October 9, 2013 16:49

Southampton venue Roxx evacuated mid-gig over fears of roof collapsing

US pop-punk band The Story So Far forced to move gig to new venue after being evacuated

Southampton venue Roxx evacuated mid-gig over fears of roof collapsing

Photo: PA

Hundreds people were evacuated from the opening date of The Story So Far’s UK tour in Southampton last night (October 8) following complaints that the roof was starting to collapse.

Security guards evacuated the 400-capacity Roxx just halfway into the second song of the US pop-punk band's set, with eyewitnesses revealing that security set the fire alarms off to evacuate the packed crowd after it became apparent the floor was collapsing.

Speaking to NME, gig-goer Billy Bentley said: "Everybody started screaming 'Fuck the roof', but security insisted we leave the venue. It looked like we all left a big dent in the floor."

Local promoter Richard Peek was sat with the venue manager when a call came in from security saying the show had to be stopped. "We made our way up the stairs to be met by an army of security, but a decision had already been made to stop the show. We then made our way through the exiting crowd to inspect the damage to the ceiling in the venue below, the security had told us the ceiling was falling through - there was a huge crack and plaster on the floor. They told us they'd seen movement before, but had never seen anything like this. It was a direct result of so many of the crowd jumping in unison. The band members told us they felt the stage shift under the weight of the audience, and some of the audience members themselves told us they could feel a big depression in the floor."

The band, along with gig promoters Wrong Way Round, did everything they could to make sure the show went ahead - initially moving the gig to The Joiners, recent winner of NME’s Best Small Venue. However, while soundchecking, they realised they would struggle to get 400 people into a venue half the size, so moved the gig to The Joiners' sister venue Unit.

Neil Downton, venue manager at Unit, said "After a phone call from the promoter we helped move the show so the fans wouldn't miss out. Sadly, due to our licence, we couldn't allow the under 18s in. As an alternative club and live music venue we would hate to see music fans miss out."

The Story So Far have apologised to fans unable to get into Unit and offered anyone with a ticket to the Southampton gig the chance to attend their show at Banquet Records in Kingston, Surrey tonight (October 9) with all Southampton tickets valid for the performance.

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