Tom Petty: 'Everyone Will Get Reimbursed' For Interrupted Concert
Tom Petty personally pledged to reimburse fans who got booted from a show Saturday night at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
Fox News reports that the concert was shut down about half-way through because the Los Angeles Fire Department fire marshal determined that the venue was over capacity.
Rolling Stone reports that after performing a cover of the Grateful Dead’s "Friend Of The Devil," Petty announced that he had been summoned to the side and warned by the fire marshal that the floor was 100 people over capacity. He seemed to be joking when he asked if anyone wanted to voluntarily head upstairs to the balcony or leave, but no one volunteered.
According to the music site, he then said, "I’ve done my job, now I’m gonna do what I do best." The band then launched into the song "Melinda." As soon as the song was over, Petty said, "We’re being told we have to go," and exited the stage. Once the lights came up, patrons began booing and some were seen yelling at the fire marshal.
Petty insisted that the show was not over capacity. According to Fox, he said, "If it has to come out of my own pocket, everyone will get reimbursed."
"It was disappointing," one concert goer told Fox. The show was supposed to run until 11:15pm, "but we all got kicked out just before 10:30. We thought they were kidding when we got told we had to leave."
Petty said the next day, "I am sure you heard about last night. It's actually all I have heard about since. Up all night talking about it. I don't like point fingers or blame... But it wasn't me. I can guarantee we finish our set tonight."
The band issued the following statement on their website Sunday:
First and foremost, the safety of our fans is our primary concern and the most important consideration. To those fans who attended last night's show at the Fonda Theatre, we are as frustrated as you are!
While we are still investigating exactly what happened we do know the following as of right now:
1) The number of tickets sold was NOT above the legal capacity of the building. The venue and Ticketmaster documentation confirms this.
2) The Fire Marshal decided that the number of people on the floor (as opposed to on the upstairs balcony or terrace) was unsafe.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and our representatives rely on the concert promoter and venue representatives to give us an accurate breakdown of the legal capacity for every part of the building and to provide security and other staff to enforce this.
We are still investigating all details of last night's situation and will keep you informed.
The shows at the Fonda tonight and Tuesday will go ahead as planned and we are working with the venue, the promoter and the Fire Marshal to ensure that this problem will not repeat itself.
We thank you for your support.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Sunday's show apparently went off without a hitch, with Yahoo's "Reality Rocks" blogger Lyndsey Parker tweeting "Fantastic show!" Saturday's show was the fourth of six nights that Petty and his band were performing at the Fonda.