Flares At Gigs: Dangerous Or Fun (Not Trousers…)

At a recent Courteeners outdoor gig in Manchester one of the features of the night was the cat and mouse battle between the security and punters who were lighting up flares in the crowd.

The security were putting out the flares and throwing the fans out for lighting them and it went on all night. The flares, of course, look fantastic- as they light up in red for united or blue for city they are automatically a flashpoint but apart from that the clouds of smoke and the intense light are a great sight to behold and create a real sense of atmosphere and demonic fires of hell atmosphere- which is apt as they first appeared on the football terraces probably from Istanbul where this smoking, fires of hell reception is pretty popular.

The only problem is that they are dangerous- they are, of course, hot and smokey and an accident waiting to happen in the hands of a joyous, yet drunken, lunatic.

What do you think? Time to ban the flares or do they add to the sense of occasion? Are security overreacting in a health and safety nightmare or are they are looking after everyone (people have died at football matches) and stopping them getting burned by wild eyed droogs with a penchent for the theatrical?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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