Bloc Party set cut short by production smoke

CORRECTIONS @ 14 Oct 11.36: Headline changed to reflect the updated statement from the Engine Shed (update 3) and video removed at the request of the venue.

bloc-party
Bloc Party lead singer Kele Okereke performing. Photo: Emma Svensson

Bloc Party’s gig at the Engine Shed on Monday was marred by a fire alarm, which prevented the band from playing the last song of their set.

Just as the band were approaching the end the show at about 10.40pm, their tour manager came on stage to the sound of fire alarms ringing around the building.

Kele Okereke, singer and guitarist, left it to his manager to tell the audience that they all had to leave the building.

Two fire engines greeted around 1,500 people leaving the building through various exits, as the confused and irritated band members remained on stage.

Two concert-goers, who left the building via a side exit, took a fire extinguisher and set it off amongst a crowd. Following some confusion, a bouncer restrained a man who had become caught up in the commotion, but the crowd outside then identified one of the real culprits, who was subsequently apprehended.

Some staff were telling attendees that they may be allowed back into the building to see the end of the gig. However, one member of staff eventually told the crowd, which had gathered outside the entrance, that the show was finished, and only those who had to collect coats from the cloakroom would be allowed to re-enter.

Marianne Marshall, a spokeswoman for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue were called out to the Engine Shed at 2236 last night. Two [fire engines] attended… to reports of the fire alarm going off. The cause… was an unknown fault in the system.”

UPDATE at 11.48:

A concert-goer managed to capture the event on video.

[Video removed at the request of the Engine Shed as it “displays of the bands image without their permission could affect the reputation of the venue and the University”]

UPDATE at 14.45:

Pete Hill, Bloc Party’s tour manager, said: “We had no option but to evacuate the building and wait for the all clear by the fire brigade…The band were a bit dazed by the whole process as it was all very abrupt and they were stopped in full stride. Hence the band never really got the chance to apologise to the audience or thank them properly for making it a great show.”

UPDATE at 21.20:

The Engine Shed also replied to The Linc‘s call for a statement:

“A smoke alarm was triggered during Bloc Party’s final song at the Engine Shed last night, and the venue was evacuated in line with fire procedures. Investigation revealed that, unusually, production smoke had caused the alarm to sound.”

Engine Shed Front of House Manager, Richard Herrett, said: “Although it is disappointing that the gig had to finish a few minutes early, safety of everyone in the venue is our priority. The evacuation went smoothly and people were generally accepting of the situation.”

7 Responses to Bloc Party set cut short by production smoke

  1. Nick Jackson says:

    It’s always the tour/stage manager’s job to tell the audience what to do in an emergency.

  2. Dave says:

    “an unknown fault in the sys­tem”

    You have to wonder what that was, and who should take the blame.

  3. Nick Jackson says:

    I’ll hazard a guess at “Someone forgot to turn off the smoke detectors before the gig”.

  4. Gemma says:

    Bloc Party was amazing, I was at the concert and was blown away with how great they were. We couldn’t believe it when the fire alarms went off and we had to evacuate. My only problem and irritation was with the Engine Shed. No one would tell us what was happening once we were evacuated.

    The majority of us waited for about half an hour for no one to tell us they weren’t coming back on. It was ridiculous that the staff had no idea what was happening even after the fire engine had gone and it became obvious they weren’t coming back on. It wouldn’t have taken much to just say “thats it” rather than have the fans stand out freezing in the cold for that long.

  5. If only it was a Silent Alarm!!

  6. Emma Louise says:

    2nd to last song; Ares
    WE DANCE TO THE SOUND OF SIRENS.
    Quite literally.

  7. Charlotte Young says:

    I would like to know if fans are entitled to any compensation for the gig being cut short?