NEW YORK — A Drake show scheduled for Tuesday evening (June 15) in Manhattan was canceled by the New York Police Department after crowd control became a safety concern for organizers of the event.
Upward of 10, 000 fans lined the South Street Seaport and even more were present on the outskirts of the venue, lurking, in hopes of spotting the Toronto rapper.
Drake was set to appear onstage at 7:45 p.m. ET, but leading up to his appearance, the crowd swelled to a larger-than-expected size. Organizers of the event, sponsored by Paper magazine and also featuring Hanson and Ninjasonik, began slowly asking attendees to be prepared for a cancellation.
Confusion abounded just moments later, however, as concertgoers jockeyed for closer positions to the stage, unaware of any danger. Ultimately, police pulled the plug on the event and began trying to disperse bystanders.
Drake — celebrating the release of his debut album, Thank Me Later, on Tuesday — tried to notify his fans via Twitter that he was unable to take the stage. “Police are shutting down the show at South Seaport! I’m on my way anyways,” he wrote. “Drizzy Hendrix Woodstock 2010.”
The upstart MC, though, was understandably disappointed he was unable to share in the excitement with his fans and issued a statement apologizing to his supporters.
“I am humbled by the crowd that showed up in support of my performance and the release of Thank Me Later,” Drake told MTV News in a statement. “I love performing for my fans, but unfortunately, the show was canceled by the NYPD due to overcrowding, leaving me without the chance to give my fans a real show. I’m thankful for the support that the fans have been giving me … I thank you now.”
Fans were also disappointed, but many feared for their own safety as people fought, threw items from nearby restaurants and even trampled other attendees.
New York University student Adam Vinson spoke with MTV News and described the chaotic scene. “People didn’t know how to have manners,” he said. “Everyone was up against each other pushing. There was just too many people there. In New York City, though, people are gonna come from out of state, and in the city, there’s already millions of people. The concertgoers packed in and people started fighting.
“I saw dudes fighting,” he added. “One dude said he was gonna light this place up; it was that serious. Once I saw that, it was my cue to leave. People started pushing, bottles were thrown and once dude threatened to shoot, people started trying to get out.”
What would you do in that situation? Let us know in the comments.
Don’t miss the “Drake: Better Than Good Enough” documentary, airing Wednesday, June 23, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on MTV!