Flow to investigate assault by security on performer
The organisers of Helsinki’s Flow Festival have promised that “everything will be investigated” after a performer was assaulted and ejected from the festival by security staff in the early hours of Sunday morning.
According to eyewitnesses, Russian DJ Inga Mauer was violently attacked by security, with another artist, Marie Davidson, describing on Facebook how she “witnessed a bunch of security guys hold a girl [Mauer] on the ground while she was screaming”.
“As I approached to try to help, I found out that this girl was actually my friend Inga Mauer, an artist who had played a killer set only two hours before,” Davidson explains. “She said they violently dragged her out of the festival area because she refused to leave right away. I tried to interfere and explain that I knew her and that I wanted to help her calm down because she was extremely confused and scared. As a result, we got both put aside, in a corner, isolated from the rest of the crowd. I tried to reach out to my friend but they wouldn’t let me touch her.”
According to both Davidson and Flow’s promoters, Mauer, who played the festival on Saturday, was then arrested by local police and spent the night in prison. “I begged them to let me go with her because she was crying and very scared, she was bleeding from her knee and was in shock,” Davidson continues. “I just said, ‘Please, let me stay with her.’ Two security guys took me by the arms and threw me out in the street out of the festival zone. I told them I needed to at least be in touch with someone because I had no internet [and] no driver, and no taxis were taking people to any place at this hour. They laughed and said, ‘Go [and] figure it out’, and then closed the fence, leaving me in a totally unknown place without any way of reaching out for help.
“I had to ask strangers in the street to help me find a taxi to my hotel. About an hour after, I was back to my room, learning that my friend would spend the night in jail, to be released in the morning.”
“Compensation for the victims must follow, and nothing similar can never ever happen again”
In a statement shared with IQ, Flow Festival promoters promise a full investigation into the incident, including “serious discussions” with Local Crew Oy, the company responsible for festival security, and compensation for Mauer. It reads:
We, the three partners of Flow Festival, Suvi Kallio, Tuomas Kallio and Toni Rantanen, are still at a loss for words and very sad about the episode that happened at the Flow Festival area early Sunday morning. Inga Mauer and Marie Davidson are artists and lovely friends who Toni Rantanen booked to perform at the festival. It came to our knowledge that members of the security staff had used violence against Inga Mauer. Marie Davidson, who approached to try to help her, was inappropriately thrown out of the festival area. Even the police who came to sort out the situation acted threateningly and refused to give us any information after taking Inga Mauer to jail overnight.
Flow Festival does not approve the use of violence and we were shocked and very sad to hear this. We are truly sorry for what Inga Mauer and Marie Davidson had to go through.
Luckily we have video, photos and eyewitnesses. As festival organisers, we take responsibility of this incident and will make sure everything will be investigated and taken care of properly. Serious discussions are underway with our lawyers and the subcontractor, Local Crew Oy, that was responsible for Flow Festival’s 2017 security. Compensation for the victims must follow and something similar can never ever happen again. The security company has been a trusted subcontractor for many years but now they have failed to do their job in the right manner.
An estimated 75,000 people attended Flow Festival 2017, which was headlined by Lana Del Rey, The xx and Frank Ocean.
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