Radiohead Listening Party in Turkey Attacked, Band Issues Statement
What should have been an opportunity for Radiohead fans to gather together and listen to A Moon Shaped Pool has turned violent. Yesterday (June 17), a record shop in Istanbul, Turkey, was the target of a gang of attackers.
According to the A.V. Club, approximately 20 men set upon the Velvet IndieGround store in Istanbul. It is believed that they took exception to the idea that attendees were drinking beer at the party, which is forbidden during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
An eyewitness posted on Facebook his description of what happened. "Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool Release Event in Tophane, Istanbul has been attacked by the local fascists," he wrote. "The store manager Seogu Lee and many guests including young women have been injured, some seriously. Seogu, the Korean store manager, has disappeared and his whereabouts is unknown. Around 10PM, between 20 and 25 men all of a sudden started beating up the guests, some of whom had been standing inside and some outside the Velvet Indieground music store, drinking beer and other refreshments. Then the thugs entered the store kicking and punching the guests and destroying the records and the equipment. There was at least one ambulance, but no police."
The video above was taken from the Periscope feed of the party at the moment the violence happened. Although it was said that Seogu Lee had disappeared, the account's owner wrote on Reddit, "Looks like everyone at our event is fine. For the first time in my life, I was scared of being killed. Can't even think right now, just a blank stare at the walls. 'Weird Fishes' is my favourite song in the world, and I was dancing to it outside when it all started. now it has so much more meaning for me."
Radiohead issued a public statement on the attack, saying, “Our hearts go out to those attacked tonight at Velvet IndieGround in Istanbul. We hope that someday we will be able to look back on such acts of violent intolerance as things of the ancient past. For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support.”
The listening party was part of a global celebration of A Moon Shaped Pool that was set up by the band in honor of the record's release on vinyl and availability on Spotify. Its members created special playlists, and they held a contest to win artwork.
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