Pepper spray used on teens at all-ages show at Six Flags Over Texas

Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010 12:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Controversy is brewing after fans at Six Flags in Arlington were pepper sprayed during an all-ages concert. The incident happened on Saturday night during a performance by "All Time Low" as part of a traveling multiband performance "The Bamboozle Roadshow." An official statement did admit that force was used to control the crowd.

Read more and see video from KDFW/Dallas-Ft. Worth (contains potentially offensive language).

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1:19 PM

I heard Six Flags is thinking of including this new "pepper-spray experience" as part of the Q-bot upgrade program.....front row seating all the way baby!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1:26 PM

That's what they get for allowing beer sales.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1:42 PM

The people in question were teenagers. How can you blame that on beer sales? I guess it isn't clear in this article. I'm trying to find the artice I read yesterday. But, it said that one of the band members threw their shirt into the crowd and 15 girls began to fight over it.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 7:13 PM
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 1:46 PM

My post was filled with sarcasm so thick, you could spread it like peanut butter.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 6:24 PM

And anyone who curses in front of young teenagers is a douche... Everyone at the concert is at fault in this one.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 6:45 PM

Are you serious? Were you ever a teenager?

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:17 PM

Pretty tough talk from a band whose fans are 14-year old girls.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:34 PM

In my day, somewhere in the early '90s, security at Lakemont Park would just punch the crap out of moshing teenagers, and then drag them away from the show. I know this from experience. When asked why they bloodied my nose, and bruised both of my eyes, the head security guard told me that I looked like the "leader", and that I could have had worse injuries from moshing. Apparently, he's never seen a mosh pit before. he mistook it as unruly behavior.

I got that particular security company back though. I fired them from running security for my punk shows, which provided work for two or more guards, between two and four nights a month. :)

So which would be better? Beating up the teens, or pepper-spraying them?

Edit - About the story, good for All Time Low! They stood up for their fans, and said in the microphone what the kids wanted to say to the park staff.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:42 PM
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12:41 AM

For an interesting contrast to the article's video, here's the course of the show from an ATL fan's perspective. They look like an obnoxious pop punk flavor of the week and they share their fanbase's undeserved sense of entitlement. I have no problem with security's actions here.

Could it have been handled better? Sure, but let's be serious: it's security's job to protect both the band and the audience, and an unruly mob rushing the stage and fighting each other for a chance to grope the band is not a safe situation for anyone involved. No part of the ticket that anyone bought to the show granted them the right to break the venue's rules and security's repeated warnings and rush the stage, and if they're willing to ignore that, they should be willing to accept the consequences. Honestly, the sense of tweenage "mommy and daddy aren't around so I can do whatever the f^&* I want" oozing from that video makes me wish I had been the cop behind the mace can.

- Bill (who despite the above comments, thinks the mosh pit at your favorite rock show is a preferable location to front row on 99% of all coasters)

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12:45 AM
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 10:07 AM

"...makes me wish I had been the cop behind the mace can."


Seriously?

Bill, remind me not to sell you a ticket to any of MY shows. Teens can be annoying sometimes, but I respect them and the music that they enjoy. Good for the band standing up to SF on behalf of their fans.

I'm surprised that this isn't being considered child abuse.

Edit - It's a bummer that copy and paste never shows up in the post.

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 10:09 AM
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:02 AM

Jeff said:
Are you serious? Were you ever a teenager?

At the age of 14 people still got detention if they swore... >.>

Now its to the point where 5-6 year olds starting to say the magical words of Fu U...

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:21 AM

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that had Security just done nothing and a band member actually been "hurt", the band would have been all over Six Flags for not protecting them.

All ages show or not (which I find funny that they keep harping on), when a crowd rushes the stage and your job is to protect the stage, you protect it the best you can. Is that with pepper spray or just bodily force? I got from the article that it was only one guy (off duty cop) who used the pepper spray, not the entire Six Flags staff who was there. I saw the video and I will say that it would have been chaos to try and control a situation like that. I have been in the front row before at concerts like this (Metro Station, the Veronicas, etc) as a photographer (not a fan!) and I can say its pretty nuts with all of their fans. In fact while I would be at the front shooting pictures, I would often wonder what would happen if the crowd decided to just jump the 4 foot stage.

Whether it was right or not, what do you do in a situation like that?

LostKause said:
Teens can be annoying sometimes, but I respect them and the music that they enjoy.

I can agree and get behind this 100% but I do not consider what was in the video to be annoying teens. Regardless of their age, a large amount of them rushed the stage which could have resulted in something a lot worse. Have you ever seen teens like this at one of these concerts? They are insane! The first thing I think of is the smaller people being trampled by all of these girls trying to get up on stage to touch a band member. I know that when I am front row at a Metallica concert and a guy in the mosh behind me falls down, the mosh stops and picks him back up. If some little girl had fallen in that crowd, I doubt anyone would have noticed.

I am not saying it was right or wrong to use pepper spray, I am just asking what else would you have done if you were security. Pepper spray is not that bad anyways. Its better than the alternative that cops have; the Police baton. Id rather take the pepper spray over a beating. :)

Last edited by 99er, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:32 AM
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 11:28 AM

sealedseven said:
Now its to the point where 5-6 year olds starting to say the magical words of Fu U...

I know, and I think it's awesome. :)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 12:36 PM

Waiting for Gonch to chime in on children and swearing...

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:13 PM

I agree with 99er. I would not want to be hit with Pepper Spray. But, given the choice between that, a baton beating, being teased, or gassed, I would probably go with the spray. But, that's just an assumption. Because, I have never experienced any of them.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:13 PM

Good for the band standing up to SF on behalf of their fans.

I'm surprised that this isn't being considered child abuse..

I'm not? While it's unfortunate that someone got maced, I fail to see how the "victim" being sub-18 makes them deserving of any sort of special treatment, especially when in my mind they share just as much blame as the cop (rent-a or otherwise). They were in a private venue at a private function and whether they're aware of it or not, they absolutely fall under the venue's rules the moment they walk in. Willful disobedience of those rules brought consequences, and I don't see how that's bad. Plus, if the "victims" had been adults bum rushing the stage at a concert, they'd have had their asses beaten (and I've seen it happen) and you probably wouldn't have heard anything about it. Happens all the time.

I'm in a band and encourage audience participation as much as the next guy, but you have to respect the venue and its rules. Look at it from security's point of view: when presented with someone bum rushing the stage and sprinting towards the lead singer you've been hired to protect, do you A) tackle the idiot (I would say the common choice), B) realize that the idiot is actually a mob of 15 year olds and go with a nonviolent method of subduing them since A) very possibly is actually child abuse, or C) let them go and potentially get fired for failing to do your job. From a purely logical perspective, I choose B; I go with the mace.

And I completely fail to see anything noble in the band's actions, from encouraging fans to ignore security to further inciting the crowd after the mace incident. If they wanted to allow fans on the stage, they should have worked that out with the venue beforehand (watching them onstage, it looks like it's something of a common occurence at their shows). I spent two years working with and chairing the entertainment/concert booking commitee at my university and that's just how it's done. Case in point, we booked Girl Talk and knew (and made sure security knew) going into it that the stage would be filled with people for the course of the show. If that hadn't been OK at our venue, we wouldn't have booked the artist unless they agreed to tighter security. If there was a disconnect to that effect in this event(and it appears that there was), if anyone's at fault it's the band's & venue's management.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Wednesday, June 2, 2010 1:16 PM
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:17 PM

So, did you guys read the 15 pages of comments in the response area of the YouTube video that Bill linked to? Some of you are ok with this behavior?

I'm no uptight goody-two-shoes, but really? Are these kids serious in thinking that the security/police are the root of their/society's problem? I think they have that completely back-asswards.

Give me the pepper spray, I have no issue pulling that trigger. (insert angry derogatory cuss word here)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 4:17 PM

I'll say it again, I think some of you forget what it's like to be a teenager. Kids don't like to be told what to do by The Man, and I haven't seen anything described that seems like abnormal or even dangerous behavior at the show. Kids are jumping up and down and pushing and shoving up at the stage? Really? I've experienced that at a Depeche Mode concert, and you don't get more benign than that.

My question is, why were kids on stage? If the band invited them on stage, then they're the ones who are responsible for anything getting out of control. That's just concert protocol... you don't let people up there en masse like that.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010 4:55 PM

I think the video indicated why the kids were on stage. They determined that security sucked because a couple of other kids were able to get on stage before being escorted off, so they all decided to rush the stage to make some kind of point at the end of the concert.

It looks clear to me they knew they weren't supposed to be up there and chose to do it anyway. What else is security supposed to do to regain order? And what happens if they don't do anything and someone gets injured by the rush on stage? Who would be at fault then?

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