Last summer, Harry Styles was attacked by some (presumably overpriced) chicken nuggets while performing as part of his 2022 residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The moment inspired a humorous conversation between Styles and the food tosser, and soon went viral — as did the “Satellite” singer during his multi-year “Love On Tour.” The conversation went on from different angles on the TikTok For You pages, and eventually led to news — including this outlet. This was just the latest interesting thing fans threw at Styles during his performance. What started out as vibrant plastic sunglasses, plushies and flags taking the stage had turned into a bizarre form. And now, it has become needlessly dangerous for Styles and many of his contemporaries.
Earlier this month, headlines made headlines because Bebe Rexha was hospitalized after a cell phone was thrown at her by a fan during her concert at Pier 17 in NYC. Rexha required medical care, and the man was arrested. As NBC News reports, he told police he threw the phone because he thought it “would be funny.” A few days later, Ava Max Tweeted When she was performing at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, a fan attacked her on stage. Max wrote, “He slapped me so hard it scratched the inside of my eye. He will never be on the show again 😡😡Thanks to the fans though for putting on a great show in LA tonight!!❤️”
However, the onslaught of line-towing fan behavior continued. This week, country singer Kelsea Ballerini left her stage in Boise, Idaho after she was struck in the eye by friendship bracelets thrown at her from the crowd. He wrote on his Instagram story that the moment “scared me more than it hurt.” As the Los Angeles Times reports, Pink’s two-night run in London this month inspired even more strange concerts: a wheel of cheese (stinky, but okay) and, seemingly, an attendee’s mom. Ashes.
Neither of these examples, apparently, was well received by the artist. And it should be clear why. Charlie Puth wrote on Twitter This week: “The trend of throwing things at artists when they’re on stage must end. (Bebe, Ava, and now Kelsea Ballerini…) It’s very disrespectful and very dangerous. Please just enjoy the music I make.” I beg you.”
Of course, misbehavior at music festivals is nothing new. Nor is throwing things: The joke about the bra tossing fan exists for a reason. But, it is definitely something that is becoming a major trend. In fact, it’s hard to figure out what is motivating people to pelt the cast. Many of my peers are using my forum this week to ask the same question. I mean, seeing a concert ain’t cheap nowadays. Notably, Taylor Swift fans have shelled out thousands for coveted tickets to her Eraze tour. Why, then, risk the artist’s safety and ability to continue with a show you’ve spent your paycheck on?
Of course, there is the pandemic factor. Years without live performances have apparently affected people’s understanding of concert etiquette. And we can’t ignore the rise of transsocial relationships as the internet has given the common man access to his favorite stars. In her USA TODAY investigation into these artist attacks, Maryann Fischer, professor of psychology at Canada’s University of Saint Mary’s, says, “The only explanation that makes sense is the influence of social media. However, what drives this influence is What adds up is that celebrities often post their personal lives and details on social media — more than ever before — and fans feel as though they really know them.”
Hours spent scrolling through an artist’s social media profile lead to a sense of familiarity with the star.
Hours spent scrolling through an artist’s social media profile lead to a sense of familiarity with the star. “Why doesn’t Ballerini want this bracelet right now? I know she likes them,” Wavelength maybe? Many people forget that although pink is no stranger to you, You are strangers to Pink.
We can’t forget the constant pursuit of masculinity either. As always, people are looking for their 15 minutes of fame – now it only comes in the form of a 10-second video that’s been viewed 1 million times. In a 2018 interview with CNN, Yalda T. Uhls, then a writer and adjunct assistant professor of psychology at UCLA, said this new type of fame is measurable. “In today’s world, you can measure it by how many likes, how many followers, and how many retweets,” Uhls said. A survey given annually to UCLA freshmen showed that young people at the time cared more about achieving fame. The viral video of a conversation at a concert isn’t just proof that someone’s favorite artist has their attention—it’s also an opportunity to stay noticed.
Regardless of motivation, it probably needs to be explained like this: You’re at work, sitting in front of your computer, dutifully typing away from the safety of your cubicle. As you work, someone – a stranger – begins to hurl a series of objects at you. Some get hurt on impact. Will you be able to focus on your screen? maybe no. Even more likely, you’ll start to lose the sense of security you feel sitting in that cubicle every day trying to do your job.
I won’t mince words in my conclusion: Stop throwing things at artists. Crocheted hats, T-shirts, water bottles, human remains, cell phones – no matter what the object, they stick with you when you step into a musician’s workplace. If fans continue to put artists in these unsafe positions, I think we’ll start to lose access to them.