Heavy rockers System Of A Down insist they had to halt their performance at Britain's Leeds Festival on Friday (22AUG03) - or risk their fans being killed.

The 60,000-strong crowd's enthusiasm for the metal outfit forced the safety barrier to move by half a metre (1.6 feet), leaving three people hospitalised and 22 others injured.

The Californian rockers subsequently halted their performance and urged fans to carefully step back.

Bassist SHAVO ODADJIAN says, "Because there are a lot of kids they get so excited they can push metal. They pushed the barricade but once we found out we stopped the show. We asked everyone, 'If all 60,000 of you can take a step back,' and everyone looked at us as if we we're crazy.

"It's our responsibility. Even though it's my show, if kids are getting hurt you've got to stop. Once the energy starts coming from the fans and comes to us it creates a cycle of intense energy. Once that gets too much, you've got to stop it and create some peaceful energy."

But the bassist applauds the courage of fans who are prepared to risk their health for the sake of being close to the band.

He adds, "You guys are some crazy motherf***ers to be right down at the front. That takes a lot of balls, strength and integrity to withstand being there in front of that many other fans."

26/08/2003 17:49