Tom Petty Concert Cut Short By Fire Marshal
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ Saturday night show at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles was cut short by the local fire marshal. Rolling Stone reports that Petty addressed the crowd following a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil.” Petty told the crowd that the fire marshal had informed him that the floor was a hundred people over capacity and jokingly asked if a hundred people would volunteer to leave. The band performed “Melinda,” Petty then told the crowd, “We’re being told we have to go,” before walking off stage with his band.
The group’s departure was followed by the house lights, which sent the crowd into a fit of boos. The show had already featured covers of J.J. Cale’s “I’m Not Your Lover,” Paul Revere and The Raiders’ “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” and The Traveling Wilburys’ “Tweeter and The Monkey Man.”
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers released a statement about the incident yesterday afternoon which read:
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