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Chaotic Summer Jam Rap Concert Ends with Tear Gas, Multiple Arrests

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The scene outside the annual hip-hop and R&B concert Summer Jam deteriorated into chaos Sunday night in East Rutherford, NJ, and police in riot gear were forced to contain unruly groups of music fans, after they tried to enter the show without tickets.

A fight broke out between concertgoers, according to a witness, which led officials to completely shut down the entrance. A crowd then toppled and began to throw metal barriers in front of the venue.

After angry concertgoers began throwing bottles, police took a V-shaped position, while an armored vehicle attempted to disperse a crowd of around 1,000 people.

According to Entertainment Weekly, New Jersey State Police officers were already standing outside MetLife Stadium before the sold out show, when a crowd of non-ticket holders attempted to force their way in.

The stadium shut its gates and additional officers were called to maintain order.

While the armored police vehicle attempted to bring order back to the scene, police were eventually forced to use tear gas.

A state police spokesperson confirmed to the site that multiple people were arrested throughout the evening, but an official number of those detained has not been made public.

Performances by hip hop acts Trey Songs, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown, and Big Sean inside MetLife Stadium were reportedly unaffected by the chaos, which started over a ticket shortage.

Some of those who had already purchased tickets to the show, but arrived late, were barred from entering, as the venue closed its doors as a safety precaution.

Summer Jam is an annual music fest that has been sponsored by New York City hip-hop radio station WQT Hot 97 since 1994.

The station later released a statement to explain and apologize:

Due to strong demand for tickets for Summer Jam 2015, the show sold out early this evening.

When fans realized tickets were not available at the box office, a small number of people created an unsafe environment, and for the safety of all guests, the New Jersey State Police were on scene to disperse the crowd. The gates were closed at that time. No further entry was permitted into the event.

The station also promised to refund tickets for those who were unable to get inside.


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