The recent uptick in audience members throwing items — and themselves — onstage at concerts is a major concern for performers.
Cell phones, friendship bracelets, sex toys…No, these aren’t top answers on Family Feud for, Name something you keep on you at all times – they’re just a small selection of items thrown on stage by audience members while concerts are in progress. A string of dangerous attacks on performers on stage has prompted numerous reactions, the majority of which are begging crowds to, you know, maybe not throw things at the person you just dropped $200 (not including fees…) to see.
Over just the past few weeks, the trend has impacted the likes of Bebe Rexha, Drake, Lil Nas X, and Pink, who have all had items thrown at them by audience members while performing concerts. Sure, there’s the old trope of chucking tomatoes – going back to the 19th century, when dissatisfied audiences would pelt tomatoes at the performers – but the frequency and intensity is troubling. Not only is it disrupting shows (Pink had ashes tossed on the stage in June) but it’s causing actual injuries (Bebe Rexha needed stitches after a phone struck her, which the guy did because he thought it would be “funny”).
But it’s not just phones and sex toys hitting the stage at concerts – it’s actual audience members. In one instance from June, a “fan” stormed the stage as singer Ava Max performed. The VMA nominee recalled that the man “slapped me so hard that he scratched the inside of my eye.” While it occurred under very different circumstances, one can easily conjure up the image of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last year – and not immediately being punished for it. Some justly feared this would normalize such behavior; less than two months later, comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage.
Obviously this is a trend that needs to be stopped, as performers shouldn’t have to worry about an idiot audience throwing kiwis (see: Style, Harry) or hands during a concert. Some have even taken to warning their fans as Adele recently did, telling her audience, “Have you noticed how people are forgetting f*cking show etiquette at the moment and just throwing sh*t on stage? Have you seen that? I f*ing dare you, I dare you throw something at me, I’ll f*ing kill you.” Rumor has it you better just sit down and watch the show…
Do you think throwing items at performers on stage has come to be expected? Does audience behavior influence whether you attend a concert or not? Give us your take on the situation in the comments section below.