Around 130 Amsterdam Dance Event attendees requested first aid after being pepper-sprayed at a DJ Martin Garrix concert in the RAI Saturday. No one was seriously injured, however police report many of the attendees were robbed as thieves have begun using pepper spray to create a diversion while they pickpocket.
Witness Fiore Caputo told Het Parool that he and eight friends traveled from Germany especially to see Garrix but trouble started just half an hour into the show. Two males started “bothering girls” and then “pulled a chain off the neck of a boy…When that boy tried to get his necklace back, they started spraying pepper spray and they ran away.”
Caputo described the scene as “chaos,” saying at least a hundred people were sprayed. “I couldn’t see anything for two hours and we all lost each other,” says Caputa. “The police did come, we told them everything, but they couldn’t do much. In the end, we missed the concert. I had been looking forward to this. I’m really sorry.”
Garrix responded to the experience on his social media, writing that it’s “terrible for the people who suffered from the pepper spray incident.” Garrix adds that, “Despite this unpleasant situation, it was a special evening,” and he is looking forward to his next performance.
The police are not yet able to investigate the pepper spray incident this year as no charges or reports have been filed. The number of people robbed during the event is not clear and Amsterdam police have requested for victims and witnesses to come forward.
Pickpockets also used pepper spray during ADE last year, according to De Volkskrant, including at a Martin Garrix concert.