Neck Deep Defends Fans, Cancels Gig After Security Clashes With Audience

Megan Thompson
Neck Deep

Welsh pop punk band Neck Deep were forced to cancel a show mid-set Monday night (Oct. 9) when security used what the band deemed unnecessary force to deal with crowd surfers.

In fan-shot videos posted to Twitter, fans are seen seemingly being put into chokeholds by security guards after the band had already cut a song short, stepping in to try to keep fans safe. According to Georgia Stokes, a student at Nottingham Trent University who was near the stage when it happened, “The lead singer [Ben Barlow] just kept stopping singing and saying, ‘OK, stop, this isn’t cool.’”

Drummer Dani Washington can be seen physically stepping in to try and break up the fights, before the entire band stepped off stage a short time later. Fans soon began to chant the lyrics to the band's “A Part of Me” in support of the band after security put an early end to the gig.  

Fans were visibly understanding of the show’s early conclusion, responding well to Barlow’s personal response outside the venue. In another candid video, Barlow can be heard saying, "We never want to call a show off. I'm so sorry that you guys have paid and that's what happened. I'm really sorry. That's all I can say. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart. I want to carry on playing the show. I want to be up there now."

The venue was quick to comment after the event in a statement to the Nottingham Post, which explained that Rock City is “fully investigating the incident” and take safety “very seriously,” while defending the security staff.

"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.”

According to a 2013 report by Impact Nottingham, this is not the first time there have been reports of heavy handed security at Rock City. Club-goers described brutal accounts of backlash from bouncers at the club, during which “The CCTV footage handily didn’t record the area” where the attack happened. The article notes that the security team is contracted, so it's rarely ever made up of the same roster of guards.

In a statement on Neck Deep’s Twitter, the band stated, “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.” Further on, the band also promised to work on a rescheduled show which would honor all of last night’s tickets. Spokespeople for Rock City and Neck Deep could not be reached for comment at press time.