An American scientist and visiting Stanford University professor was thrown out of the Bristol Proms classical concert at the Bristol Old Vic in England after he attempted to crowd surf during a performance of Handel’s Messiah.
Reports The Independent, Dr David R Glowacki, a Royal Society Research Fellow, was apparently responding to calls from the concert’s artistic director who had called upon the crowd to bring beer into a standing “mosh pit” in front of the stage. He reportedly then delivered the Bristol Proms rules: “Clap or whoop when you like, and no shushing other people.”
Dr Glowacki, an expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics, was within that moshpit and according to witnesses he took the rules a little too far. Inspired by the crescendo of the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah, Glowacki allegedly lurched from side to side, raised his hands and then attempted an ambitious crowd-surfing manoeuvre.
This was all too much for the other audience members to take and they quickly conspired to physically eject Glowacki from the arena. “He got very over-excited,” said Tom Morris, the event’s artistic director. “It was the first eviction of a classical concert audience member by another member we’ve found since the 18th century.”
Ironically when Mr Morris launched this year’s Bristol Proms event he promised to continue encouraging freedom of expression, labelling it a more “accessible and informal” alternative to the traditional classical concerts.
Dr Glowacki believes that Mr Morris has failed to deliver on this promise. “Witness what happened to me when I started cheering with a 30-strong chorus shouting ‘praise God’ two metres from my face: I get physically assaulted, knocked down to the floor and forcibly dragged out by two classical vigilantes,” said the professor.
“Neither the bourgeoisie audience nor their curators (eg Tom Morris) really believe what they say. You’re free to behave as you like, and it’s comforting to think that you have that freedom, but it’s only available to you so long as you behave correctly,” he added.
When asked if consumption of the aforementioned beer perhaps contributed to his actions, Dr Glowacki denied that he was drunk. “This may be a consequence of me being American, but I can quite easily be provocative without the need to be inebriated.”
Mr Morris said he hopes Dr Glowacki will return and has not banned him from the event. “David was investigating what the nature of the rules are, using the skills that make him an extraordinary scientist – and for some in the audience, a slightly irritating one.”