After fight, concert promoter bans Straight Edgers
A Midvale concert promoter whose heavy metal concert was ruined last week when fans started fighting with band members and with security is blaming local devotees of the Straight Edge movement - and he now plans to exclude members of the anti-establishment group from future shows.
"Every band I talk to is worried to come to Salt Lake because they're worried about the Straight Edgers here," said Solid Entertainment promoter Bobby Baugh, who noted that the group, in most other communities, practices a lifestyle free of violence.
Many Straight Edgers describe their group as an unaffiliated network of people with a similar ideology that eschews drugs, alcohol, sex and civic participation, such as voting. Most members, proponents say, also renounce violence.
Baugh said he will have bouncers screen ticket holders at the door and keep out those who appear to be Straight Edgers.
Baugh said a metal group known as Die Cast was on stage at a downtown Midvale Club on Saturday evening when several Straight Edgers took the stage and began to attack the singer. When members from another band, Hatepiece, attempted to intervene, they were attacked as well.
Baugh said he invited a Sacramento group, The Hoods, to play a short set at the concert at the last minute. Though he knew The Hoods had a Straight Edge following, Baugh figured their late addition to the ticket would prevent many Straight Edge fans from showing up.
"That's where I was wrong," said Baugh, who had five security guards and about 150 fans on hand. "They got on the phone with their friends. Word got out they were here. I really didn't expect it to turn out that way."
No arrests have been made in the fight, in which several security guards and band members were injured. Officers from six agencies responded, but those involved in the fight had left.
Utah gang officers say members of the Straight Edge movement comprise the largest gang in the state. Individual members sometimes affiliate with animal liberation and environmental extremists and have a terroristic bent, police claim.