Babyshambles are scrapped off from headlining Moonfest due to 'crowd control issues', claiming that the band's appearance sparks riot among fans.
This summer, Pete Doherty's band Babyshambles have been banned from appearing at three-day U.K. music festival, Moonfest. The rock group were due to perform at the Moonlight festival in Wiltshire, Britain, later on August 29 but police officers in the country claim that the band's stage manner have a tendency of leading the audience to violence and therefore have to be scrapped off.
The U.K. police consider to close down the show following Pete's solo performance in June at London's Royal Albert Hall which was marred by crowd trouble. The police have used Section 160, which contain orders to close premises in an area experiencing disorder, off the Licensing Act 2003 to get the band's live performance stopped. Divisional commander of Wiltshire Police Chief, Julian Kirby says, "We carried out an analysis of what Pete Doherty and his band does. What he does as part of his routine is to excite the crowd. They speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd. The crowd all get worked up and then they start fighting."
The festival organizer, John Green, defends the ban action, claiming that the show is safe as it will contain only Pete's fans without a wider festival crowd. Besides that, they promise to have a 'mojo' crowd barrier, and a higher stage. However, the police apparently aren't impressed with his explanation and still argue that the 10 stewards in place for overseeing the event would not be able to handle chaos that is predicted to be a large-scale fight. The police even ignore the fact that only 150 tickets have been sold from a total of 5,000 tickets.
Commenting on the refusal, John calls it as an unnecessary over-reacted action as the officers ask for an additional 75,000 pounds on security and policing funds to drop the action. In a press release, he states, "It's absolutely obscene, I think the police have totally over reacted to what was going to be a fantastic evening. They said that if he spent another 50,000 pounds on security, 25,000 pounds on policing and dropped Pete Doherty from the bill, then they would drop the action."
Meanwhile, the band's dummer Adam Ficek says, "The whole thing is a farce, it's almost comical." and Pete promises to give a free concert for the audiences that have bought the band's ticket. He states as quoted by John, "I'll put on a free gig any time, any place you like for all the people who have bought tickets for the Friday night to see my show."
In line with Adam's statement, Pete's manager Andy Boyd also says that the band will hold a free show in Pete's home in nearby Marlborough to compensate fans. "We might even do it at Pete's house in a big barn. We're definitely going to honour those tickets somehow, but as far as the festival goes our hands are tied," says Andy during an interview.