Fallout Continues from Shocktoberfest’s Sudden Cancellation
The fallout from University of California, Irvine’s Shocktoberfest continues, with many students wondering if they are getting a refund to the event. The annual fall concert, which kicks off the university’s basketball season, was shut down after rapper Famous Dex jumped into the crowd during his set on Friday, October 19, propelling many fans to rush the stage.
After it was announced that the sold-out Shocktoberfest was canceled, the mayhem continued outside UCI’s Bren Events Center. Students climbed on Dex’s car and banged on the windows. There were reports of a man in the vehicle taking out a gun and demanding they get away from the car.
On the school’s Facebook page, Student Services Vice President, Dilraj Toor, apologized.
“We had to make the decision to shut down the show due to numerous safety hazards. Our midliner, Famous Dex, presented us with challenges that escalated out of our control. We do the best we can to prepare for situations such as this, but with students rushing the floor and creating a dangerous environment, we had no other option,” he acknowledged.
While Toor notes that their goal is to ensure students have fun, the safety of those students was the top priority.
“That is, and will always be, the highest of our concerns, and when we felt the safety was compromised last night, we had to end the show.”
He continued: “To all the students who did everything they were supposed to do, who stayed in the stands, who helped their fellow Anteaters, who made a point to make sure everyone around them was safe, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I see all of you for doing what is right, recognize that it is unfair, and I apologize. Because of students like you, we were able to minimize the danger to other students as well as any injury.”
Toor noted that his team are looking into the situation from all aspects to see if a partial refund could be granted.
Controversy surrounded Shocktoberfest from the moment the lineup was announced. A leaked security video from 2016 showed rapper Dex chasing his girlfriend down a hallway and getting into a physical altercation with her. No charges were ever filed at the police department.
Dex addressed the assault on the morning radio show, “The Breakfast Club,” earlier this year.
“What I learned from that, I learnt a lot,” Dex said. “Not just me putting my hands on a female, I just, me losing my mom, me being new to this music stuff, it was a lot of pressure on me, you know? So I just kinda blanked out right there. God is good. I’m glad everything kinda, you know, it went a different way. It didn’t go, like, far. I didn’t go to jail for it. She didn’t get hurt or nothing. She had my king, she had my son, and I just wanna be forgetting about it.”
After the video was released, Dex tweeted and deleted that his girlfriend had cheated on him, which caused the issue. The rapper was subsequently dropped as a collaborator with PUMA.
In a tweet, the sneaker/clothing designer said: “PUMA does not condone any act of violence toward women. We do not, nor will we, have any relationship w/ Famous Dex.”
Addressing the controversy, Toor put out a statement, asking students to look at Dex strictly as an artist, versus what happened in his personal life.
This did not sit well with students. “Toor urging us to simply look at Famous Dex as an ‘artist’ is asking us to willingly ignore his abuse of his girlfriend,” said Ashante Robinson, a second year student at UC Irvine, in a strong op-ed for “New University,” the school’s newspaper.
“Famous Dex’s continued support is one of the reasons why it is so hard for women to be taken seriously after reporting abuse. Their abusers’ actions are swept under the rug and they face no real consequences, continuing to live their lives as if nothing happened,” Robinson stated.
“There is no such thing as being able to separate the artist from his behavior. Music represents who you are as a person and what you stand for, and when you book an artist for a show, you don’t just book their music – you get 100% of who they are. Asking students to look at an entertainer as ‘just an entertainer’ is near impossible as Friday night’s shenanigans showed.”
To The Future
No doubt, there will be changes implemented for all upcoming events at the university. More attention will be paid to increased security and which musical guests are invited to perform.
Said Naira Babakhanian on Associated Students UCI Facebook page: “No disrespect to the students who worked hard to put this event together but did you guys not do your research? There [have] been many other events and concerts where Dex pulled out a gun. [W]as he really a wise choice?”