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MTV: Santa Monica Airport crowd got too large to continue concert

November 14, 2012 | 12:09 pm

A free concert featuring British dub-step DJ and producer Flux Pavilion was shut downTuesday after it got too large. Credit: MTV Iggy

´╗┐Organizers of the Santa Monica Airport concert that was shut down by police acknowledged on Wednesday that the crowd grew too large to control.

The free concert, featuring British dub-step DJ and producer Flux Pavilion, was held Tuesday night in the airport's Hangar 8, which is often used for private events, concerts and music-video shoots.

The hangar has a capacity of 1,500 people, but Santa Monica police estimated between 2,500 and 3,000 people showed up with printed tickets, and officers working the event called for backup and eventually shut the event down.

The concert was hosted by MTV Iggy, a subsection of the popular music television channel that focuses on exposing international pop artists to American audiences.

"Organizers considered it best to end the event earlier than scheduled," the network said in a statement. "Fans filed out in an orderly fashion and no one was hurt.  MTV Iggy thanks the fans who showed up for the performance and regret any inconvenience caused by its early end."

The event, which was scheduled to run until midnight, was shut down around 11 p.m. -- just 30 minutes into Flux Pavilion's set. 

Police officers working the event called for backup at 8:30 p.m., and additional police officers from the Los Angeles, Culver City and Beverly Hills police departments arrived and determined the crowd was too large to control.

"It was a permitted event, but it wasn't permitted for that many people," said Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department. "We had to shut it down because there was no way we could control that size of a crowd."

By 9:30 p.m., officers had begun dispersing the crowd gathered outside of the event while the music continued inside. Police say some in the crowd began to climb fences and attempted to enter other parts of the airport. At 11 p.m., the music was stopped and all attendees inside were cleared out. 

Tuesday night's concert was the fourth in a series of shows that began in July and featured Flux Pavilion, who produces dub-step music, a popular genre of European electronic dance music. His most popular track, "I Can't Stop," was sampled in Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Watch the Throne" album and was featured in the original video for the online "Kony 2012" campaign.

The DJ, whose real name is Joshua Steele, took to Twitter, delivering live updates to his more than 180,000 followers.

"So . . . Helicopters and LAPD with riot gear outside this airport hangar right now" the DJ tweeted around 11 p.m.

Would-be attendees blasted the artist and MTV Iggy on social media sites, frustrated that the event was shut down after some had waited in line for hours.

The DJ responded to those complaints with another tweet, just after 1 a.m.

"You are the greatest fans I could ever hope for. You make every second I spend on my music worthwhile. Thank you so much."

Early Wednesday morning the producer sent out another tweet slamming the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies for shutting down the party.

"People geeting [angry] because they couldnt get in, LAPD thought the best way to deal with is was to not let anybody in," Flux Pavilion wrote, before using an expletive to describe the police.


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-- Wesley Lowery

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Photo: A free concert featuring British dub-step DJ and producer Flux Pavilion was shut down Tuesday after it got too large. Credit: MTV Iggy