Newspaper warns of ‘Dance scene’s lethal mix’; fans hit back

The sold-out Swedish House Mafia show at Dublin’s Phoenix Park may have been the trio’s last in the Irish capital, but that fact was overshadowed by far more alarming headlines. During the 45,000-person event, which also featured Tinie Tempah, Calvin Harris and Snoop Dogg, nine people were stabbed. One victim is in a critical condition after he was stabbed four times, and a 22-year-old man has appeared in court facing five charges in connection to the violence.

The news hit home with the headlining Swedes as well, who posted an official statement. “We played a festival in Ireland at the weekend and reports of incidents are coming to us,” Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello wrote. “We didn’t see anything but have asked for all the info and are respectful of the promoter’s need to wait and give us all the clear facts. Once we know all the facts we will deal with it in the best way we can. Thank you.”

Since the weekend, the Irish media has given the violence front-page prominence. Long-standing daily broadsheet The Irish Times has found itself at the centre of anger from dance music fans thanks to an opinion editorial: ‘Dance scene’s lethal mix – drink, drugs and ignorance’.

One of paper’s stalwart writers Brian Boyd presents the argument that the stabbing spree and general unruliness can be traced to the combination of drugs and booze that goes along with the dance scene in 2012. While in the ‘90s ecstasy and alcohol weren’t mixed, he argues, these days it’s a different story. Boyd holds up the Swedish House Mafia show next to the other concerts at Phoenix Park that weekend, from The Stone Roses and Snow Patrol: “The contrast between two nights of feel-good, all-in-it-together sentiment with the drugs-and-violence mayhem of Saturday’s show was striking.” According to Boyd, the blame also lies with “leading musical names rather pathetically appearing to glamorise the use of rave drugs”.

The writer also goes to town on the bleakness of the show. “As news reports stated: knives and hammers were seized from some of those trying to get into the Swedish House Mafia show; there were more than 30 arrests for knife attacks, public order offences, drug possession and drug-dealing; drunk revellers ran out to the roadway in the park, causing motorists to brake suddenly and dangerously; fist fights broke out on Chesterfield Avenue, with clothes being ripped off; and families visiting the nearby Dublin Zoo refused to leave, fearing the scenes of violence outside in the park.”

His comments have lit a fire under the country’s dance music followers, with almost 450 comments berating his points. “Worst article I’ve ever read,” reads one typical response. “Lock up your daughters, there are ‘rave drugs’ and dance music on the loose.” You can read the much-shared article here, and get your scrolling fingers ready for all those comments.