stage after two songs, therefore ending their headlining act early. In multiple footage, members of security are seen roughing up crowd surfers instead of helping them over the barrier safely.
The band attempted to intervene when security became rough with fans, which escalated the conflict and an open brawl ensued with the band trying to protect the fans.
On other footage, bass guitarist Fil Thorpe-Evans was seen being pulled offstage by security and into the brawl. Blows were exchanged on both sides, as seen in a lot of footage.
Lead singer Ben Barlow came back onto the stage after the altercation had ended, to explain the situation:
“Yo, shows f*cking over. Security f*cked it. There was a fight. Show’s over.”
Barlow was then seen outside the venue apologising to fans over the cancellation.
The band have issued a statement below:
“A Neck Deep show – any show for that matter – should be a protected and positive environment, where everyone is safe and free to enjoy music being played.
"The safety of our fans is our number one priority, but no-one involved in a show should EVER be in fear of harm or injury – be that fans, crew, venue staff, security or the band."
"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 are so very sorry to anyone who was in any way hurt, upset or inconvenienced last night."
"All scheduled tour dates will go ahead as planned, and we will be taking extra measures to ensure that these events are never again repeated.
For everyone in attendance last night, we are working on a rescheduled date for you, and we will ensure that your original tickets will remain valid / be reissued. Thank you all for reading and for your understanding. -Neck Deep”.
Superfan Laura, 19, travelled from London to see the band’s Nottingham gig last night.
“It all happened pretty quickly. One minute I’m watching Neck Deep, the next, a security had pulled Fil off the stage (who was trying to prevent the guards body slamming crowd surfers) resulting in all members running to help. It was horrible to watch”
Another fan who witnessed the brawl, Daniel Bailey, 24, commented:
“It’s hard to judge who was in the wrong; violence is not the answer. Rock City have handled and conducted this in a disrespectful manner not only to us fans, but to Neck Deep.
“People have paid good money to watch Neck Deep here, booked off work, travelled, queued for hours, brought drinks in the venue, paid for cloakroom, only to be treated like this. Hopefully everyone from all parties gets justice.”
Hannah Dowsett, 22, described the events after:
“(After the fight), Neck Deep then left the stage and the lights came on. Ben Barlow, the lead singer then came back on stage and said something like 'shows over security fucked it'.”
But the crowd didn't just give up.
“The crowd carried on waiting and singing for them to come back out when a fan jumped up on stage.
“The security guards put him into a chokehold and wrestled with him aggressively to try and get him offstage.
“Another man then came out and said something like ‘Don't you think they want to come back out and play a sold out show but security won't allow it.’ We heard this as we were leaving the venue.”
In a statement, Rock City owners DHP Family said:
"We are currently still fully investigating the incident.
"It appears that the band took exception to the way the Rock City security were handling fans who were crowd surfing into the pit and attempting to get on stage.
"This unfortunately escalated into a physical confrontation between the band and the security staff. Having reviewed the CCTV footage and spoken to witnesses, it doesn't appear that the security staff were disproportionate in their response to the crowd surfing.
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and constantly review our crowd management policy. Of course, we know how disappointing this has been for the fans who didn't get to see the band play."
Unfortunately, not all fans were satisfied with the venue’s response. Alex Macrow, 22, commented:
“The statement released by Rock City claiming that the response of the security was fair, is absolutely unbelievable. Nothing about this situation, in which young people were attacked for enjoying a rock show by people twice their age is fair or proportionate."
“It may be fair to say that the band could have handled the situation better, but those who were there will understand why things escalated the way they did.”