Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers stayed true to their name and broke some hearts after being forced to pull out of their show at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on Saturday (June 8th). The performance was one of the six sold-out and rare intimate appearances for the Florida-born hitmaker.
The audience was treated to ninety minutes of music before the fire marshal declared the 1,300 person capacity venue over capacity on the floor level by about a hundred people.
According to Rolling Stone, Petty announced this from the stage and then mischievously asked audience members to leave or go upstairs to the balcony at their own discretion. After saying, “I’ve done my job, now I’m gonna do what I do best,” Petty played an extended version of his song “Melinda” before ultimately being told the band had to leave.
In a statement (via Los Angeles Times), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers addressed those outraged fans who were hoping to see a longer set.
Statement From Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Regarding Last Night’s Early Conclusion To The Concert At The Fonda Theatre In Los Angeles
First and foremost, the safety of our fans is our primary concern and the most important consideration.
To those fans who attended last night’s show at the Fonda Theatre, we are as frustrated as you are!
While we are still investigating exactly what happened we do know the following as of right now:
1) The number of tickets sold was NOT above the legal capacity of the building. The venue and Ticketmaster documentation confirms this.
2) The Fire Marshal decided that the number of people on the floor (as opposed to on the upstairs balcony or terrace) was unsafe.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and our representatives rely on the concert promoter and venue representatives to give us an accurate breakdown of the legal capacity for every part of the building and to provide security and other staff to enforce this.
We are still investigating all details of last night’s situation and will keep you informed.
The shows at the Fonda tonight and Tuesday will go ahead as planned and we are working with the venue, the promoter and the Fire Marshal to ensure that this problem will not repeat itself.
We thank you for your support.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Sunday night’s show at the Fonda Theatre apparently went off without a hitch and the same is planned for tomorrow (June 11th).
During Sunday night’s performance, Petty expressed his regret to fans over the the issue but asserted that the band had nothing to do with it.
“I don’t like to assign blame, but it wasn’t me. I’m absolutely sure we’re going to work this out. If I have to pay it myself, everyone will be reimbursed.”
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have plans to play Bonnaroo this summer in Tennessee and release a new album sometime in 2014.
–Nadia Noir, CBS Radio Los Angeles