Earlier this month, We Came as Romans canceled their concert at the Fete Music Hall in Providence while it was in progress. The band issued a statement after the cancellation revealing that an issue arose over the venue’s security and how they handled dealing with moshing and crowd-surfing attendees during the opening band’s set. The venue has now issued a counter-statement sharing their side of the story on what happened that night, and the statement can be read below.
In their initial statement, We Came as Romans noted, “During Bodysnatcher’s set, multiple attendees were wrongfully & aggressively dragged out of the venue. Some of our touring crew went outside to de-escalate the situation with security, as we had approved moshing & crowd surfing with the venue & security teams during a security brief earlier that day.”
They continued, alleging, “The security team did not respond well, & the situation escalated further, even to the point of spitting in our crew’s faces, spitting on gear, threatening physical violence & someone having to be physically restrained.”
From there, it was determined by the bands and crew that the best move at that point was to cancel the show.
Now, representatives from the Fete Music Hall have issued their statement about the events of the Oct. 22 concert. It reads as follows:
To All Concerned:
FETE MUSIC HALL Response to events of October 22, 2023
Many of you have read and/or commented on events that took place at Fete Music Hall on Sunday, October 22, 2023. 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 gameplan for the night. The club was staffed by ten (10) security personnel, a more than adequate number for the size of the crowd anticipated. 3 at the main entrance, 1 backstage, 3 behind the barricade and 3 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 Fete Security has handled matters such as this many times in the past, safely and without incident. Fete 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 (5 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 “F**k 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 twelve 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. Fete 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 email@example.com.
In the time since the incident, We Came as Romans have continued their “Darkbloom II” tour. The band will be playing Norfolk, Virginia, Carrboro, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina this weekend, with more dates to come. Stay up to date here.
Likewise, Fete Music Hall have continued to host events following the disruption on Oct. 22. You can see their upcoming schedule of performances here.
Gallery Credit: John Hill, Loudwire