Students and guests were asked to vacate Alumni Hall during WFCS’ Metal Fest Wednesday night when a fan was struck in the face in the confusion of the crowd’s hardcore dancing.
The fan –whether he is a CCSU student or a guest has not been disclosed– was was one of the few dancing in front of the stage when he was kicked in the eye by another person in the crowd, which knocked him to the floor. The injury occurred during the second band’s set.
Event staff immediately responded to the incident and made the crowd leave the hall until decisions were made about where to take the injured person and whether to disband the show.
“This is the first time they let us do this in two years and this looks really, really bad.” Nicholas Menapace, the PR Director of WFCS 107.7 stated. “This is not the kind of thing we wanted to happen at a show.”
Though he admitted to somewhat expecting something to happen once the crowd began hardcore dancing.
Once the student was taken away and reports were filed with the campus police, the staff decided to let the show continue but with strict rules, which even the bands enforced: staff said that if moshing or dancing were to continue, the show would be shut down completely and everyone would be forced to leave. The metal concert ended around 11 p.m.
Sue Sweeney, the Associate Director of Student Activities, who said she has had plenty of experience with these types of shows, felt that the incident was handled in the best way possible. An issue that was brought up was whether or not the show should have had security present from the beginning.
“The decision to have police is not made by us but made by the police department.” Sweeney said. “The police department, as a result of this incident, might be more conservative.”
Menapace agreed that police security might be something they would have to consider.
The student center staff and the WFCS staff were only expecting a crowd of 100 or so people which is not a large enough crowd to warrant police security and which Sweeney said is “generally manageable with the staff.”
For those who are familiar with metal shows, situations like this are common, but in a school setting, it may lead to different reactions from the audience. However, Sweeny was not pessimistic about the fate of Metal Fest, despite the accident.
“We have had a lot of success with metal shows in the past,” she says and also re-enforced that, “I don’t want the media painting a negative image of this.”
By the end of the show, the accident seemed to have blown over; and though everyone is unsure how the events of the night will shape the future for WFCS Metal Fest. Menapace predicted that if another were to happen, it wouldn’t be until the fall of 2011.
“I really don’t know how it’ll proceed from here,” Menapace said. “This is definitely going to affect the way we do concerts in the future.”