Man suffers serious head injuries in fall from Portsmouth Guildhall balcony during A Day to Remember gig

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A MUSIC fan suffered serious head injuries after plunging more than 20ft off a balcony at a rock gig in Portsmouth.

A Day to Remember were half an hour into a set at the Guildhall when onlookers in the crowd saw a man from the upper level ‘fly through the air’ and hit the floor at about 10pm last night.

A police car and an ambulance outside the Guildhall in Portsmouth after a fan fell from the balcony during a gig by American band A Day To Remember

A police car and an ambulance outside the Guildhall in Portsmouth after a fan fell from the balcony during a gig by American band A Day To Remember

The American band, who were on the first night of their UK tour, stopped playing and the rest of the show was cancelled.

The man, believed to be in his late teens, was then pulled to safety and taken in an ambulance to Southampton General Hospital.

Everyone was then evacuated from the venue so police could investigate, and one group of gig-goers was kept back so they could give statements to police.

Thomas Welling, 22, of New Road, Copnor, was at the gig with his girlfriend Mary Berry, 21, for her birthday when the drama unfolded.

Mr Welling described how he helped bring the man over a fence surrounding the sound equipment desk before he was attended to by the emergency services.

‘After it happened, the next thing I knew he was being dragged to the sound desk and I helped help him over,’ Mr Welling said.

‘At one point I had him on my shoulder, he was out cold.

‘I have never seen this happen at a gig before.’

Miss Berry, of Buckland, said: ‘It’s not something you expect, everyone goes to enjoy themselves.

‘I feel sorry for the guy – it shouldn’t have happened.’

Mary’s sister, Amy Berry, 17, said: ‘I was with this girl and we looked up and this guy flew through the air.

‘Me and the girl looked at each other and we both said “did we really just see that?” and we then got pushed out of the way.’

Police cars and an ambulance vehicle were parked around Guildhall Square after the incident and the Guildhall was closed for the rest of the evening.

One gig-goer, a 23-year-old from Fareham, said: ‘First aid staff went over straight away.

‘I went over and asked if they needed a hand.

‘I was clearing people back from the area for a bit.’

Kristina Maggiora, 21, from Bournemouth, said: ‘They put some black barriers around him so he could be treated. I can’t imagine how his friends and family might feel.’

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said that the man was taken to Southampton General Hospital with serious head injuries.

At 11.30pm police were still in the Guildhall.

‘They were taking statements from a group of people and are working to establish what happened,’ she said.

A Guildhall spokesman declined to comment when approached by The News.