HEALTH & SAFETY / CRIMINAL
Live events sector
Tyler The Creator has been arrested as he was leaving South By South West in Austin, Texas, over an alleged incident at one of his shows at the festival. According to Austin police, there was a sizable crowd queuing up to get into the rapper’s showcase event, the management of which became tricky after Tyler allegedly shouted from the stage, “All y’all outside the gates, y’all push through”. Officers claim the rapper suggested those outside push into the already at-capacity venue twice, resulting in unruly behaviour from those waiting to get in. Police reps say the rapper then apologised, swore about the venue’s door staff and walked off stage.
Confirming that Tyler had subsequently been arrested at Austin-Bergstrom Airport in relation to the incident, a statement from the Austin Police Department reads: “Regardless of the size of a crowd, the encouragement of unruly and unlawful behaviour is against the law and cannot be tolerated”.
The rapper is accused of “encouraging behaviour causing an immediate danger and injury to persons”, which could result in a year in jail and a $4000 fine if he was to be convicted of the crime. Police released a short video clip of the incident. http://gawker.com/heres-video-of-the-riot-that-got-tyler-the-creator-ar-1545162592
However, Tyler’s lawyer Perry Q Minton said in a statement to the Associated Press: “At no time during the concert did Tyler seek to incite or participate in riotous activity as has been reported in the press. It is clear from video clips and witness reports that the patrons and fans attending the show on that date were full of positive energy appropriate for this type of event and never exhibited any anger or aggression whatsoever”. He added: “For law enforcement or the media to describe the rush of fans through the gate and the subsequent benign, boisterous activity as a riot is an unfortunate and inaccurate description of what occurred. Tyler is not a violent individual and would never deliberately engage in any activity that would put another person at risk of being hurt”.
Tyler’s manager Christian Clancy also commented on the incident yesterday, describing it in a blog post as a “punk rock moment”, but also denied that it constituted a riot.