Concert violence must be slammed

HARARE - The recent violence that erupted at a musical concert featuring international reggae star Busy Signal in Bulawayo over the weekend should be strongly condemned.

Fans ran amok after Winky D walked off the stage in protest over poor sound and in the resultant mayhem, beer and other beverages were looted by hooligans who also went on a rampage destroyed cars and other property.

While the frustration of the fans over the poor sound is understood, it is the level of anger, the looting and damaging of innocent people’s cars that should not be tolerated at all and we hope the police will bring the culprits to book.

In situations like that, everyone from the paying fans to the promoters lose.

It is sad that businesspeople who had brought large quantities of beverages that included beer and soft drinks had their merchandise looted, hence are counting their losses.

Violence at music concerts usually results in the loss or damage of musical instruments as fans usually target the stage where they throw missiles while the musicians are also not spared as they are attacked.

Zimbabweans in general are a peace-loving people, hence the shock by most stakeholders at the intensity of the violence.

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has already sent a distress call as it urges locals to be peaceful and not tarnish the image of the country over such a trivial incident of poor sound.

Such musical concerts by visiting international bands usually attract thousands of fun-loving people who would be out to relax and have a good time with some bringing their families.

In the unforeseen likelihood of violence, there could be a stampede as a result of the chaos, thus presenting danger to the fun-loving public.

The fans are also the biggest losers as an abandoned musical concert means they lose their hard-earned cash while some would have travelled distances to watch their idols.

Busy Signal’s call to abandon bottles at music concerts makes sense as these have proved to be dangerous weapons whenever chaos erupts.

Music promoters who sell beer and other soft drinks should also think about people’s safety and avoid bottles at concerts. They can always sell beer or soft drinks in cans.

The music promoters should also make sure that they prepare for these concerts well in advance and this means hiring the best public address systems and sound engineers.

And a proper sound check should be done in advance without fail for every to avoid a situation where the performer wants to test the sound in a packed auditorium.

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