Watsonville Riot

When the headliner of a recent Mexican rock concert in Watsonville, Calif., failed to show, the city had a situation on its hands.

A crowd of nearly 700 fans who’d paid as much as $60 each to see hard rock band El Tri February 25th, were disappointed to say the least when they were told the headliner was not going to make the show.

Promoter Tony Valencia of Promociones Mexico Lindo told the Santa Cruz Sentinel the crowd got out of control when he tried to explain the situation.

"I went up on stage and told them they could have their money back, but they weren’t listening. They were too mad," Valencia said. "I told them to keep their receipts for a free concert in the future. And that’s when everyone started acting up."

Some people charged the stage, throwing drinks and damaging sound equipment and the venue itself. A crowd of nearly 200 concertgoers took to the streets and began vandalizing vehicles, police told the paper, causing an estimated $75,000 in damage. Officers from across the county were called in to disburse the crowd.

The band played a show in Reno the previous day and apparently couldn’t make it to Watsonville in time for the concert after facing heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada.

A rescheduled March 1st El Tri concert was scheduled for King City, nearly 70 miles away from Watsonville, as promoters were apparently unsuccessful at securing another venue in Watsonville.

Marco Amaro, another promoter for the band, told the Sentinel fans who had tickets from the canceled performance could attend the King City concert for free.

"We really apologize for this," Amaro said. "But the band was snowed in and now there’s no place we can play but King City. Watsonville is all booked up."

It is unclear whether those who couldn’t attend the show will receive refunds. The Promociones Mexico Lindo Web site of promoter Tony Valencia did not list instructions on how to receive refunds and Valencia could not be reached at press time.