If you’ve been patrolling around the internet over the past few days, you’ve undoubtedly seen a whole host of videos featuring your favourite artist dealing with a dangerously unruly crowd. From Billie Eilish to Kurt Cobain to Dave Grohl to Noel Gallagher, there has been a wave of examples of artists being aware enough of the potentially hazardous scale of large concert crowds.
Especially on Reddit, these videos are proliferating in massive numbers. They serve to further underscore just how egregiously Travis Scott handled the deadly crowd surge at the first night of his Astroworld Festival on November 5th where eight people died and hundreds were injured. Despite clearly visible medical teams attempting to revive concertgoers just feet from him, Scott continued to perform until his set was complete.
The backlash to Scott’s actions during the concert has been swift, hence the numerous examples of other musicians being more aware of what’s going on in their crowds. One of the more notable videos making the rounds is from a Linkin Park concert at London’s Docklands Arena during their Hybrid Theory World Tour in 2001.
In the footage, the band are in the middle of playing the song ‘Papercut’ when guitarist Brad Delson begins waving to the rest of the band to stop playing. Vocalist Mike Shinoda attempts to alert the crowd to a fallen fan in the pit, but the late Chester Bennington makes it more direct: “Pick him up! Pick him up right now!” he demands.
“We gotta look out for safety first,” Shinoda tells the crowd. “Nobody gets hurt.” Bennington adds: “We know we’ve been stressing all night about being cool, and this is the reason why.” Bennington then leads the crowd in a chant of “when someone falls, pick them up”. The band then make sure that the people in danger are safe before restarting the song from the start.
Videos like these prove that the size of the venue or the status of the crowd doesn’t matter to the performers who care about their audience’s well being. Shinoda and Bennington quickly take hold of the situation, make the crowd aware of what’s going on, and advises them to listen to the security detail at the front, all in the name of safety. The Linkin Park footage illustrates how a diligent performer remains aware of their crowd, and whether the excitement of a show is quickly turning into an unsafe situation.
Check out the footage, which was first uploaded to YouTube nearly a decade ago, down below.