During 1988’s Reading Festival, cheese-rock crooner Meat Loaf and country-pop charter Bonnie Tyler both suffered torrential storms of plastic bottles, launched at them by audience members unhappy these artists were included on the event’s traditionally more-alternative bill.
Bottling artists which “do not belong” has become an almost yearly ritual at Reading Festival ever since with artists such as 50 Cent, My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, Bring me the Horizon, The FF’s and The Rasmus suffering the same fate in recent years.
Reading is not the only festival in which audiences have pelted unwelcome musicians with various items however, as the following list will show (though as you will notice; two Reading Festival incidents have made the cut).
Here – in ascending order – are what I consider to be the five most amusing incidents of audiences declaring war against live bands:
#5: Stick You Daphne (and Celeste!)
But how did such an act end up on Reading’s bill?
Well apparently the pair begged the event’s organisers for an invite in the wake of rumours that rapper Eminem would be giving a headline performance. 8 Mile’s finest later pulled out and D&C apparently tried to do the same but the event’s organisers were having none of it.
Those with tickets to the festival were proudly declaring their plans to attack the pop tarts during their set months before and so I can only assume the organisers quite fancied the media attention that surrounded the inevitable bottling.
#4: Kings of Pigeon
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 2010
It’s not always human audience members that take a disliking to a band or artist – in 2010 a flock of birds took particular offense to the Grammy-nominated American rock band Kings of Leon.
The Oklahoma/Tennessee outfit were halfway through their third song when they began to feel fowl droppings fall upon their heads (and in some cases, in their mouths). Blink and you’ll miss it but at 1 minute and 12 seconds into the video below you will see drummer Ivan Followill wipe the nasty stuff off his face and by the close of the song, his brother and vocalist Anthony Followill can be seen wiping the substance from his own face:
The band later told the music press they were forced to leave the stage for health reasons (ingesting poop isn’t the best thing for you, apparently) and for purposes of safety, worried that their equipment would become damaged, despite likely having extensive music guard insurance.
#3: Panic at the Festival!
Reading Festival, 2006
The contemporary emo scene was at its height of popularity in 2006 and so it is hardly surprising that wordsmith disco-poppers Panic! at the Disco were included on Reading Festival’s line up. Many people were unhappy about this though and so decided the Nevada group should receive a good bottling.
P@TD had been on stage for a matter of seconds before one missile struck singer Brendon Urie in the side of the head, instantly knocking him unconscious on the floor. The following footage (which I find highly amusing – look how he falls like a bulleted deer!) has become a bit of a sensation and has had over 1 million views to date:
I can’t quite decide whether Urie deserves our kudos for getting up and continuing with the set after blacking out for a few seconds, or a mocking for being taken down by a mere Evian bottle.
#2: A Brown Day for Green Day
Shortly after their breakthrough album ‘Dookie’ was released to the masses in 1994, punk trio Green Day were invited to play a set at the legendary Woodstock festival. Due to the heavens pouring for the entire first day of the event, much of the entire field had been rendered mud and it was not long until the wet dirt was being pelted at the now-renowned pop-punkers.
Whether the mud was being thrown because of the bands’ new found mainstream (read as sell out) success or simply because the crowd could do so is unclear but singer Billie Joe Armstrong definitely encouraged the masses by confidently flinging that which accumulated on the stage right back at them:
Bassist Mike Dirnt was unfortunate enough to have several teeth knocked out by a security guard who wrongly thought he was one of the audience members who invaded the stage by the close of the band’s set.
#1: Nickleback’s Rocky Start
Ilha do Ermal Festival, 2002
Mainstream (and arguably; piss poor) rock band Nickleback only played one-and-a-half songs before leaving the stage at 2002’s metal-orientated Ilha do Ermal festival in Portugal. Not only were the quartet bottled but many in attendance decided to throw rocks at the Canadian outfit also.
Despite neither of the materials actually hitting members of the band or their equipment, Nickleback – or rather, front man Chad Kroeger – decided they had had enough. Chad was first to quit the set but not before asking if any Nickleback fans were in attendance (to a resounding “NO!”) and then giving the middle finger salute.
The band later cited “safety concerns” for not pushing through their set, despite the issue obviously being a matter of overinflated ego.
Grow the bloody hell up, Chad. It’s not Portugal’s fault that you suck.
What do you think of my top five? Did I forget to include a particularly funny pelting incident? If so, be sure to give me a good telling off in the comments below.
You can follow the author of this guest post – Kat Cole – on Twitter @DeadBoomerang.