CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — An alarming trend is picking up speed at concerts across the country. Fans have been captured on video throwing objects at performers while on stage.
Performing artist Bebe Rexha was hit in the face with a cellphone at a concert in New York last month. She is one of several performers in recent weeks to get hit while on stage by a thrown object. While performing in Las Vegas, a fan threw a drink at rapper Cardi B.
“I feel like if you are a fan of an artist and you want to come out and watch a show, why would you ruin it in that capacity?” artist Akeem Ali said.
Ali is a rapper who performs in Charlotte. He says the thought of fans throwing something at him has crossed his mind.
“Yes, I have prepared myself to fight, if it happens, in a disrespectful manner,” he said. “I don’t like it. It just doesn’t sit well with me.”
Whether it is out of anger or an effort to go viral, experts in the music industry say this type of behavior is only going to reduce the fan experience at concerts. Performers could request to add barriers between them and the fans, have seating pushed back away from the stage, or a call for a no-cellphone policy.
One industry leader says any related changes made to concert policies would likely become widespread.
“The artist is number one,” said Noah Lazes, CEO and president of Cornelius-based entertainment developer the ARK Group. “The fan is also number one, but the artist is very important and so if an artist requested that change, it would absolutely be made and if enough of them requested it, you would see it across the board.”
Lazes has been in the music industry for more than three decades. Within that time, he said safety and security at concerts have increased 10-fold.
“We’ve gotten better and better and better at being able to secure the artist, being able to secure the fan and being able to have a safer, better concert,” he said.
Despite clear-bag policies, water bottle bans and metal detectors, fans are still finding ways to make physical contact with performers.
While there are no reports of this happening in Charlotte, venues like the Spectrum Center say they are aware of the rising trend.
“We have not had any issues with these incidents at Spectrum Center,” a spokesperson with the Spectrum Center told Queen City News. “However, we are aware of the uptick in incidents within the industry. Security levels are determined in collaboration with the tour and the tour’s promoter as each event is unique.”
A spokesperson with Tepper Sports and Entertainment said there have been no reports of fans throwing items at performers at Bank of America Stadium.
“The punishment is severe, and you can believe that the venues and the concert promoters, they are going to take it to the mat,” Lazes said.
National concert promotor Live Nation did not respond to a request for a comment.