Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers posted a group message on TomPetty.com trying to shed light on the mess which forced their June 8th concert at L.A.'s Fonda Theatre to be shut down by fire marshals 90 minutes into the show due to overcrowding. Petty told the crowd that marshals insisted that 100 people would need to leave the venue or move to the balcony -- or else the band would be forced to cut their show short by 45 minutes. Petty was ultimately forced to end the show early to catcalls and boos from his usual die-hard audience.
Billboard reported that Petty told the crowd at the Fonda the following night (Sunday, June 9th) "We had to quit a little early last night. I don't like to assign blame, but it wasn't me. I'm absolutely sure we're going to work this out. If I have to pay it myself, everyone will be reimbursed."
Statement From Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Regarding Last Night's Early Conclusion To The Concert At The Fonda Theatre In Los Angeles - via TomPetty.com:
First and foremost, the safety of our fans is our primary concern and the most important consideration. To those fans who attended last night's show at the Fonda Theatre, we are as frustrated as you are!
While we are still investigating exactly what happened we do know the following as of right now:
1. The number of tickets sold was NOT above the legal capacity of the building. The venue and Ticketmaster documentation confirms this.
2. The Fire Marshal decided that the number of people on the floor (as opposed to on the upstairs balcony or terrace) was unsafe.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and our representatives rely on the concert promoter and venue representatives to give us an accurate breakdown of the legal capacity for every part of the building and to provide security and other staff to enforce this.
We are still investigating all details of last night's situation and will keep you informed.
The shows at the Fonda tonight and Tuesday will go ahead as planned and we are working with the venue, the promoter and the Fire Marshal to ensure that this problem will not repeat itself.
We thank you for your support.
- Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Photo Courtesy of PRPhotos.com