Chris Schulz is an entertainment feature writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Footage emerges of Westfest band throwing object at fans

Footage has emerged from music festival Westfest of a singer throwing a jug of liquid at the crowd, allegedly burning fans in the front rows.

The heavy metal festival was held at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on Tuesday, with up to 10,000 fans enjoying sets by headliners Soundgarden, Faith No More and Fall Out Boy.

But several fans complained to the Herald that an incident during an erratic mid-afternoon main stage set by punk-rock act Antemasque - featuring former members of At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta - soured their day.

Footage has emerged of the incident in which front man Cedric Bixler-Zavala hurls a plastic kettle into the crowd, and several fans told the Herald hot liquid from the jug splashed on them.

Festival-goer Hugh Smith said he and his friends took "the full brunt" of the "boiling hot" liquid shortly after the band arrived on stage. They supplied the following image allegedly showing the injury.

The hot water left this scald on a punter's arm. Photo / supplied
The hot water left this scald on a punter's arm. Photo / supplied

Smith said they were "shocked" by the incident.

"Cedric threw a plastic kettle full of boiling hot water towards me and my friends," he said in an email to the Herald.

"We were standing about four-five metres back. I threw my hand up to catch it before it collided with my friend's face ... this bruised my hand and then splashed hot water all over him and my face.

"It bloody hurt. My friend's arm went all burny pink."

Another Westfest attendee said the liquid was so hot it was steaming.

"The singer had a full jug of recently boiled water on one of the risers, which was obviously for him to drink, but maybe it was too hot, or maybe he just felt like throwing it anyway.

Antemasque - anti stage equipment #westfest15 #antemasque

A photo posted by Mr. Moustachio (@mr._moustachio) on


"He hurled it into the crowd and [it definitely] looked like some people got burnt as steam was coming off the water as it went through the air.

"It landed near us and an audience member picked it up and waved it around for the rest of their set, which must have been 15 minutes tops."

A Westfest spokesman told the Herald they were investigating the claim but had no comment to make. The band's management requested the story didn't run, he said.

A fan with the plastic kettle thrown into the crowd by the band Antemasque.
A fan with the plastic kettle thrown into the crowd by the band Antemasque.

Another fan said he was hit in the arm and face by the liquid.

"The band took the stage and I heard a 'thunk'," said the fan, who asked not to be named.

"Something whizzed over my shoulder and into the crowd behind me. I didn't see what the object was but other punters and I were splashed with hot water, or hot coffee, as it flew by."

Antemasque, one of the bands appearing at Westfest.
Antemasque, one of the bands appearing at Westfest.

The unnamed fan said he wasn't hurt badly enough to seek medical attention.

"It wasn't scalding hot, but it was hot. I didn't get the lion's share of the splash,
I got it on my face and down my right arm."

He stayed for the rest of Antemasque's show and said the band's singer seemed agitated throughout the performance, also throwing speakers stacks, packing cases and his microphone stand.

"Every time he picked something up I was like, 'Is he going to throw that? You just knew he was pissed off. The last thing he did was hurl his microphone down to the grass in the space between the stage and the crowd.

"He was so erratic you never knew what he was going to do with stuff."

* Were you there? Did you see what happened? Contact us here .

Read more: Concert review: Westfest, Mt Smart Stadium

- nzherald.co.nz

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