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Here’s What Happened When Duke Dumont’s Regular DJ Set Turned Into a Human Tug-of-War

The UK DJ and producer recalls one particularly crowded DJ set in the South of France.

by Britt Julious
Nov 19 2016, 3:49pm

As one of the most popular producers and DJs in the world, Duke Dumont is used to weird antics and unusual interactions with his scores of fans. Sometimes those antics move from the dance floor to the DJ booth.

Here, Dumont recalls one DJ set in the South of France that went from calm and fun to wild and raucous, and how he wasn't able to do anything to stop it.

It could have been scary, but not so much when I think about it.

It happened during a show I did in the South of France in this massive auditorium that held something like 3000 kids. I was on stage and I kind of wondered, "We've got 3000 people and barely only two security guards." I thought, "OK. That's interesting." And so the show went on.

I remember this kid jumped up to an area of the stage, and was dancing. He was being friendly and not causing any trouble. But I remember the two security guards–for the entire venue, mind you–jumped up on stage to take this kid down.

This kid kind of had an "F– You!" attitude toward the security guards. And for the first time, I saw someone refuse to leave the stage. The kid then threw himself to the ground. One security guard grabbed him by the arms and the other grabbed him by the legs. This is while I'm DJing, by the way, so I'm still trying to concentrate. And right in front, about six feet away from me, there's this human tug-of-war going on where one security guard's pulling him and the other security guard's pulling him.

I'm just thinking, "Ahh, what the fuck? This is crazy!"

That went on for like 30 seconds. Some of the people in the crowd didn't really appreciate that, so they jumped up on stage, too. And then that basically turned into a massive stage infiltration of the crowd. Just think: 1000 kids on me and on the stage. And at the very same time, I'm still DJing.

I think the security was in the right. They weren't aggressive. They could have jumped on the stage and really tackled this kid. I mean, I've seen that. But in the defense of the security guards, they weren't provoking. They were actually right and doing right. It's just cause the crowd was so crazy and they didn't really like the security presence there.

What could have been a truly unfortunate thing turned out to be quite funny. I'd never witnessed an event that stretched into a human tug-of-war type scenario where a thousand kids jumped up on stage and it just turned into a dance party. I was very relaxed on stage, despite the circumstances. It was surprising. So for the last 25 minutes of the show, I was DJing with a thousand kids on stage. And they weren't really hounding me. What could have been a horror story was actually quite a bit fun.

A lot of times when you DJ, things end in chaos at some point. Or you attract chaos. But I actually enjoyed it. I just kind of went with it.

duke dumont