Guitarist stops gig after seeing woman get sexually harassed

The musician tried to get security to intervene, but got involved himself when he saw the situation continuing

A guitarist stopped his band’s gig last week after seeing a woman in the crowd being sexually harassed.

Brendan Ekstrom from Philadelphia rock band Circa Survive walked off stage in St Louis on July 21 to help the woman after watching her repeatedly reject the advances of a fellow concert-goer.

Ekstrom explained what happened to the band’s fans on Twitter the next day. “Quick note to those who were at the show last night,” he wrote. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never walked of stage during a song before.

“For almost a whole song I watched a guy stand a row behind a girl flirting and then trying to kiss her,” he continued. “It was hard to tell what was really happening. At times she seemed OK with his advances but after the second time of watching her push his face and hands away and try to turn back to watch the show I asked the security guard to go check on them.”

Ekstrom explained that the security guard couldn’t see what he was pointing at and the guitarist could see the situation continuing from his position on stage. “I left the stage and walked straight for them, my mind an emotional blur,” he wrote.

“Security followed me. The man seemed dumbfounded when I showed up as if nothing was wrong. I don’t know what happened after. I went back to stage to finish the show. Security took it from there.”

The guitarist added that he didn’t see the woman or the man again and didn’t know if either left the venue before the end of the show, or if they were in a relationship or not. “Regardless what I saw from stage was disturbing to me and completely removed me from the mindset I need to be on stage,” he said.

“It wasn’t cute. It was alarming. I’m almost forty and flirting doesn’t look like that. Maybe it’s that I have a daughter or that I’m older.”

Ekstrom also noted that he had seen a video before the gig where a man attempted to flirt with a woman by repeatedly pressing his body against hers, despite her rejecting him each time.

He said: “I really don’t know but it made me furious to watch a girl forcibly remove someone’s hands from her body multiple times.

“I still don’t feel great about how I handled this situation. I borderline blacked out in some weird rage mode. It makes me nervous to think about how I would handle situations like this in the future especially if it was with someone I knew or cared about especially if it is my daughter.”

He then apologised to his band for “not communicating the situation better and leaving them standing on stage confused.” He also said sorry to the fans present who “were equally confused and saw a bit of an unusual show.”

You can read some of Ekstrom’s tweets above, via The Independent.