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Face Down announces changes to security arrangements at The Scala following Wargasm assault

By | Published on Tuesday 16 November 2021


The promoters of the Face Down club night have announced a number of new measures that they and London’s Scala venue are introducing in response to the assault of Wargasm’s Sam Matlock by three security guards following a performance at the venue earlier this month.

Writing about that incident on social media, Wargasm explained that – while loading out after performing at Face Down – “a bouncer was verbally aggressive to our female tour manager, leading to Sam having to step in”. Amid the resulting altercation, “three bouncers then dragged Sam into the backstage toilets, where two of them slammed his head against the toilet seat and held his head in the toilet bowl while the third bouncer held the door closed with his foot”.

The organisers of Face Down quickly responded with their own statement on Twitter, stating: “We are aware of an incident with the security at Scala involving Wargasm. Firstly, we would like to extend our sincere apologies to them for this. While we do not employ the security at our events, as this is the venue’s responsibility, we do not appreciate people being manhandled in this way, be it someone in the crowd or backstage. This has been communicated to the venue and we await their response”.

Since then, additional statements have been issued by the band, Face Down and The Scala, as well the security company that provided the personnel involved in the altercation, Saber Security. The Scala said that, after an investigation, it had banned the three security guards from working at the venue, while Saber added that it had “suspended the services of the security operatives concerned, pending a full and thorough investigation”.

Both Wargasm and Face Down welcomed those developments. Though the club night’s promoters also noted on social media that “we still believe that more can be done” to ensure that no incidents like that involving Wargasm can ever happen again.

With that in mind, Face Down’s promoters posted another update yesterday. They said: “Over the last week, we have had intense one to one meetings with Scala. The venue has been home to Face Down for the last twelve years and in that time we’ve hosted many hugely successful nights of which we all have great memories”.

Following the assault against Matlock earlier this month, they added, “the easiest thing for both sides to do would be to walk away”. However, “we decided it is only right to address these issues head on and forge forward with positive change. The three security involved have been fired but there’s more that needed to be done”.

With that in mind, Face Down says that it will now feedback to The Scala on a monthly basis about any concerns regarding safety and security at the venue, while also allowing club-goers to share their own concerns via a Google form. The promoters will also “ensure we work closer with any and all artists during load out/in to the venue and [that] one of us is there to escort them as well as security”. They will also “check on artists at their dressing room more frequently to ensure things are going OK for them”.

Meanwhile, management at The Scala has committed to overhaul and change the venue’s security team, to modify searches at the door, to respond to feedback from the monthly catch ups, to provide a safe space for women and people suffering with anxiety or stress in the venue, and to generally ensure it has “security that appreciate our community and music”.

The Face Down team conclude: “We would like to thank everyone that came forward and told us about your experiences with the security and venue, without you we would not have been able to make sure these changes happen. Scala is a great venue that has a long-standing partnership with us and both teams are 100% committed to these changes for the better. We are of course totally open to any suggestions to make visiting and playing at Scala more enjoyable not just for us and our clients but also for everyone else”.

You can read the full Face Down statement here.