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Fans stormed the stage at Knotfest in Mexico City after delays to set times, “damaging and destroying” instruments and gear belonging to Slipknot and Evanescence
By Anna Grace on 02 Dec 2019
Live Talent, the promoter of the Mexican edition of Slipknot’s Knotfest, has spoken out after the event descended into “violence” and “vandalism”, sparked by the postponement of performances by Evanescence and Slipknot.
The 50,000-capacity Mexico City edition of Knotfest, Slipknot’s festival brand, took place at the Oceanía Park on Saturday (30 November), with bands including Bullet For My Valentine, Behemoth, Godsmack and Papa Roach. Knotfest has also been held in the US, Japan, Colombia and France, with the inaugural cruise-based version, Slipknot at Sea, taking place next year.
The event was halted around 9 p.m. – before the headline performances of Evanescence and Slipknot – as staff attended to a damaged barricade. According to Live Talent, it was agreed that the two bands would play the following day instead, as part of the promoter’s Force Fest.
However, disturbances broke out in the crowd among fans who were “annoyed by the delay”, with some members of the audience climbing on stage “to destroy and vandalise the instruments of the bands that were still to play”.
“These actions made it impossible to count on the presence of the bands on the Sunday,” explained the promoter in a social media post aiming “to debunk some myths” circulating about the event.
“Live Talent deeply regrets what happened yesterday. Every action was taken to assure the highest level of safety for fans,” writes the promoter. “We want to clarify that, if we took a long time [in fixing the barricade], it was only because we wanted to find a solution to the problem, going above and beyond so that the show could go on.”
“Even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans”
The promoter admits that “perhaps our error, and that of the whole security team” lay in not keeping fans up to date with the situation, explaining that “we were instead engaged in talks to ensure that Slipknot and Evanescence performed the following day”.
The bands have also taken to social media to explain what went on, with Slipknot posting on Sunday: “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Slipknot were not able to perform at last night’s Knotfest. We had hoped to be able to perform today, but regrettably, a situation arose onstage after the cancellation that damaged or destroyed gear that would been necessary to play.
“We are extremely disappointed that we did not get the chance to perform, but the safety of our fans and our community is our biggest priority. We will look to get back to Mexico sometime in the future.”
Evanescence responded by saying that, “even though we are devastated by the destruction of our instruments and gear, we do not see the violent end to last night as a representation of our Mexican fans, or the Mexican people.
“50,000 people were there, and sadly a handful of them turned to anger and violence after the cancellation. You have shown us an incredible amount of love from the very beginning, and we will always come back for you.”
Live Talent’s Force Fest went on as planned on Sunday, although without the scheduled appearance of Phil Anselmo. The number of barricades and security staff “were doubled” following the Knotfest incident.
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