Why Did Fans Riot At Canceled Drake Concert In NYC?

Concert fan behavior continues to fascinate me. And though yesterday’s riot after the canceled Drake concert in NYC is nothing to be proud of for any concert fan, it’s still yet other curious case of concert fans gone wild that we’re more than happy to examine.

Live music can bring out both the best and worst in human behavior. And when concert fans don’t get what they came for, they can go nuts and do some pretty silly things.

Judging by the initial reports, the Drake concert at South Street Seaport in NYC was canceled due to overcrowding. And once the cancellation was announced a few fans began rioting which created a bigger scene of unruliness and pandemonium.

The purpose of the South Street Seaport concert was to promote Drake’s new album Thank Me Later. Traditionally these types of free promotional concerts are a great way to get fans excited about the new music and let the citizens enjoy a fun show courtesy of the city or radio station that’s putting it on. Chicago does them all the time with its Downtown Sound series.

But when I read the reports and watched the videos, it looks like things got nasty really quick due to poor security planning and not being aware of how many Drake fans would actually show up — which is really hard to believe considering how popular Drake’s become over the last year.


Since our original post some more info has been made available about the details of the Drake concert.

Here goes:

MOG Music News says that:

First off, 25,000 people showed up, exceeding the expected 4,000-10,000 attendance. Oh, did we mention Hanson was on the bill too? Due to the false reports of attendance size there were only 19 NYPD cops on hand to keep the crowd from getting out of hand.

Drake was also running 90 minutes late to the scheduled performance. It was reported that bottles were allegedly broken over people’s heads, chairs were thrown, and mayhem ensued. Out of all the people, there were 2 arrested and 7 injured.

Brooklyn Vegan says that:

…the NYPD Commissioner has stated: “We’re taking a hard look at it ourselves to see what the appropriate mechanisms or configuration of that area should be. We want to look at how this particular event was promoted. We want to learn from this.”

So What Makes Concert Fans Riot?

Naturally that’s a question that always gets asked in situations like Drake’s. But it’s not just a case of crazy hip hop fans. Because I remember reading about that even fans of teen pop star Justin Beiber created riotous conditions in Australia and Long Island not to long ago.

There’s no way we can give this topic justice in just one post.

But I will say this.

Regardless of the type of music they like, demographic or social class, concerts fans all have the power within us to go freakin’ nuts at any given moment. Put us in the right situation and with the right set of variables and a riot can ensue anywhere, at any concert.

And if I was to pick a common denominator off the top of my head, I would say that human emotion and impulse control (or lack there of ) go hand-in-hand when it comes to understanding why some concert fans riot.

And I also think that we can all agree that concert fan emotions are nothing to mess with, especially when fans don’t get what they came for.  All this considered, it sounds like the Drake concert was just a riot waiting to happen.

So since we love covering, talking about and examining riotous concert fan behavior here on Live Fix, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on this Drake NYC story and see if anything new gets reported in the coming days.

Until then I wanted to share with you a couple of concert riot-related links to stories we covered before.

How To Photograph A Riot

In this interview we spoke with a fellow live music fan and concert photographer who photographed a riot that broke out when New York rapper Necro failed to show up to his concert last year.

What’s Making Fans Riot at Metallica Concerts?

Ealier this year not one, but two riots happened at Metallica concerts in South America. And we decided to ask a few probing questions.

Does Drake Feel Any Pain When His Fans Riot?

We also know that Drake is no stranger to concert drama. And we know how he responds when he experiences pain during a concert.  But what about when he sees his fans in pain at concerts? And has he ever rioted at a concert before?

Yes, I read the press statement he gave when he found out about the NYC riot.

But ya know what?

I’d like to know what really goes through Drake‘s mind when he sees his fans riot. Because it seems that he made off pretty good with a little extra push in the press department on the release day of his new album and he didn’t even have to do the show.

What say you?

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