Organisers of a music festival were forced to switch off singer Alexander O’Neal’s microphone to stop him over-running the event licence.
The American R&B legend had sung two songs when the plug was pulled at Fartown’s sports ground on Sunday, according to festival-goers.
O’Neal, 64, reportedly threw his mic to the floor and left the stage, leaving hundreds of fans disappointed.
Huddersfield singer Audley Buckle, who was in the audience, said O’Neal was singing his 1987 hit Fake but the mic wasn’t on.
“He just threw the mic to the floor and ran off the stage. He got into a big black car and left. He had been singing but nothing was coming through the microphone.”
A spokesman for the Love 4 Music Festival said the plug was pulled to comply with the rules.
Some people believed O’Neal’s mic was faulty but the organisers said this wasn’t the case.
The spokesman said: “Alexander O’Neal had no issues with any of his equipment; the council have very strict rules on what time we can play music ‘til.
“Unfortunately, due to three previous artists experiencing serious delays on getting to the festival, his set time was running over the licence we had been granted by the council.
“Due to this unfortunately we had to turn off the music at the festival in accordance with said licence and it was natural for him to feel disappointed not only for himself on wanting to deliver an A1 performance, but disappointment for all his fans who waited patiently and were unable to experience his full set as planned.”
Organisers of the soul and reggae festival also commented on claims of a confrontation involving staff.
The spokesman confirmed an internal investigation had been launched but declined to comment on exactly what happened.
The Examiner understands the incident involved a male member of staff who allegedly spat at a female member of staff during a confrontation.
“We are aware of the allegation of staff involved in an incident,” the spokesman added.
“We are conducting a full internal investigation in to the alleged incident and as a result can’t make any comment at this time.”
“We are not aware of any external police investigation in relation to the alleged incident, but we take a very serious view on these matters and should the need arise we will ensure all appropriate actions are taken once an outcome of the investigation has been reached.”
The Examiner has also been told that cannabis was smoked at the event.
The spokesman said: “We take a very serious view on the use of drugs at any of our events and have very strict polices and procedures in place to prevent this from happening.
“Love 4 Music and their security supplier PES implemented a robust entrance policy before any persons were allowed access to the festival.
“This included drug amnesty bins, a drug detection dog, all persons to be wanded via a hand-held metal detector and their belongings searched.
“Once access was gained to the event, there were mobile patrols, equipped with body cameras who were there to proactively patrol the event, as well as react to anything that was brought to their attention via the control room or the public within the event site. All issues were recorded by the control room on an electronic log.”
The spokesman said the event’s organisers had been praised by festival-goers and West Yorkshire Police whose officers were present on the day.
A police spokesman said no incidents were reported during or after the festival, adding: “West Yorkshire Police worked closely with the event’s organisers but no requests were made for police at the event.”
A spokesman for Kirklees Council said: “Public protection officers visited the event and, while there was one complaint, they found that all was ok.
“The complaint was about noise; officers carried out a sound check and found the levels were within acceptable levels.
“Other public protection officers visited the site and found there was evidence of bag searches being carried out and the event was being well run, and there appeared to be a good atmosphere.
“Staff found no evidence of drug taking or claims that the festival staff were rude or aggressive. The event finished very shortly after the 9pm licence conditions. We have not heard any adverse comments from of our partner agencies about the event to date.”