Steve Aoki fans crushed during barricade collapse at Epic

Categories: Nightlife
Steve_Aoki_Crowd_Anna_Gulbrandsen.jpg
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

By Matt Scott

Update: Promoter Jack Trash has responded to the incident.

I've been raging my face off at EDM shows for the past four years, and I can say without a doubt that Steve Aoki this past Saturday was the most reckless situation I've yet to experience.

Don't get me wrong -- the show was on legendary levels of awesome. From cannons of confetti to getting blasted in the face by flying cake, the Aokify America Tour (review here) was worth every bruise and every penny. That being said, I'm concerned about the future of EDM here in Minneapolis if event organizers and club owners host nights that get out of control in the way that Saturday did.

See Also: Shooting during Yo Gotti concert at Epic leaves one dead


The crowd was a swollen mass of rage. Before the show even started, we were all battling for space to gasp for a breath of air before being crushed to the point of nearly passing out. A random clan of us guys had to momentarily surround a group of girls to protect them from the crowd's rib-shattering pressure. Steve Aoki didn't even get through his FIRST track before the fans busted the barricade to the stage. Security cut the music for like five minutes to fix the problem.

His set felt like a two-hour goal line stance with everyone pushing and shoving for their lives. At one point the crowd made a huge lunge forward and tons of people were slammed to the floor. I landed right above a girl whose leg was pinned underneath a pile of people and she screamed in agony. I honestly felt like a first responder when I told her everything would be okay and to just relax while I tried prying her leg out.

In Jack Spencer's review of the night, he noted:

Quickly after Steve Aoki arose from behind his glowing stage playing "No Beef," wearing a vest illuminated by colored lights, the music suddenly stopped. Security flooded the front stage as staff attempted to repair a barricade that had been broken thanks to a barrage of unruly fans.

"Epic Nightclub, you need to invest in a better barricade!" said Aoki amidst the atypical backdrop of silence. "You guys gotta be careful. Let them fix the barricades so I can play music again!"

City Pages photographer Anna Gulbrandsen was at the front of the stage at this point:

The photo pit remained intact for Waka Flocka (although we were only allowed in there for the first song, he spent most of his short set rapping from in the crowd), but by the time I went back up there for Aoki the people in the front row were visibly uncomfortable from the sold-out crowd pushing forward. Seconds after Aoki began his set, the barricade was pushed entirely forward until it was angled against the stage, with the crowd in the front spilling forward.

The bouncers were trying to push it back upright, but the photographers were all in a panic trying to jump out of the way and on stage. It happened too fast and I ended up stuck down there with not enough room to pull myself on stage. Security and other photographers were yelling, "Pull her up, pull her up!" as the barricade kind of had me pinned against stage. I considered ducking down underneath, but eventually we made enough room and I was able to sneak up and out of there. Photographers, bouncers, and some in the front row ended up toppling forward on to the stage. Aoki stopped his set after the first song and pleaded with the crowd to take a few steps back and help out anyone who had fallen. Not sure if anyone was seriously injured -- I was the only one stuck and I just have a nasty bruise today, luckily nothing else. The security used their legs to brace the barricade back upright after that. Pretty effing crazy!

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54 comments
Jack Skagnetti
Jack Skagnetti

Listen, guys, the writer has been listening to EDM and going to EDM shows for 4 years, he obviously knows what he's talking about! He knows every kind of dubstep there is, so don't you give him a hard time! Rage on, good sir!

djskagnetti
djskagnetti

Listen, guys, the writer has been listening to EDM and going to EDM shows for 4 years, he obviously knows what he's talking about!  He knows every kind of dubstep there is, so don't you give him a hard time!  Rage on, good sir!

nrupar1
nrupar1

Where any bros harmed?  Are the bros ok? 

Michael J. Kraemer
Michael J. Kraemer

Pretty sure Steve Aoki said "Lets get this shit fixed so I can play my Fucking Music!"

Hanna Brolander
Hanna Brolander

Because these people don't have the common decency to not kill each other for a few inches of space.

dr.quinn
dr.quinn

Who is Steve Aoki..... Never mind, I don't care.

rjcool1234
rjcool1234

I don't really get why you need to be close at an EDM show, especially at a place that is the size of the EPIC, it wasn't like an arena or anything.

Also, nobody bitches about this shit at rock shows. Being pushed is part of the concert experience, if you can't handle it then going to shows is not for you. Although the barricade breaking is fucked up, I can't argue with that.

Dave Kragness
Dave Kragness

I'm sure the sound system in Epic is loud enough to reach the back of the room. Why the need to crush? You want to get onstage? Become a performer!

Joe Winterer
Joe Winterer

Hey wasn't someone murdered there last weekend? Yeah, great place to see a show, or get killed. Either one.

ckelly0729
ckelly0729

Signs you are a moron: 

1. You went to Epic and was surprised the staff were a bunch of dicks.

2. You are surprised a SIM show was completely oversold.

3. You paid $40 to see Steve Aoki.

4. This article. 

Chris Welton
Chris Welton

It's funny hearing an EDM fan try to justify their music. The statement "you just haven't listened to it on..." Is always brought up

Rachel Weiss
Rachel Weiss

Hopefully soon! Unfortunately the one that brought all the problems there has once again cheated the system .

Caitlyn Meyer
Caitlyn Meyer

"It's disappointing because EDM shows are an awesome alternative to the lamestream entertainment saturating the Twin Cities" ??? What a joke! I not going to reap people on their tastes, but that statement was a knee slap.

Mary Karius
Mary Karius

dang! i"m almost 50 just started liking EDM (didn't know what that was until today) and NOW it's lame? miss that fucking boat again I see

Brian Johnston
Brian Johnston

ill be at your house playing with your star wars toys and baseball cards while you eat lunchables like the man-child you are Stuttering John

slats13
slats13

people rushing the stage for a dj, really.

Stuttering John
Stuttering John

If they shut epic down what all the testicle fiending security do for work? TSA?

Stuttering John
Stuttering John

Sim was all like violence doesn't happen at our events

Kinnell Tackett
Kinnell Tackett

I heard the same thing in my head while reading the article Blaine Cook. I'm glad I'm not the only one :)

jreal411
jreal411

The WORST music i have ever heard. With collaborators like LMFAO and other "party music" artists, these creators of "EDM" music are the lowest of the low on the musician scale.  Lets allow these young people that dress up like fools when they attend  EDM "concerts" and have this music as their own.  Epic is the PERFECT place for this to happen. Shitty venue for shitty music. The local scene here has always been unique and wonderful. This "EDM" shit will eventually die underground just like rave/techno did in the 90's and real music will live on. .

Blaine Cook
Blaine Cook

Should have hired Bob Weir to play everyone's favorite game "take a step back"

Nick Merchant
Nick Merchant

I miss when we just called it dance music and people actually danced instead of moshing. Real house and techno will never die, this Steve Aoki and Boregore crap is a whole different scene and thing. It sucks this is what people think about when the word edm gets tossed around.

Adam Mikelson
Adam Mikelson

Steve Aoki is about as "lamestream" as it gets. Sounds like an awful show to be at.

Joe Finnegan
Joe Finnegan

Lol electronic dance music and you'll be fine without knowing

Peter Krueger
Peter Krueger

Can I be the lame 35-year-old in the room for a second? What is "EDM" and should I know who Steve Aoki is??

Joe Finnegan
Joe Finnegan

And that would be on the FIRE INSPECTOR and the city to determine the capacity of the venue it is not inherently a businesses responsibility to sell itself short for no regulatory reason

Joe Finnegan
Joe Finnegan

The girl who makes pizzas in Fridley for a living should lead the charge to have a nightlife venue in downtown Minneapolis closed. She's a good indicator about how much these people crying for epic to be summarily executed actually understand about the situation or even venue management and show dynamics

Justin Squeaks Lang
Justin Squeaks Lang

SIM needs to find another "home venue". this is just not the place, never was, never will be.

Alan Eli Lopez
Alan Eli Lopez

I love that sims posted a week ago that their shows are peaceful and violent free. Violence can happen anywhere at any given moment.

Kimberly Erin
Kimberly Erin

Second incident at Epic in as many weeks. Hmmm...

brill029
brill029

Okay dude, first you used the term "lamestream" to describe the Twin Cities non-EDM music scene, which immediately outs you a the type of douche who would use the term "lamestream."  Second, you are complaining about there being TOO MANY PEOPLE at your supposedly non-"lamestream" show.  Finally, I don't know what you think "lamestream" means, but if EDM, he most peal-clutchingly documented music in at least the last five years  isn't it then nothing is.

There's good information about club safety in this article that's absolutely worth writing about, but the irony of your unsolicited opinion burns my soul.

Christian Vaj
Christian Vaj

It's all fun & games until... There goes the barricade. Lol

Nick Merchant
Nick Merchant

Omg, this article is awful. How is this person writing for the city pages? Go HAM bro to that awful 'edm' music.

Joe Finnegan
Joe Finnegan

Lamestream IS STEVE AOKI AND WAKA FLOCKA AND BOREGORE. Fucking out of touch city pages

Dara Drager
Dara Drager

It was an awesome show but way too crowded. I am glad I wasn't on the floor during this. Steve Aoki killed it!

nrupar1
nrupar1

@Michael J. Kraemer I think he said "Lets get this shit fixed so I can take my computer off pause to play my Fucking Music!"

supra6765
supra6765

@rjcool1234 people like aoki overcharge to the point where clubs have to over sell tickets past capacity, aoki and the venues trying to make money are the problem 

jreal411
jreal411

...and stop complaining about crowded shows. Shows get f*cking crowded. Step the f*ck to the back of the room and stay away from the stage. I've been to multiple rock, hip hop, other (real music) concerts here and it was F*CKING CROWDED AS F*CK.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Peter Krueger Evil Devil Music?  I saw Deee-lite there when it was still Glam Slam and no one was killed or trampled. Haven't been back since...

alexjarvis88
alexjarvis88

@brill029 Wow...your response is even more douchey than you are trying to paint the article out to be.

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