Iron Maiden Dismiss 'Riot' Reports

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British rockers Iron Maiden have dismissed reports of riots following the band's recent concert in Colombia - calling the stories "wildly exaggerated."
The band's gig in Bogata, Colombia on Saturday (07Mar09) was marred by media reports of fans clashing with police outside the Parque Simon Bolivar, leading to over 100 arrests.
Stories from the Latin American press also suggested that one policeman was seriously injured in the incident, with Colombian officials debating whether the city should host any more heavy metal concerts in the future.
But Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood insists reports of "riots" have been overblown - putting the incident down to a group of "kids" trying to sneak into the venue to watch the concert.
He says in a statement on the band's official website, "The news from Bogota is wildly exaggerated. The 'riots' were basically a lot of kids trying to break into the Simon Bolivar Park to see the show.
"There is a large military presence for all concerts in Bogota. However, in the last 13 months, we have played two fantastic concerts at this same venue. Neither performance was at all affected by the incidents of people outside trying to break in. None of the enjoyment of the show or safety of the band or our audiences was at all compromised.
"We abhor the inane behaviour of a small minority of people outside. They do Iron Maiden, metal and the real Colombian fans a disservice and sadly just provide a reason for the military to feel they need to be there.
"We definitely intend to return to Colombia and trust the authorities will not be swayed to banning Maiden and metal because of a minority of trouble makers spoiling it for the huge majority of true Iron Maiden fans."


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