2 September, 2015 - NME.com
Electronic music producer Evian Christ has explained his side of events after he was held in a cage by security staff at Leeds Festival over the weekend.
The Kanye West collaborator was detained at the Bramham Park site after security staff believed he was trying to break into the VIP area. He had played a DJ set on the BBC Radio One Dance Stage earlier in the day.
The musician - real name Joshua Leary - tweeted a short video from inside the holding pen with the hashtag #freeEvian gaining popularity on Twitter.
reading fest cancelled (sorry) cuz leeds put me in a cage #freeevian pic.twitter.com/sArsBnR8fg— evian christ 2015 (@evian_christ) August 28, 2015
Hudson Mohawke then shared the following picture from backstage at Reading Festival on Saturday (August 30).
Nice dressing room touch from Reading Fest organisers pic.twitter.com/RoEnuJR9FZ— Hudson Mohawke (@HudMo) August 30, 2015
After festival organiser Melvin Benn accused Leary of being "intoxicated" and "'not in a very good state", the producer has now posted a lengthy statement to Facebook in which he says "nobody should be detained in a cage by an employer because they can't find their car".
The full statement reads, "was involved in a strange incident at leeds festival this weekend which ended up in me being detained inside a cage, as has been widely reported by everyone from quietus to lad bible. while i am grateful to have finally had my work acknowledged by lad bible, there are some things i need to address:
"leeds fest, friday. after making sure blaze kidd + uli-k (who are performing with me) have got in a taxi home, i set about finding my own car so i can do the same. the artist car park is backstage and the festival layout is sprawling, so after being sent backwards and forwards by security staff i finally give up and ask one of them to call me a car to take me back there. the driver takes issue with me immediately and removes the pass im wearing that identifies me as a performing artist, asks my name ("joshua leary") and then tells me that my pass says something different ("evian christ"). i inform him that evian christ is my artist name, and that i also have a real name, but he appears unsatisfied by this explanation and keeps the pass
"we drive past the artists car park and i identify my car (in which i have family waiting, younger brother etc), the security ogre grunts and bizarrely proceeds to take me to some weird area with a cage. i am detained in this cage and told that i am being held under suspicion of trying to "break into the festival without a ticket" - i remain here for a Very Long Time. the security guards seem to think i am there for their amusement, and a few times i am threatened with arrest by a police officer, once for saying "for fucks sake" into the distance, another time for "knocking a chair over". i am informed that i will remain detained in the cage indefinitely until i can prove beyond doubt that i am not trying to "break into the festival". i remind security/police they have removed the pass which i was presumably given for this explicit reason, and i suggest that my attempt to find the backstage carpark after DJing the radio 1 dance stage should be a sufficient indicator of my intentions. they respond that "anyone could have found [the pass] and stuck it on" (lol). later, i ask them to identify me photographically by googling by name, which i think is a good idea, but they have no interest in any potential solution and seem hellbent on winding me up to the point that i might snap and get myself arrested
"at this point i only had a few percent battery so i managed to take a quick video, send some tweets, call my manager and DM brodinski who heroically tried to #free me to no avail. i "cancelled" reading in an attempt to gain some leverage in the situation but nobody around me gave a fuck anyway and seemed to think it was funny. over an hour afterwards i was set #free by a "more senior" member of the security staff who seemed as bemused as me by the situation. i asked for an apology and was not given one. thank you all for the #freeevian twitter campaign btw
"i haven't wanted to go into this much detail until now, because if the festival had emailed me a simple apology I would actually have happily played reading. but i've sent two detailed emails to the festival organisers since friday and have received no response. last night, however, festival owner melvin benn found a moment in his busy schedule of being an a top-class dickhead to claim via the NME that i was "intoxicated and refusing to identify myself". even if that were true (it isn't), there's likely a better way to deal with that situation than to physically detain someone who isn't actually legally under arrest for anything. so im sorry melv, you weren't there mate, i was. i'd had a few drinks as i always do at a show (your festival provided them) but i was fine and your security staff removed the only form of identification given to me after i provided them with it. those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones at a DJ they locked in a cage
"as if this all wasn't ridiculous enough, yesterday i discovered that reading festival - too busy to respond to my emails trying to sort the situation out - thought it would be funny to create a cage behind the stage i was supposed to play on, labelling it as my backstage area. personally i didn't find this massively appropriate and overall i feel gutted to have had a terrible experience at a festival i attended twice as a kid and was really excited to play
"we have big issues with regulation of police and private security services in the uk, nobody should be detained in a cage by an employer because they can't find their car. didnt really want to go into this much detail publicly and im absolutely fine, but when you see defamatory quotes flying around you kinda have to say something. anyway have a nice week fuck leeds fest xo evian".