O2 Academy Edinburgh's Bad Boy Chiller Crew gig descends into chaos after police called to mass brawl
An Edinburgh resident has described a gig at the O2 Academy Edinburgh last night as ‘absolute chaos’ after witnessing a mass brawl outside the venue which saw one teenager arrested near the premises.
Capital resident Shaun arrived at the former Edinburgh Corn Exchange just after 7pm to see Bradford-based group Bad Boy Chiller Crew but said the atmosphere was like ‘a war zone’. He said: “It was absolute chaos wherever you went. People in the queue, some of them who looked school age, were drinking alcohol and taking drugs and that sort of thing – it was quite grim. It was almost like a war zone at times.
"There were people rioting outside the venue, the queue didn’t seem to be going anywhere. So many people had arrived thinking that the gig was for 14 years and up and then finding out it was over 16s and it was causing lots of problems.”
Shaun said due to consumption of alcohol and the hot temperatures last night he saw a few young people requiring assistance after ‘passing out’ outside the venue. He said: “One young lad who had had too much to drink collapsed. About five minutes later a medic came over but there was no designated paramedics at the event, no police so the whole thing was just chaos. At one point when we were queuing there was a fight between 30 or 40 people and because there was no police it went on for about ten minutes.”
Police were later called to a ‘large scale disturbance’ on New Market Road where a spokesman said ‘a number of youths were dispersed’.
After getting into the venue just after 9pm Shaun said he was disappointed to see that the evening continued to be an unpleasant experience. He said: “It was just as chaotic inside and it was absolutely boiling in there. One boy collapsed and was then dragged away by security, another young girl had to be taken away in a wheelchair – and this is all in the space of five minutes of being in there. Another young boy was having CPR done on him by two different people. At that point me and my mate called it a night.”
Shaun and his friend decided to leave before the main act took to the stage and said he will consider the age demographic of gigs in the future. Shaun added: “It just seemed like a really poorly run event – there wasn’t enough support for the youngsters there. I didn’t stick around to see what happened because when you see a young lad get chest impressions on him how do you enjoy yourself after that – it was quite harrowing.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 8.15 pm on Thursday, 25 May 2023, police were called to a large scale disturbance outside a concert venue on New Market Road, Edinburgh. A 15-year-old youth was arrested in connection with the disturbance. He will be referred to the relevant Youth Justice Department. A number of other youths were dispersed by police at the scene. Enquiries are continuing in to the disturbance and advice and assistance has been given to venue staff regarding security.”
An O2 Academy Edinburgh spokesperson said: “During the evening of Thursday 25 May 2023, Police Scotland were called to assist with a disturbance on New Market Road, Edinburgh and we are liaising with the local authorities to support any enquiries for further information. The event went ahead as planned.”
Ticketmaster has also been approached for comment.