Ellie Goulding survived a close call with a firework in what some might call a miracle.
The “Love Me Like You Do” hit maker was recently performing at the Victorious Festival in Portsmouth in the U.K. when a pyrotechnic fireball shot up from the stage just as she danced almost directly over it. In a video of the incident, Goulding, 36, is seen flinching and stepping back after the fireball seems to hit her, then is heard cursing into the microphone before recovering and dancing toward the other side of the stage.
The “Miracle” singer was not harmed and spoke out in a since-deleted Instagram story. “To those asking I am ok!” she wrote on Wednesday. “Pyro didn’t hit me directly in the face. Face is intact. Love you thank you x.”
Fortunately, Goulding is OK, but this is only the latest instance in which concerts have gone awry.
Last month on the opening night of Drake’s new tour, the superstar rapper was midway through a tender version of Ginuwine’s “So Anxious” when a cellphone flew out of the Chicago arena crowd and smacked him in the wrist. Drake kept on singing, uninjured if a bit confused why someone would throw a valuable — and dangerous, when airborne — object at him mid-show.
Drake’s pelting is one in a string of incidents in which fans have chucked objects including phones, jewelry and cremated ashes at performers.
Strikingly, many of these artists — Bebe Rexha, Kelsea Ballerini and Ava Max, among them — are female singers, with fan bases that lean more toward impassioned singalongs than aggravated assault. Still, no one seems immune: Pink, Kid Cudi and Steve Lacy have all been on the receiving end of hurled objects at recent shows. Last month in Vienna, Harry Styles joined their ranks when a fan threw something, hitting him in the eye and causing him to double over and briefly walk offstage.
“Fans throwing projectiles at artists is as old as rock ’n’ roll, but there’s still no excuse for it,” Paul Wertheimer, a concert security expert and founder of the consulting firm Crowd Management Strategies, told The Times’ August Brown. “The line between the stage and audience, and the sense of decorum around it, has really faded.”
Times staff writer August Brown contributed to this report.
Emily St. Martin is an entertainment reporter on the Fast Break Desk. Before joining the Los Angeles Times, she contributed to the New York Times, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, NBC, Vice, Los Angeles Magazine and the Southern California News Group. She also previously worked at the Hollywood Reporter. In 2022, she won third place for best news feature with the L.A. Press Club. St. Martin has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of La Verne and a master’s in creative nonfiction from UC Riverside.