Bruce Dickinson concert promoter responds to presence of ‘noxious fumes’ during Brazil concert

Bruce Dickinson onstage with Iron Maiden in 2023
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Power Trip)

Bruce Dickinson admonished a fan for allegedly using cannabis and pepper spray during one of the Iron Maiden singer’s solo concerts over the weekend.

The frontman, 65, was performing in Brasília on Saturday (April 27) as part of his ongoing The Mandrake Project world tour when he launched into his tirade against the attendee.

According to a report by Blabbermouth, a now-deleted Instagram video documented Dickinson saying, “I can’t fucking breathe!”

He continued, “Tanya [O’Callaghan, Dickinson’s bassist] can’t breathe,” before singling out the fan he believed responsible.

“You with the fucking vape over there, yeah, it’s not you, but, you know, please, fucking do that outside, all right?

“You know, if you can’t stay for five minutes without having a fucking addiction, but… Somebody down here has been using pepper spray. Some fucker has been using pepper spray, which is why people can’t fucking breathe down there, right?

“So, you know, if you figure out who the fuck it is, I just don’t care what happens to them after the show, all right?

“In the meantime, we will try and do the best we can.”

The promoter of Dickinson’s Brasília show, MCA Concerts, responded to the singer’s outburst in an interview with Brazilian journalist Igor Miranda.

MCA stated that the substance Dickinson objected to was not pepper spray, but rather the contents of a fan’s vape pen after it somehow exploded during the concert.

According to Blabbermouth’s report, “The chemical present in the accessory spread and created symptoms similar to those of pepper spray.

“The medical team on duty at the event stated that those treated did not have symptoms caused by pepper gas, such as eye irritation, watery eyes, swelling or disorientation, and that only throat irritation was noted.”

Today (April 29), MCA sent an official statement to Blabbermouth regarding the presence of “noxious fumes” at the Brasília gig.

The promoter revealed in the statement that several members of Dickinson’s band, including the vocalist, were affected and that a member of the band’s crew needed to be treated with oxygen by a doctor.

“[Saturday] night over 2000 fans filled the Opera Hall in Brasília to see Bruce Dickinson on the third show of his, critically acclaimed, first Brazilian solo tour for over 20 years,” the statement reads.

“An incident occurred towards the end of the show where noxious fumes were released, causing severe issues for the band members on stage and the crew and audience in the auditorium. Subsequently many members of the crowd have taken to social media to corroborate the incident that caused them breathing difficulties.

“As video footage shows, Bruce did his best, with limited knowledge of the situation, to explain the effects to the crowd but subsequently found out that several band members, including himself, were affected by the fall out and a member of the crew had to be treated with oxygen by a doctor. The footage also shows Bruce departing the stage to perform part of the encore after being seen visibly struggling to breathe and pitch his vocal.

“Tour promoters MCA are still working with authorities to understand the full impact of the incident and understand how the noxious fumes affected not just the audience and crew but also the band onstage.

“Fortunately, everyone has been checked out by medical staff and given the all clear.”

Dickinson has long been outspoken against what he perceived to be improper behaviour at his concerts.

In 2013, while onstage with Iron Maiden, the singer briefly stopped singing 2 Minutes To Midnight to expel an audience member that he said was “picking on girls”.

Dickinson also called out fans who were allegedly smoking cannabis during a Maiden performance in Anaheim, California, in October 2022.

He said (per Revolver): “There’s so many fucking people smoking so much fucking dope down here, I’m amazed you can even see.

“Poor old Steve [Harris, Maiden bassist]. I don’t know if you know, but he absolutely fucking hates marijuana and the smell of it, alright?

“So when he’s trying to play bass, it fucks him up. It fucks me up. I’m a singer, alright? So duh.”

Dickinson similarly interrupted Maiden’s performance of The Number Of The Beast in Athens, Greece, in 2022 to tear into “a cunt with a fucking flare”.

The singer jokingly apologised for the Athens outburst in February this year.

Dickinson’s The Mandrake Project tour will continue tomorrow (April 30) at Qualistage in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

For the full list of the vocalist’s announced 2024 solo shows, see below.

Bruce Dickinson 2024 tour dates:

Apr 30: Rio De Janeiro Qualistage, Brazil
May 02: Ribeirao Preto Quinta Linda, Brazil
May 04: Sao Paulo Vibra, Brazil

May 18: Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, UK
May 19: Manchester O2 Academy, UK
May 21: Swansea Arena, UK
May 23: Nottingham Rock City, UK
May 24: London O2 Forum Kentish Town, UK
May 26: Paris L’Olympia, France
May 28: Tilburg 013, Netherlands
May 29: Groningen De Oosterport, Netherlands
Jun 01: Budapest Barba Negra, Hungary
Jun 03: Bucharest Arenale Romane, Romania
Jun 05-08: Gdansk Mystic Festival, Poland
Jun 05-08: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 09: Oslo Rockefeller, Norway
Jun 16: Berlin Huxleys Neue Welt, Norway
Jun 17: Hamburg Grosse Freiheit 36, Germany
Jun 19-22: Copenhagen Copenhell, Denmark
Jun 24: Mannheim Zeltfestival Rhein-Neckar, Germany
Jun 25: Munich Circus Krone, Germany
Jun 27-30: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 30: Esch-Sur-Alzette Rockhal, Luxembourg
Jul 03-06: Ballenstedt Rockharz Open Air, Germany
Jul 05: Rome Ippodrome Delle Capannelle, Italy
Jul 06: Vincenza Bassano Del Grappa Metal Park, Italy
Jul 09: Koln E-Werk, Germany
Jul 13: Zagreb Hala, Croatia
Jul 16: Sofia Kolodrum Arena, Bulgaria
Jul 19: Istanbul Kucukciftlik Park, Turkey

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.