A reporter was assaulted by security for sound recording Foo Fighters at the Ansan M. Valley Rock Festival on Saturday night amid claims by others that poor event management resulted in “the worst concert ever.”
The reporter, who wishes to remain anonymous, works for a mainstream Korean broadcaster and was in the press zone of the Ansan M. Valley Rock Festival with a media pass.
According to eyewitness and associate “Todd,” the reporter leaned up against the crowd-fence and was recording the crowd and bands.
“I had already received the okay from the Korean security guards and have been standing there and recording for like half an hour or more,” the reporter said.
About five songs into the Foo Fighter’s set a large American security guard approached them in an aggressive manner and asked why they were recording.
“He also said that we had been doing something similar all night with other bands and Korean security did nothing to stop us,” Todd said.
The reporter explained that he is a journalist recording sound, that he’d been recording several bands during the day from the same spot, and would delete the Foo Fighters recordings if they preferred.
Foo Fighter’s security would not accept this.
“He calls over another huge security guard and they physically grab him and shuffle him off behind a gate. I’m following,” Todd said. “They take him to a little trailer-tent and they call out another huge guy who adamantly demands that he gives up the recorder.”
The reporter said that huge guy is the manager.
“He told me I was a f*%^ing idiot and said I had to give him my audio recorder,” the reporter said. “I told them it was expensive and I needed the audio for my report. The two bouncers who had been holding me the entire time starting squeezing my hands and my fingers. The whole time I was screaming for someone to help me and that I was a reporter.”
The reporter said he thought they were going to beat him up.
After pleading with the manager, he agreed to give back the recorder but kept the memory card, which contained all of the days recordings.
“They took our wristbands and said we had to leave,” Todd said. “Korean security then escorted us out without laying a hand on us, and we walked to the main road where we went home.”
The reporter has bruises on his biceps and sore tendons from being restrained and manipulated by security.
“I’ve been cautioned against going to the police because I’m a foreigner and there have been numerous cases where situations haven’t worked out well for aliens,” the reporter said.
Foo Fighters PR did not reply prior to publication.
In another incident at the Ansan Rock Festival a famous Korean rock band wanted to partake in the Motorhead mosh pit as fans. The crowd insisted the main singer of Jang Kiha crowd-surf over the mosh pit despite the event organisers “No Moshing” rule, which security tried to aggressively enforce.
The Jang Kiha singer was put in a choker hold by security and a fan tried to interject.
“This is a rock concert and rock is what we will do,” the fan told security.
A witness at the event said security grabbed the Jang Kiha fan and took him away.
This fan claimed on Facebook later to have suffered an orbital fracture after being restrained and allegedly “beaten by security.”
He claims to have bone fragments around his optic nerve and is now at risk of blindness.
CJ E&M, who hosted the event, told local reporters they did not receive a call from the person making the claim.
Some who attended the Ansan M. Valley Rock Festival have labelled the event “the worst concert ever.”
The crowd who watched Twenty-One Pilots perform called for an encore but CJ E&M were playing advertisements. There was no encore.
“The band members came out again to sing, but they didn’t stop the advertisement (of course). Band members looked at the staff in confusion, and the staff called them back in. So probably miscommunication between stage staff but it’s disrespectful for the band. I think that’s why fans are upset,” a bilingual concert-goer said.
Bus drivers to and from the event were criticised for being late, disorganised, consistently dropping people at the wrong places, and telling concert-goers wrong information.
A driver reportedly got lost with a bus full of people and had to pull over and ask for directions. The bus battery then died so there was no AC and concert-goers were sitting in mud filled seats.
Others claimed there were not enough urinals.
Many said they enjoyed the concert and the line up of bands.
CJ E&M did not respond prior to publication.