UPDATE: Correspondence has been made with the Surfers Paradise Beergarden and ALH Group. Both are assisting us with our ongoing enquiries. We are still looking for witnesses who may have seen the assault take place OR encouctered this unruly patron. Please get in touch with us ASAP.
In case you missed the news surrounding our coverage of Northlane‘s recent show on the Gold Coast, one of our photographers, Bec O’Reilly was assaulted by an unruly punter as she was taking photos of the opening act She Cries Wolf from the back of the room, out of the way of attendees who had slowly made their way into the Surfers Paradise Beergarden venue by this point. We have been seeking any witnesses to this incident to come forward with any information they have, as this is now a Police Investigation and our attempts to contact the Venue run by the ALH Group, have gone unanswered.
The Surfers Paradise Police Department have asked for any witnesses to please come forward with their accounts of the night, including information on the patron in question until we can obtain CCTV footage from the venue itself.
The time of the attack was approximately 9:28pm as Bec states below:
“I attended the event on Thursday night at which an incident occurred at approximately 9.28pm during the performance of She Cries Wolf. Upon arrival I went to a quiet corner on the other side of the venue, got my camera ready and ventured out on the floor as close to the stage as I could get. After taking a few shots I moved to the centre of the dance floor.
At this time the venue was rather empty, the majority of patrons were at the front against the barrier, and a few at the rear near the bar. The space in between was empty. It was this space I chose (with easily 5m of empty space on all sides of me) I took 2 photos above my head to get the full stage including the crowd. As I lifted the camera above my head I was punched in the back of the head above my left ear by a man who had come at me from behind.
This man then ran off to the side of the stage near the entrance steps by the stage and stopped in front of a security guard. He then retreated back to his group of friends at the rear near the bar. He then took another run at me, this time barging me in the back. Again running away and pulling up right in front of the same security guard.
I then left the dance floor and went over to the side of the stage and stood next to that very same security guard. At this point I was holding my head in pain. He (Security Guard) smiled at me and asked I was ok. I said I’ve just been punched in the back of the head. He looked around and walked away to what I assumed was to deal with what he surely had just witnessed with me being punched in the head.
This patron was clearly under the influence of something. He then made his way to the centre of the dance floor dancing like a junkie at a rave, air kicking and air punching, doing cartwheels and handstands. To this point, no one had pulled him up on his behaviour. To say his behaviour prior to and after him punching me was unacceptable and posed a serious danger to others in the venue. This patron should have been pulled up and ejected long before he punched me. Security were very inattentive and rather blase about any unruly behaviour.
I was not in the mosh pit. I do not venture into the mosh pit for a reason. I take steps to ensure my safety and those around me. Surfers Paradise Beergarden security and management have a duty of care to do the same.
If you have any information which may lead to the tracking down of the person who assaulted Bec, it will be greatly appreciated. Bec has also added that anyone who may have been standing towards the back of the room during this time, including but not limited to the sound mixer/engineer may be able to assist us with our enquiries.
This is the type of sickening behaviour we need to join together as a community to stamp out. It should never have happened in the first place, let alone be left so long unanswered by the Surfers Paradise Beergarden/ALH Group.