If you’ve ever had the chance to attend the backstage area of a large music festival, you’ll know that strange things can happen in this netherworld. On Friday Evian Christ, who is perhaps best known for his appearance on “I’m In It” off Kanye West’s Yeezus, says he was looking for his parked car after his DJ set at BBC Radio One’s dance stage at Leeds Festival and was stopped by security. He says security had an issue with his accreditation and suspected him of being a gatecrasher. Christ, whose real name is Joshua Leary, says he was taken to a holding pen while staff figured out what to do next. During his time in the pen he took to Twitter and tweeted “really tho actually got put in a cage at a festival headlined by mumford and sons because the festival staff didnt believe i was a dj.”
After news of the incident went viral — he was later released by a senior security officer — Christ took to Facebook to tell his entire side of the story via a length recap of the incident after Reading and Leeds festival organizer Melvin Benn told NME that Christ “was found in a not very good state in the woods, without being able or willing to disclose who he was. He was effectively held till we knew who he was. He certainly wasn’t prevented from performing under any circumstances. It was his decision not to perform, not the festival’s.”
Here’s part of Christ’s Facebook post:
we drive past the artists car park and i identify my car (in which i have family waiting, younger brother etc), the security ogre grunts and bizarrely proceeds to take me to some weird area with a cage. i am detained in this cage and told that i am being held under suspicion of trying to “break into the festival without a ticket” – i remain here for a Very Long Time. the security guards seem to think i am there for their amusement, and a few times i am threatened with arrest by a police officer, once for saying “for fucks sake” into the distance, another time for “knocking a chair over”. i am informed that i will remain detained in the cage indefinitely until i can prove beyond doubt that i am not trying to “break into the festival”. i remind security/police they have removed the pass which i was presumably given for this explicit reason, and i suggest that my attempt to find the backstage carpark after DJing the radio 1 dance stage should be a sufficient indicator of my intentions. they respond that “anyone could have found [the pass] and stuck it on” (lol). later, i ask them to identify me photographically by googling by name, which i think is a good idea, but they have no interest in any potential solution and seem hellbent on winding me up to the point that i might snap and get myself arrested.
at this point i only had a few percent battery so i managed to take a quick video, send some tweets, call my manager and DM brodinski who heroically tried to #free me to no avail. i “cancelled” reading in an attempt to gain some leverage in the situation but nobody around me gave a fuck anyway and seemed to think it was funny. over an hour afterwards i was set #free by a “more senior” member of the security staff who seemed as bemused as me by the situation. i asked for an apology and was not given one. thank you all for the #freeevian twitter campaign btw
He also framed the event around a larger issue about security in the UK:
we have big issues with regulation of police and private security services in the uk, nobody should be detained in a cage by an employer because they can’t find their car. didnt really want to go into this much detail publicly and im absolutely fine, but when you see defamatory quotes flying around you kinda have to say something. anyway have a nice week fuck leeds fest xo evian
You can read his full post here.