LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — A violent confrontation at the Urban Music Awards brought the ceremony to an abrupt end and left several people hospitalized, including one man in critical condition.
The award show was being held at Indigo, a venue in the O2 Arena on November 15th
With some ugly irony, the incident occurred just as Intensify Youth, a project aimed at curbing knife-related violence was about to take the stage to present an award. According to The Independent, witness reported seeing chairs flying and "blood all over the floor" in a general melee that involved as many as thirty people, leaving two hospitalized. A 27-year-old man was left in critical condition after being stabbed and another man, was stabbed and is in serious, but stable condition. A third man was treated and released for injuries that were likely sustained from flying glass.
Police have taken an unidentified 21-year-old man into custody in connection with the incident. The man has subsequently been released on a surety bond.
According to the event's organizers Invincible Media Group, the event was called off due to an unrelated incident: "[The event] was suspended due to a separate incident which had nothing to do with the UMAs, [it was] simply a minority who decided to take it upon themselves to try and ruin what was turning out as one of the best ever UMAs."
AEG Europe released a statement regarding the incident:
"The O2 has invested in a permanent, full-time, dedicated on-site Metropolitan Police team. Additionally our own extensive security team works very closely with this team, all divisions of the Metropolitan Police and London Borough of Greenwich to ensure customer safety, which is paramount.
"This is the first incident of this nature to have occurred. 'It was a private event and as soon as the incident took place we closed the venue down. All the usual pre-event risk assessment was carried out between The O2, the Metropolitan Police and Greenwich. We have released all images from our extensive CCTV network to the police and are currently sitting down with all parties to review the details of the incident and any lessons that can be learned."
However, according to press reports, metal detectors were not implemented at the venue's entryways and representatives from AEG Europe are reportedly meeting with London's Metropolitan Police to review security at the venue.
The award show is designed to recognize young urban artists and Estelle, Adele, Leona Lewis, Dizzee Rascal and Duffy had were among the nominees for awards this year. The remainder of the show will be taped for television broadcast and will include parts of the live event.
This unfortunate incident wasn't the first time the UMA's have been marred by violence. In 2004, a 24-year-old woman was wounded when she was caught in the crossfire during a gun battle between two rival gangs, outside of the event.
Next year's invite-only UMAs have already been scheduled for November 1st and will take place at a "secret" location, organizers say. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers