Unruly Fans Force Japanther Concert to End Early

As many as 100 fans rushed the stage

Lincoln Center is so not punk rock.

Organizers of the Rock N Roll Circus--a free show produced with the Big Apple Circus--say they shut it down early after some fans rushed the stage.

Director of concessions Jim Roper says the Brooklyn-based band Japanther played only three songs during the show Monday night before it was stopped.

The concert was held in Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center under a tent that's normally used by the Big Apple Circus.  

Event co-producer Jessica Resler told the New York Post that about 1,000 people were at the show when about 100 Japanther fans rushed the stage.

She said they were crowd-surfing and jumping on each other. They were removed by security about 20 minutes later.

They probably shouldn't have booked Japanther at the "Rock & Roll Circus" if their goal was complete order," wrote music website Brooklyn Vegan.   

Roper said the show had been orderly up to that point.  Some concertgoers thought reports of a riot were exaggerated, and that overzealous security guards contributed to the chaos.

"What set this show apart was the guards' extreme reaction to what was pretty routine behavior on the fans' part," said Arvind Dilawar, an editor at StreetCarnage.com who attended the show.  

Dilawar said the show was going well but guards became nervous as fans entered the ring of the circus, where the bands were performing.  

For anyone who's been to a music show--rock, punk, hip hop or otherwise--crowding the stage is common.  The Lincoln Center Security guards however, perhaps used to a more demure style of art, might not have been prepared for the bands and their fanbases.

"I guess Lincoln Center are used to ballerinas and other contained stuff," said Dilawar.  "But why invite Japanther to play if you can't deal with the kids having a little fun?"

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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