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Metalhead knocked unconscious by ‘crowd killer’ at Melbourne show

A Melbourne man was allegedly knocked unconscious at a metal show in Fitzroy on Thursday night after a ‘crowd killer’ assaulted him.

A crowd killer is a concertgoer who moves around violently into other unconsenting patrons.

Caleb Roberts, 22, was at a Vulvodynia show at The Workers Club when the unknown man allegedly lashed out at other patrons before punching him in the face at about 10.30pm.

Mr Roberts said he fell unconscious for up to three minutes and was left with a welt on his face and a black eye.

“It was a standard metal show, but then when Vulvodynia played, right when they were doing the intro track, a glass got dropped, and this big, big dude – one arm was the size of me and the body of a tree trunk – basically just yelled at the top of his lungs: ‘Who fucking dropped that glass? I’m gonna fucking kill the cunt.’ 

“And as soon as the first riff happened, he pretty much grabbed four – I’d say 80-90kg people – and literally threw them like they were nothing. 

“He went up, full on elbowed them, turned around and just punched me right in the face. 

“And that’s when it went pure black and all I remember were people going, ‘Caleb, are you OK?’

“I could hear them but I couldn’t react to them because it was just black.

“Apparently, I was out for three minutes… 45 seconds, somewhere between there.

“I remember people calling my name, but I didn’t feel anyone drag me and (then) I was outside.”

Caleb Roberts has a welt and black eye from the alleged assault.

Mr Roberts said patrons came over to check on him and bar staff provided assistance.

“People were just sitting with me just trying to make sure I was OK. 

“There was one woman in the bar staff who just sat with me the whole time – made sure I was OK and basically wouldn’t leave my side until I was 100 per cent OK.”

Mr Roberts said Vulvodynia, a slam band from South Africa, also checked on him.

“They came up and straight up apologised about it and my instant response was: ‘It wasn’t your fault at all.'”

Mr Roberts said the man was unknown to him but he had a distinctive appearance and stands out in a crowd.

After the alleged incident, a group of friends sat with him until about 1am and a friend then dropped him home.

He said he stayed up until about 6am to ensure his condition did not worsen.

“As soon as I woke up, I stood up, and basically it almost felt like I was drunk.  

“I couldn’t see straight; I couldn’t keep my balance.”

Mr Roberts said he was gradually feeling better.

“I have a massive bruise, but other than that, I’m OK now, thank god.

“I’ve got a bit of a black eye coming in and I’ve got a welt just above my eyebrow.”

Mr Roberts said he was less concerned about himself and more concerned about the behaviour of a select few in the metal scene.

“The thing is, this isn’t about me.  It’s about stopping the crowd killing before it gets out of hand.

The thing is, this isn’t about me.  It’s about stopping the crowd killing before it gets out of hand.

“If that sort of stuff is encouraged, it’s going to keep flaring up. 

“It’s going to get worse and worse and encouraging more people who aren’t there for the gigs; who are just there to hurt people.”

Mr Roberts said slam and brutal death metal shows had been marred by violence in the past, but he moshed at almost every show and most people knew the appropriate way to behave.

“Slam crowds… brutal death metal crowds are pretty notorious because of crowd killing.

“That kind of music attracts that crowd. 

“There’s always one dickhead and he was that dickhead.

“There’s an etiquette to it.  You don’t go up to people who don’t want to do it.  If you touch someone inappropriately, apologise.  

“It’s just sort of a general respect thing.  If someone falls down, pick them up.  

“Accidents happen, yes.  I’ve got countless scars on my arms and hands from the mosh pit but those were all just pushes and accidents. 

“It’s an issue that needs to be addressed before it flares out massively.

“Say that was my first gig – I’d think that’d be OK and I’d start going to other shows and then start doing that.

“A lot of my friends have been in the scene for 10-15 years and they’re sort of passing the torch to me, and if I’m in that spot, I’ll be passing the torch to someone else.

“The Workers Club is going through the CCTV from what I was last told.  That’s the best we can do.”

It is unsure if police are taking action or if the alleged perpetrator is wanted for questioning.

There is no insinuation of wrongdoing by the venue or band.

The Workers Club was contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.

Do you know more? Get in touch with Grater at editor@gratermag.com

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