Macaulay Culkin's band were forced off the stage in Nottingham after facing a disgruntled crowd. But which bands in music history have suffered worse fate at the hands of displeased crowds?
Macaulay Culkin and his pizza-themed Velvet Underground cover band, the imaginatively named The Pizza Underground, suffered the chagrin of a disgruntled crown in Nottingham during the city’s annual Dot To Dot festival. Culkin, who was by this point half-way through a European tour, beat a hasty retreat from the stage after being drenched with beer.
Macaulay isn't the first star to feel the audience's ire.
It proved, that in this age of disconnect, where audience members can turn to the comforts of smart phones during lacklustre gigs, music fans are still eager to openly voice their displeasure. Only a few days later, Culkin announced the cancellation of the remaining tour dates. He has not openly cited the event as the primary motivation for such a cancellation, but it seems all too obvious that the hostile reception he received had severely impacted the decision. Macaulay is far from being the first to suffer the wrath of an embittered crowd and few are safe from the ramifications of a poor or ill-judged performance. Here are ten examples of performers receiving a severe dressing down from irate audiences:
50 Cent only stayed onstage so he could be paid in full
Swanning onstage to the sounds of gunshot sound effects and blaring police sirens, 50 Cent’s ego would take a pounding from a hail of urine-filled bottles, general festival detritus and at one point, a deck chair. The barrage was initially relentless, only dying down due to a lack of ammunition, but the damage had been done to the New York rapper. It was 2004, and Fiddy was at the height of his popularity following the release of 2003’s monumental Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, but it seems the rapper’s gangsterisms didn’t sit well with the Sunday night Reading crowd. 50 lasted only 20 minutes, barely past the length of the set required to play for him to receive full payment for his appearance. Reading crowds have traditionally been hugely receptive of hip-hop groups, from Jurassic 5 to Cyprus Hill, but the Cent’s monstrous ego was unsuited to the tone of the festival. Needless to say, he won’t be returning to the Berkshire event anytime soon.
Steel Pulse At Reading Festival 1983
Far from the first time a reggae act has suffered abuse from a Reading crowd more used to punk and rock acts, Birmingham’s Steel Pulse were subject to such a barrage of bottles from a biker element in the crowd that they decided to slink off before completing a single song. It was perhaps due to poor scheduling that the reggae band received such a torrid reception, as they faced off against a traditionally frenzied crowd eagerly awaiting the headlining slot of The Stranglers. The reggae troupe knew better than to take abuse from a vast expanse of boozed-up punks and made a sensibly brief exit. It is commonly regarded as the single most aggressive bottling of a band in Reading’s illustrious history and long-standing tradition of audience members physically addressing their displeasure with the performers by the act of lobbing projectiles.
Daphne And Celeste At Reading Festival 2000
Yet another vicious attack by the restless Reading audience were directed at pop duo Daphne & Celeste in perhaps the most odd and provocative booking in the events history. Placing the pair responsible for the likes of “Ooh Stick You” and “U.G.L.Y” anywhere near the festival site was never a particularly good idea but placing them on a bill in which they were sandwiched between metal legends Slayer and rap-metal noiseniks Rage Against The Machine was another thing entirely. As soon as the duo stepped out into the audience’s vision, the sky was blackened with an array of projectiles, and the pair retreated to the back of the stage to perform just two songs to a backing track before beating a hasty retreat.
Green Day At Woodstock 1994
Woodstock 94' helped cement the bands reputation as troublesome punks.
After several days of rainfall, the 1994 Woodstock site was a veritable swamp, leading to the festival being nicknamed ‘Mudstock 94’. Conducted live on television, Green Day’s set ended in a full-on mud fight between Billie Joe Armstrong and the crowd, who were already caked in mud before the punk band’s set commenced. The show ended in a near riot, as Billie Joe pulled his pants down onstage and directed a slew of obscenities at the mud-covered human diaspora. Bassist Mike Dirnt was mistook for a psychotic fan by a security guard, and would leave the festival minus two front teeth. Meanwhile, the band’s equipment was peppered with dirt yet the calamitous event only boosted Green Day’s profile, driving their album Dookie up the charts and instilling the band as masters of infamy.
My Chemical Romance At Reading 2006 and Download 2007
My Chemical Romance would prove their naysayers wrong and successfully headline Reading in 2011.
As the emo craze reached its apex, My Chemical Romance were seen as the flag-wavers for the genre’s black-clad followers. 2006 would see Reading become a battle-ground as a large section of the audience showed their displeasure toward the towering emo zeitgeist. Despite a healthy number of supporters singing along not only to every lyric, but also every guitar part, an equally numerous contingent made it their duty to rid the mainstage of the emo warriors, attempting to bottle the band into the ground. Similar fate befell them at Download the following year and although the barrage was less intense than Reading the year before, there were even reports of knives and raw meat being aimed at the stage. Nevertheless, MCR successfully overcame the abuse and would triumphantly headline Reading in 2011 to much acclaim.