Hammersmith Apollo is evacuated during performance by Iranian pop singer after ‘bomb threat’
The Hammersmith Apollo has been evacuated during a performance by an Iranian pop singer after a ‘bomb threat’.
People attending a concert by Dariush Eghbali were told to leave the famous arena tonight after a ‘credible threat of a potential bomb’, it is being reported.
Thousands of audience members have been moved outside the venue after police received an ‘anonymous call’ making threats to the concert earlier this evening.
According to Fardad Farahzad, a journalist at Engish-language Persian news site Iran International, the venue was evacuated after ‘serious security threats’.
In a post on Twitter he wrote: ‘People have been asked to evacuate by police at the concert of the Iranian singer, Dariush in London due to serious security threats. I’ve been told by his manager that the police said there was a credible threat of a potential bomb at the venue.’
The building was then emptied sparking demonstrations, with some of those who were attending the concert protesting against the Iranian regime.
The news outlet claims that some people at the event chanted slogans such as ‘death to Khamenei’ and ‘woman, life, liberty’ while outside the venue.
People attending a concert at the Hammersmith Apollo were evacuated tonight after a ‘bomb threat’
There have been demonstrations against the Iranian regime outside the venue following the evacuation of the building. Pictured is one person appearing to shout to the crowd
The buiding was evacuated during a performance by Dariush Eghbali, a well-known anti-regime activist. Here he is pictured in 2010 in Los Angeles
The latter of these is a popular Kurdish slogan which has been chanted in recent weeks by people protesting against the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was taken into custody by Iran’s morality police.
On the Apollo’s website it describes Dariush as ‘one of the most well known and loved Iranian singers of all time’, adding he was back performing on stage in London for the first time in seven years.
The 71-year-old has been living in exile from Iran since the Islamic Revolution and has spoken out about the death of Ms Amini to his 4.2million followers on Instagram.
He has also urged his followers to join the fight for freedom in the country, which has seen waves of protests that have left at least 185 dead amid a crackdown from the Iranian government.
In September the singer was seen at a rally against Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi outside the United Nations in New York.
The Metropolitan Police has said it received an anonymous call making a threat against the venue this evening and while there was ‘nothing to indicate’ it was genuine, management at the Apollo decided to evacuate as a precaution.
In a statement it said: ‘At 20:06hrs on Sunday, October 9, police received an anonymous call making a threat towards a music venue which officers subsequently determined was likely to be the Eventim Apollo in Queen Caroline Street, W6.
‘There was nothing to indicate that the threat made was genuine but at 20:21hrs officers attended the venue to speak to security staff and to determine whether they were aware of anything suspicious or otherwise of concern.
‘Nothing of suspicion had been brought to the attention of staff but at around 20:40hrs, the venue management took the decision to evacuate as a precaution.
‘Officers are on scene to provide reassurance and to ensure the safe departure of those who have now left the building.
‘There are no reports of any injuries and no items of suspicion have been found’.
There were angry scenes inside the concert hall as management told people to leave, with video showing some people throwing items at security.
Video outside the venue shows large groups of people chanting and shouting slogans against the Iranian regime.
Chants of ‘One Solution, Revolution’ ‘woman, life, liberty’ and rallied against Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei with the chant ‘death to Khamenei’.
Police were seen outside the building using loudspeakers to urge those in attendance to go home.
The evacuation of the building and subsequent demonstrations have caused disruption, with Transport for London saying it blocked bus services in the Hammersmith area.
While protests have raged in the Asian country, these have also spread abroad, with Iranian diaspora and migrants protesting against the regime and calling for a revolution.
These have been fuelled by anger at the country’s strict rules over the hijab and economic unrest as it remains under sanctions from other nations sincluding the US.
In September demonstrators clashed with the Met Police as they attempted to storm the Iranian embassy in Knightsbridge, west London, with many chanting ‘Death to the Islamic Republic!’
The force later released the images of 13 men it wanted to trace after five police officers were hurt in the protests, which saw them pelted with missiles – including bricks and bottles.