Last week at an Enter Shikari gig in Portsmouth, U.K., frontman Rou Reynolds entered the crowd toward the end of “Radiate” with the intention of finishing the song among the people. As you can see from the brief video below, Reynolds wasn’t too pleased with the actions of one particularly invasive crowd member, throwing a series of quick punches the concertgoer’s way after that person reportedly groped Reynolds and attempted to pull his pants down.
Reynolds (using the official Enter Shikari YouTube account) responded in a comment on the video, saying in part:
“After performing the end of ‘Radiate’ in the crowd some people behind me began trying to pull my trousers down . I tried to push them away a few times but due to the density of the crowd this didn’t work. It then progressed (perhaps fuelled by some sort of stubborn oneupmanship) and I began to have my buttocks and my… er, ‘undercarriage’ groped. At this point I spun round pretty shocked and intimidated and asked angrily if they “wanted a punch” – lighter approaches having not worked! – hoping his would stop it.
That seemed to do the opposite and gave them more vigour. I defy anyone to have their scrotum grabbed and not lash out instinctively…
Obviously violence is never the answer and I’m very unhappy personally with how I acted. I should have left the crowd and headed back to stage immediately when this started happening but due to the density of the crowd and the intensity of the situation things played out differently, I’m only human.
The rest of the show was thoroughly enjoyable and the audience overall were great. Everyone else we met before and after the show was absolutely lovely too. It’s a shame but obviously because of this incident I won’t be heading into densely packed crowds in the near future.
P.S. To address the “they paid to see you, so it doesn’t matter what they did…” argument; the ticket price for an Enter Shikari show doesn’t include free access to my gonads I’m afraid. You’re not a doctor. And I’m not a prostitute.
We appreciate & respect every single person that supports us and all we ask in return is respect back. The way this person/people acted was not respectful whatsoever.”
What do you think? Was Reynolds in the right? What level of safety should a musician expect when he or she enters the crowd?
(h/t Musicology Online)