So, this weekend saw 4 men stabbed at the GarageNation festival after a fight in the VIP Section. 2 airlifted to hospital and people describing poor security and chaotic scenes as the music went on around them and the other 15,000 ravers.
There have been stabbings at both Wireless and Parklife amongst others in the past, but violence isn’t just confined to outdoor festivals. Nightclubs are notorious for drunken brawls, stabbings and even shootings on occasion.
With the rise of “Drill” music some commentators believe the lyrical content of today’s songs incite violence and glamorize the criminal lifestyle that goes along with it. But, let’s put this in perspective. Music festivals and clubs have long gone hand and hand with alcohol (and to differing extents – drugs) and you only have to go out on the road on a Friday night to see how drinkers get when they’ve had a few too many. Things can escalate.
So is the music that encourages the violence or is it the setting? Everyone wants to feel safe partying and raving to music, but do they want to do it sober? And would that solve the problem when pre-existing issues can be bought into a music situation just as they could in any situation.
One thing is for sure, we might complain at the seemingly over the top, intrusive, overly-long, security at nightclub entries and festival queues, but without it, it’s the promoters and venues that will suffer loosing their licenses and reputations. And if they start closing at the rate that the small live music sector venues are closing… us ravers and the wider industry are all in trouble…