UPDATE: Mark Hoffman of the Dover PD informed Billboard the suspect in the “tower climb arrest” is a 22-year-old male from Glen Burnie, Maryland. After he was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, he was released on a “$750 unsecured bond for a later court date.”
After a massive storm brought Firefly’s Saturday lineup to an early close with a forced evacuation, it seemed unlikely anything odder might occur on Sunday (June 21) evening at the Dover, Delaware festival.
But it did.
During Snoop Dogg‘s Sunday evening set (filled with hits both aural and olfactory), a man in his twenties diverted attention from the rap legend on stage by climbing one of the speaker rigs in the crowd. While dangling from the metal tower, he proceeded to dance and perform for the crowd for nearly 10 minutes. His speaker-climbing stunt ended with his arrest the moment he returned to the ground.
Prior to his handcuffing, the bearded man ascended the full height of a tall speaker tower more than halfway through Snoop’s set. Festival security, who didn’t seem to notice him until he had already climbed all the way up, looked on in dismay while fest-goers snapped pictures.
Firefly climber during snoop’s set pic.twitter.com/j0Jcjcujzg
— Joe Lynch (@branniganlynch) June 22, 2015
As Snoop performed his verse from Katy Perry‘s smash “California Gurls,” the man wiggled about on the speaker tower, gyrating his hips high above the crowd, seeming to relish the attention. At one point, he let go and held on to the rig with just one hand, prompting several onlookers to gasp and opine that this would end tragically.
Despite the reckless theatrics, the man ended up climbing down the rig after nearly 10 minutes into the waiting arms of Dover police and festival security. They immediately cuffed him and lead him through the picture-snapping crowd, into the VIP area and then into a backstage area inaccessible to anyone expect staffers.
The man seemed to accept his handcuffs after returning to the ground and willingly walked off with police — at first. But he began to struggle when multiple officers swarmed him in the backstage area. My attempts to capture cellphone footage were repeatedly slapped down, not by the police but by festival security.
After giving up on cellphone footage, I watched as police brought the man to the ground, where he remained with a knee in his back for approximately five minutes.
When I informed the law enforcement force I was a reporter looking for more information, I was asked to leave, which I did not. The authorities did tell me they had no idea who the man was, and when asked if he would be booked, they replied with an emphatic yes. Minutes later, I watched as the man was taken into a police vehicle and escorted off the Firefly festival premises.
When contacted for comment, Dover police noted their public information officer was not on duty and there was “no one here to release any information.”