The Avett Brothers were forced to call off a sold out show at the last minute when a man brought a handgun into the venue while security was attempting to verify his claim of being a law enforcement officer. The performance was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Troutdale, Oregon, but a member of the band announced the cancellation two hours after it had kicked off, without giving a specific reason to the crowd at the venue, according to KGW.com.
According to a post by the band on Facebook, a man set off a metal detector at the venue entrance, but claimed to be a law enforcement officer from out of state. While security personnel sought to verify this information, the man proceeded into the venue, at which point security lost sight of him.
This evening, during the admission process at our show at Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn in Troutdale, Oregon, an individual passing through the metal detector was found to be carrying a gun.
When confronted by the security guard and informed of the no-firearm policy of the venue, the individual stated that he was an out-of-state police officer and showed a badge. The security guard then asked the individual to wait for the manager so his entry could be confirmed. The individual disregarded her instructions and ventured immediately into the size-able audience. After an exhaustive search of the venue by the security staff of both the band and the venue, the individual was not located.
Due to the obvious threat posed by someone in the audience with a firearm, regardless of his (unconfirmed) claim of being a member of law enforcement, we were obligated, for the safety of everyone present, to cancel the performance.
It was unfortunate that such action had to be taken, but we have no regret in being in a position to make a decision which helps to keep our fans safe.
We look forward to making this performance up at the earliest possible juncture. Once the details are sorted for this, we will get the word out immediately.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter, and much love to you all for the continued support, love, and consideration…
The Avett Brothers
According to coverage in the local media, the Multnomah County Sherriff’s Office said they were told by security staff that a metal detector had gone off, but they did not see a firearm. Due to this claim by event security, the law enforcement agency hadn’t opened a criminal investigation on the matter.
It is unclear why the band describes the incident as having involved a man with a gun making it through security when the security and local law enforcement indicate that there was no gun involved. Regardless, fans have expressed dismay at the potential that there was an armed individual beyond the security checkpoint for some length of time before the show was called off.
“I know they don’t want people trampled as people run out of the venue, but they have an obligation to their guests,” said Kyle Sproul, who attended the concert.
The show was supposed to start at 7 p.m., Sproul said. She said staff was saying the concert was delayed because of “sound issues.” It wasn’t until nearly 9 p.m. that a member of the band came on stage to say the show had been canceled, without giving a reason for the cancelation, according to Sproul.
“When he came out on stage, he was in the very corner and there was security around him, which should have been a red flag,” she said.
The band has said they will be rescheduling the concert as soon as the details can be figured out.