OK so there’s a lot of shit going around about what happened to twenty one pilots at Reading so as someone who watched the whole thing, this is what happened:
Ok so bit of background, here in England Reading Festival is pretty much where teenagers around 15-18 go after they’ve got their GCSE and A Level exam results, basically just to get high and drunk as fuck and just party and watch some music, so basically the crowd is always full of drunk teenagers. Now onto what happened to our poor boys.
Initially everything was fine, then it came to Holding Onto You and the band’s first interaction with the crowd. The cameras were on the crowd for most of the time throughout the other songs and you could see it was rather rowdy and moving around a lot as people were pushing each other around a lot. Tyler (if you don’t know) stands on the crowd and people hold him up whilst he sings the first verse of HOY, and he was swaying about a bit because the teenagers underneath him just couldn’t hold him up, Security were doing most of the work holding his legs and waist. So Tyler got down after he finished his bit and everything seemed to be OK again.
Then is came to Ride (which again if you don’t know) Josh has a mini drum kit on a platform that goes into the crowd and they support it. Again, security were doing most of the work holding the platform up and the kids up underneath it, but even then the platform was swaying A LOT from side to side with Josh on it, I was so terrified he was going to fall. So that ends and he gets down, luckily he’s fine and no injuries to him and (as far as I could tell) everyone in the crowd was OK.
Then the blackout at the end of Ride happens.
There’s a long pause, like I mean REALLY long. The crowd starts bubbling and yelling.
Tyler’s voice comes up: “Um for some reason the lights have gone off and they won’t come back on again so we’re just gonna play the rest of our set in the dark if that’s okay”. So that’s what they do. They play Stressed Out mostly in the dark but luckily the back screen is working so there is some light. Then Guns For Hands comes on and Tyler only sings about half of it, snippets of the verses and the chorus, as he’s clearly talking to backstage about the clearly still absent lights.
Then during Guns For Hands Tyler does his whole crowd surfing in the hamster ball thing. This actually goes surprisingly well and I mean he trips a couple of times but that’s kind of expected due to the slippery moving surface of the ball.
Lights still aren’t on.
Lights come back on about halfway through the next song, which is Car Radio. Everything is going well, the crowd is singing along, Tyler is singing, Josh is killing it on the drums. Then Tyler walks to the front of the stage, indicating a tower in the middle of the crowd which he is going to climb up, as he usually does in Car Radio. He points at it and says to the crowd “I need to get over there okay?”
This is when everything went to shit.
Tyler gets in the crowd and immediately it collapses to the side with him on them, security goes to grab him but he waves them off, obviously intent on getting to the platform. The crowd is still swaying underneath him and he’s not making much progress.
You can hear people yelling on his mic, things like “stop doing that” “help her” “get off”, that sorta thing. The point in the song where Tyler is meant to be at the tower comes. And goes. Camera points at Josh a couple of times, you can clearly see he’s mad and worried. Car Radio ends. Next song starts, Josh continues drumming bless him. Next song finishes, Tyler is still not at the platform but he’s nearly there. People are still yelling over his mic. Security at the platform are waving him over towards them.
Finally Tyler reaches the platform as the third song begins and he climbs it. He slips near the top but catches himself and doesn’t fall. But then he stands up and you can see his shirt has been completely ripped and is dangling off him. He’s sweaty and covered in beer and clearly mad and hot and stressed. The song ends and Tyler yells “Are you all still with me?”
Then “Josh we gotta be done, we’re done”. “Thank you, we’ve been twenty one pilots”. This wasn’t because they were upset or cut off, this was because of all the lights issue and Tyler getting to the platform ate into the concert time they just ran out of time and they had to get off the stage because there were other artists due to play after them.
It was so heartbreaking to watch. I’m sure the video will be up later when the BBC post it on iPlayer. There are photos of Tyler on Tumblr.
As an English person I must emphasise that this is NOT what the majority of clique members in this country I like. Like I said, the crowd was full of drunk teenagers and people who either don’t know the artist or just have little to no respect for the artist as they’re just there to have a bit of a party and cause a bit of chaos for fun.
That being said, I apologise to Tyler and Josh so so so much on behalf of this country and the shitty people in the crowd. This never should have happened.