Band harassed at Monday Night Music Series.
A few weeks ago, members of the band Fast Forward and the head of the FBAL (Friends of the Bellevue Ave Library) were attacked and assaulted during a performance at a “Music Monday” night series sponsored by the Montclair Public Library’s Bellevue Avenue branch.
According to a Montclair Times article published on Aug. 20, “A women who several weeks earlier had expressed her dislike of the outdoor music performances to FBAL President Cordelia Siporin, again appeared two Mondays ago and literally screamed in my face.”
Apparently that wasn’t enough! She approached the band Fast Forward and grabbed a microphone, shouting into it. This was witnessed by several attendees in the audience. Siporin, according to the Montclair Times article, explained who she was and asked that the person be escorted away due to her concerns for the safety of the patrons and performers. Siporin also stated that the woman’s husband appeared and “began to scream in [her] face with an unbelievable and very scary amount of rage.” She further stated that the man “trashed the entire snack table and continued to roar at [them] in his rage.” This man, after being told to leave, assaulted the band and members of the audience had to pull the man off of him.
I wrote an article several weeks back about musicians and safety issues during performances. I briefly touched on the issue of fighting, but reading this article brought to my attention a situation that also can occur without warning, at that is the “Unprovoked Attack,” which is surprising because it was during what I call a “soft performance.” This is a live performance where the music is not loud, there’s nothing offensive and it is, in short, a pleasant early evening/night musical performance to cap off the day.
The actions of that couple were totally out of line and exposed the performers and patrons to a potentially very dangerous situation that should never be tolerated. With all that being said, what triggered this? Was the music too loud? Was the type of performance not to their liking? Was it the genre of music?
The reason this incident happened was not specifically stated or identified. It could be that they just didn’t like having the music there. Noise sometimes in situations like this, is not even a factor at all. What was said to Cordelia Soporin during the shouting frenzy and what did the husband of this woman also say? Regardless of what provoked the anger of the attacker, treating a performer like this at a venue is never an acceptable attitude.