Sunday, 16 November 2008

Stabbings & Gunshots at the UMAs

Posted by Tahirah

The 6th Annual Urban Music Awards in the Indig02 descended into chaos yesterday. I got a call from my cousin at around 10:30 saying that there had been a fight and that the awards show was over. No one informed her, or the rest of the balcony crew of what was going on - they could just see running, screaming and blood below them.

Contrary to the news report, it wasn't only 300 people they held; they held up everyone. The police then kept my cousin and her friends until after 12 as they were letting guests out one-at-a-time, after interviewing and taking their pictures.

Check out the news report:

"There were chaotic scenes after violence at last night's 6th Urban Music Awards at The O2 Arena in London, forcing organisers to abandon the ceremony after an hour and a half.
Eyewitnesses spoke of seeing "blood all over the floor" after a huge brawl broke out at around 10pm, sending champagne bottles and chairs flying and causing general "hysteria".
Guns were also said to have been spotted inside the auditorium.
Around 300 guests ended up being stuck inside the venue until the early hours while police blocked the exits and questioned people one by one before allowing them out. One man was arrested."

Rumour has it, the drama which left three people stabbed, gunshots blasting and the awards show ruined was to do with gang rivarly.

But I think it leaves a big question about the organisers skills to...well...organise. Even without the drama that erupted, the organisation of the awards was shoddy. The show started late amongst other mishaps. There was a lack of security; people went in without being searched - some people went in without even having tickets checked. Now I'm sure the future of the UMAs hang delicately in the air; I doubt sponsors will be quick to come on board and media partners probably won't want to touch the event with a barge-pole.

Now another "urban" (black) major event will be tarred with a negative brush. Our scene is at a point where we're breaking real ground and making positive moves into the mainstream. Hopefully what happened last night won't be a real setback in the industry.