Drake Concert Clash

A free concert featuring Drake and Hanson at New York City’s South Street Seaport was canceled before the artists could take the stage as violence erupted in the massive crowd June 15.

Organizers had expected 10,000 people to show up to the concert, which marked the release of Drake’s debut album Thank Me Later. Instead, they faced a crowd of 20,000, according to police reports.

The concert, sponsored by Paper magazine, was expected to run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. but things got out of hand soon after opening act Ninjasonik took the stage.

“Everybody was pushing up, trying to get to the front,” a concertgoer told the New York Daily News. “People in the front started leaving because they were getting crushed. Then they started throwing bottles from the balconies.”

YouTube videos of the raucous crowd show how quickly things escalated. People standing on balconies above throngs of screaming fans begin throwing bottles and flower pots into the audience below. As concertgoers on the street attempt to retaliate, fans on the balconies progress to larger items including metal chairs.

Six people suffered minor injuries, police said, and two concertgoers were arrested on minor charges.

Hanson, which was scheduled to perform after Ninjasonik, broke news of the cancellation on the band’s Twitter page: “Had to cancel the free NYC show today because of a crazy audience that was breaking things at the mixing board.”

Drake also took to the Internet to apologize to fans.

“NYPD will not let me go on stage tonight,” he tweeted. “I am so disappointed. To all the devoted fans that came out I wish you could have seen what I had planned! Until next time.”

The Seaport said in a statement that it pulled the plug on the concert when the safety of guests became a concern.

“Unfortunately, by the announced show time, both the Seaport management and NYPD estimated that the on-site crowd had greatly exceeded this safe capacity, was still rising, and the show could no longer be presented in a safe atmosphere,” the statement said. “By 7:00PM, a decision was made in consultation with the police to cancel the event in order to foster the safe dispersal of the over-capacity crowd.”

A concertgoer who said she’d attended previous shows at the Seaport told the News that crowd-control measures were lacking for the turnout at the Drake concert.

“Next time they need more cops, and they need to have a limit [on attendees],” she said. “I’ve seen Marc Anthony here – it wasn’t like this.”