Punk rockers in Canada kept up the genre’s reputation for rowdiness by
vandalising downtown Montreal after being told a gig featuring British rockers The Exploited was being cancelled at the last minute.
The gig in question was due to take place at the Le Medley venue and featured Total Chaos and The Exploited – a crowd of 800 fans had amassed outside the club by 7pm Tuesday night. At 7.15pm the venue’s owner, Paul Matte, was informed British band The Exploited had been refused entrance into Canada for unspecified reasons, and as a result the gig couldn’t go ahead. Worried about the crowd’s reaction Matte called in the Montreal Police Department before announcing the gig was cancelled. The crowd seemingly dispersed when the venue officially announced the cancellation at 8pm, but fifteen minutes later a remaining 50 and 100 fans went wild and began breaking windows and overturning cars – Matte: “They took everything they could get their hands on.”
The fifteen officers who had been sent to help were quickly overwhelmed and
they called in the riot squad. The remaining crowds were quickly dispersed
once the riot police arrived at 9pm, though many rioters continued to smash
windows and cars as they left the scene. According to local reports eight cars were overturned and set on fire, windows were smashed in another 42 cars, and nearly a dozen local businesses were vandalized or otherwise damaged.
Matte said that this was the first kind of violence he had witnessed in the venue’s nine year history, adding that it was up to the insurance companies and police to decide if the club will be held liable for the damage.