The 10 for $10 concert at the Valarium scheduled for Monday, July 13—a 10-band, all-ages hardcore and metal showcase to be headlined by Florida act Poison the Well—quickly turned into zero bands for $10 when a fight in the audience spilled outside and police responded, leading to the cancellation of the show before the first band had finished its set. And all of this happened within 30 minutes of the doors opening at 3 p.m.
According to Knoxville Police Department Public Information Officer Darrell DeBusk, the fight started inside during the first band’s set. (DeBusk was unable to identify the band.)
“When bouncers or security tried to step in, the band that was playing stopped playing and said stuff from the stage which basically incited a riot,” he says.
The fight continued in the parking lot, where police responded at 3:30 p.m. Seven adults and one juvenile were arrested on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault and inciting a riot. No one from the club was arrested, DeBusk says.
Video of the scene from local news showed several police vehicles, more than a dozen police officers, including a K-9 officer, and at least one concertgoer with a bloody nose.
Members of Poison the Well, who were not present when the fight started, released a statement in response to the incident on Tuesday afternoon. “Though we were not involved in any way we would like to apologize to anyone who had purchased a ticket or was planning on attending,” the statement reads. “We, as a band never condone this kind of behavoir and always maintain as safe and brotherly an envoironment at our shows as possible. Unfortunately the actions of a few can sometimes effect many. It’s still unclear to us who is responsible for the fight, the security or the kids but either way it should not have happened. We will always continue to ensure that our shows are safe and fun for all. Again, our apologies to those whom were there to have fun and partake in the family like atmosphere that we have been experiencing on this tour thus far. We will do whatever we can to return and make it up.”
Valarium owner Gary Mitchell was unavailable for comment by press time.