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Flow Festival vows to investigate after artist is assaulted by security 

By | Published on Tuesday 15 August 2017

Flow Festival

Organisers of Finland’s Flow Festival have said that they are “at a loss for words” and “very sad” after an artist performing at the event last weekend was allegedly assaulted by security, while another artist who tried to intervene was thrown off the festival’s site.

The booking agency representing both Inga Mauer and Marie Davidson – Futura – issued a statement about the incident yesterday, in which it stated: “Last Saturday Inga Mauer was brutally beaten up by the security team at Flow Festival. She was taken off the festival site by the same team and handed over to the police, who arrested her and took her to a police station where she was forced to spend the night cut off from any communication”.

Futura’s statement goes on: “It also needs to be mentioned that the security team actively took action against people who wanted to intervene in the situation, as Marie Davidson did, [she] was pushed away and kicked out of the festival. She had no luck reaching anyone from the festival throughout the incident. It was a nightmare for all victims involved, and also for us trying to get hold of people and to solve the situation”.

Davidson had earlier reported on the incident herself, in a statement republished by Resident Advisor. In it she wrote: “I witnessed a bunch of security guys hold a girl on the ground while she was screaming. As I approached to try to help, I found out that this girl was actually my friend Inga Mauer, an artist who had played a killer set only two hours before. She said they violently dragged her out of the festival area because she refused to leave right away. I tried to explain that I knew her and that I wanted to help her calm down because she was extremely confused and scared. As a result, we were both put aside, in a corner, isolated from the rest of the crowd. I tried to reach out to my friend but they wouldn’t let me touch her”.

Davidson says she told security staff that both she and Mauer were sober, and that she would like to take her fellow artist back to her hotel, so to bring the altercation to an end. But, she says, security didn’t respond to the request. Instead, “the cops came and took my friend away to send her to jail. I begged them to let me go with her because she was crying and very scared, she was bleeding from her knee and was in shock. I just said, ‘Please, let me stay with her’. Two security guys [then] took me by the arms and threw me out in the street out of the festival zone”.

Davidson continues: “I told them I needed to at least be in touch with someone because I had no internet, no driver and no taxis were taking people to any place at this hour. They laughed and said ‘go figure it out’ and then closed the fence, leaving me in a totally unknown place without any way of reaching out for help”.

Responding to the incident – and Futura and Davidson’s respective commentaries on it – the festival put out its own statement yesterday, which reads: “We, the three partners of Flow Festival – Suvi Kallio, Tuomas Kallio and Toni Rantanen – are still at a loss for words and very sad about the episode that happened at the Flow Festival area early Sunday morning. Inga Mauer and Marie Davidson are artists and lovely friends who Toni Rantanen booked to perform at the festival”.

It goes on: “It came to our knowledge that members of the security staff had used violence against Inga Mauer. Marie Davidson, who approached to try to help her, was inappropriately thrown out of the festival area. Even the police who came to sort out the situation acted threateningly and refused to give us any information after taking Inga Mauer to jail overnight. Flow Festival does not approve the use of violence and we were shocked and very sad to hear this. We are truly sorry for what Inga Mauer and Marie Davidson had to go through”.

Confirming an investigation into the incident was now underway, the festival’s statement added: “Luckily we have video, photos and eyewitnesses. As festival organisers, we take responsibility of this incident and will make sure everything will be investigated and taken care of properly. Serious discussions are underway with our lawyers and the subcontractor Local Crew Oy that was responsible for Flow Festival’s 2017 security. Compensation for the victims must follow and something similar can never ever happen again. The security company has been a trusted subcontractor for many years, but now they have failed to do their job in the right manner”.