Having recently announced that this tour would be their last, the Swedish House Mafia had intended for a summer string of dates to be a victory lap for their short, triumphant career as a pop-dance supergroup. But instead of an extension of their Miami Music Week party “Masquerade Motel” held this past March, the group’s concert at Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Saturday night almost turned into a Masquerade Massacre. At least nine people were stabbed during the show, reports Ireland’s Independent. On Monday morning, two victims remained in serious condition, including one man with a collapsed lung who had been stabbed in the back four times.
According to a BBC report, Gardai, Ireland’s national police, have arrested a 23-year-old man in the stabbing spree, in which knives and bottles were used, but it remains unclear whether other perpetrators were involved. At least one concert attendee was reported to have died from a drug overdose after seeking care at the event’s medical tent, while Gardai arrested 30 people in unrelated events at Saturday night’s concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, a 1,700-acre outdoor space where 45,000 fans had gathered to watch performances from Tinie Tempah, Snoop Dogg, Calvin Harris, and Madeon, along with the Swedish House Mafia.
On Ireland’s Boards.ie forums, attendees described an event marred by a “serious rough crowd” and “fights all day.” A video posted to YouTube of an apparently unrelated incident shows a muddy brawl involving multiple people.
The Swedish House Mafia posted this statement to their Facebook page: “We played a festival in Ireland at the weekend and reports of incidents are coming to us. We didn’t see anything but have asked for all the info and are respectful of the promoter’s need to wait and give us all the clear facts. When we know more we will liase with the Festival promoter directly on what we can do to help but for now we have to respect their request to us that we remain quiet and respectful of their event safety processes. The festival itself was amazing and we had no idea this had happened and neither did the other numerous artists who played. Once we know all the facts we will deal with it in the best way we can. Thank you. Swedish House Mafia.”
The Dublin attacks were the worst of a weekend that seemed tainted by especially bad live-music mojo. London’s Bloc festival was shut down on Friday night, and its entire Saturday lineup was cancelled, after problems with overcrowding; Metropolitan police described the closure as “a controlled shut down due to crowd safety issues.” Attendees called the event a “disaster” and a (metaphorical) “car crash”; on the Resident Advisor forums, one festival-goer suggested that the event had been “headed towards [a] Love Parade disaster” before the controlled evacuation, in a reference to a crowd rush at Duisburg, Germany’s Love Parade in 2010 that left 21 people dead and 500 injured.
And on Friday night in New York, in an eerie echo of the Dublin attacks, former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan stabbed and bit several current members of the band before their performance at Webster Hall.