Some breaking music news out of Turkey, as the attendees of a Radiohead listening party for the band’s new album A Moon Shaped Pool—part of a worldwide series of events celebrating the release—say they were attacked by a gang of men who disapproved of the event being held during Ramadan. The news was shared via the Radiohead subreddit, where poster Rawkon reports that a gang of about 20 men “[beat] up the shop owner, manhandled the visitors, and vandalized the store” at Velvet Indieground in Istanbul at about 9 p.m. local time. Rawkon says the attack was motivated by anger over people drinking beer at the listening party. (Many devout Muslims eschew alcohol, especially during Ramadan, which began on June 5 and lasts until July 5.) Another poster replied:
i was one of the hosts. i am the person that’s speaking in that video. i am the owner of that periscope account. they were determined to kill us. we were beaten by more than 20 men with pipes in their hands, beer bottles were broken on our heads, i don’t even know how we made it out. i will share the details later guys. just hoping that noone will die
Video taken from the Periscope feed of the event and uploaded to YouTube shows a small group of people in a record store talking while music plays in the background, when suddenly a commotion outside the store causes everyone to go out front and see what’s going on. Breaking glass and shouting can be heard, then a bald man enters the store and starts yelling and hitting the people still inside. Eventually two people are able to re-enter the store, turn out the lights, and put up the security gate, while the noise continues outside:
Aside from testimony on Reddit, details on the situation are scarce. We’ll update you when we know more.
UPDATE, 5:43 p.m.: An eyewitness has posted his account of the attack to the Facebook page for Indiestanbul, a documentary about the Istanbul music scene:
Survivors of the attack are also posting their accounts—including some graphic pictures of their injuries—to the Facebook event page for the listening party.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: Members of Radiohead have responded to the attack, issuing the following statement through their publicist:
“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.”