Did Richie Hawtin push a speaker onto an audience member at Timewarp?

December 1, 2014 -

Hugh Lurcott

Normally I tend to steer clear of the gossip side of Dance Music. Fans seem to spend an awful lot of time complaining about DJs they don't like, yet you never find the DJs themselves doing this..they're too busy supporting those that they do like, making music and spreading positive energy in the scene. Despite this, after hearing of this incident I felt that it was one worth commenting on.

The incident in question happened at Time Warp in New York, this weekend just gone. Richie was mid performance when he turned to a speaker between him and a woman that was filming him from her phone and started to drum upon it. Next he started to push it towards her, and from there it sailed into her. Richie turned away and appeared to laugh. The girl in question has no injuries and is reported to have helped Richie lift the speaker back up afterwards.

The question here is why would Richie act in what appears to be such a malicious and horrible way? Was it an accident? Does he not care about the impact he has on others? Is he abusing something he shouldn't be, both in a narcotic and a power sense?  It's well known that Richie makes a lot of money, so has he lost touch with his humble beginnings in Detroit? Take a look at this video and see what i'm talking about..

It's probably worth mentioning that I am a massive fan of Richie Hawtin, and find both his productions and DJ sets to be brilliant, so in a sense I am biased towards supporting him in this incident. That being said when I say I am a huge fan of his, what I really mean is I appreciate everything he has done for our music scene, and love his musical output. I have never met the guy, so how could I say whether I love him?

I personally think that in this incident Richie has messed up. It's clear he is enjoying the party in full swing, dancing and interacting with those around him, probably had a few Sakes (a Japanese drink favoured by Richie) and gets mad when a girl is too obtrusive with her phone. There's no denying that Richie must be under a strenuous amount of pressure, travelling and performing non-stop, and he's got angry, pushed a speaker, and its ended up falling over. My only knowledge of who Richie is as a person is from interviews and he appears to be a genuine guy, so I don't conclude that he doesn't care, only that he is a human who made a mistake same as any of us. His own comment on the incident seems to resonate this:

Regarding the incident at Time Warp in New York this weekend which is being posted and talked about on the web, I would like to apologise here to the girl involved. It was not my intention that the speaker fell. Only to nudge the monitors in her direction and for her to understand that perhaps she had filmed enough. I was as surprised as I'm sure she was when it moved the way it did and the top speaker fell off of the stack. For that, I'm extremely sorry and embarrassed about what happened. This was never my intention. Sometimes being in the middle of the spotlight, continual cameras and glaring iPhone lights, things can get stressful and frustrating. I'm sorry that this frustration took an unexpected turn and took away from anyone's experience of Time Warp. I have tried to reach the girl to apologise personally but have not yet been able to track her down and will continue to try to contact her.

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