Riot Breaks Out After Bomb Scare Halts ICP Show

Five people arrested during melee at Kentucky venue.

Violence erupted at an Insane Clown Posse concert in Kentucky on Wednesday when promoters attempted to cancel the show because of a bomb threat.

While opening band Marz were in the middle of their set, the plug was pulled and the house lights turned on by officials at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, a suburb of Louisville. Following an announcement that the show was cancelled due to "technical difficulties," bottles, coins and other debris was hurled toward the stage and at police and venue security who tried to evacuate the venue, all to the chants of "I-C-P, I-C-P," according to Marz singer Zlatko Hukic.

Police used physical force and pepper spray against the unruly crowd, according to Shepherdsville Police Chief Ronald Morris, though no one was seriously injured and Emergency Medical Services didn't take anyone to local hospitals. Five people, including one juvenile, were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, criminal littering and second-degree rioting. The arrests were made by the more than 50 members of other police agencies called to the scene, such as the neighboring Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the Kentucky State Police, Morris said.

Around 8 p.m., a bomb threat was received by Jefferson County police dispatchers, who relayed the message to Shepherdsville police. Officials then notified one of the concert promoters on hand, who contacted ICP's road manager, Billy Dial. After hearing the news, Dial said he told the band to leave the nearby hotel they were staying at in case the threat was real.

When police didn't find any danger, Dial claims to have attempted to have the band return to the venue so the show could go on, but in their hasty retreat MCs Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope left their cell-phone-toting personal assistant, the only means by which to contact them, behind — an oversight that rendered them incommunicado and foiled any attempts to get the show back on track.

Things got ugly when disappointed Juggalos (as ICP fans are known) began tangling with police after being asked to vacate the premises. Officers used sufficient force to get the crowd moving toward the exits, according to Morris, who insisted his men handled themselves with impeccable decorum in the face of a potentially volatile situation.

Hukic, however, claims to have seen police blanketing the first few rows with pepper spray in an attempt to force the crowd to the rear of the venue. One fan, possessing a can of the spicy stuff himself, raised a defiant arm and fired back, according to the Marz frontman.

Another fan claims to have videotaped the altercation with police and has submitted the evidence to ICP manager Alex Abbiss, who is contemplating pressing charges against authorities, Dial said. Abbiss has also threatened to turn over the tape to a media outlet, but has yet to do so.

In the days leading up to the concert, local residents voiced their disdain for the vulgar, violent rappers' show being held in their hometown. The Paroquet Centre had previously hosted a few raves, which also faced problems ranging from complaints about loud music and vandalism to drug overdoses and arrests, according to local newspaper the Courier-Journal.

Shepherdsville police are investigating the origin of the bomb threat, Morris said. ICP plan on returning to Shepherdsville in May to make up the show.