“That activity that a very, very small minority of people do is so selfish and so disturbing”: Bruce Dickinson admits he “lost his temper” when a fan lit a flare at an Iron Maiden show in 2022

Bruce Dickinson onstage, plus a photo of a flare at a concert
(Image credit: industrykills via YouTube | Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Power Trip)

Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson has admitted that he “lost [his] temper” when admonishing a fan onstage for lighting a flare during a concert.

The incident took place at Maiden’s show at the Olympic Stadium, Athens, in July 2022, during a performance of The Number Of The Beast. When Dickinson saw the ignited flare, he followed the lyric “What did I see?” by shouting, “A cunt with a fucking flare!”

The vocalist continued, in an expletive-laden tirade: “I’m trying to sing up here, you fucking cocksucker! You Greek cunt! I’ve got to fucking sing, right? Fuck you!” He then stopped singing until the start of the next verse.

In a new interview with Rock Hard Greece, Dickinson has expressed some remorse for his actions.

“Oh, the guy swinging his thing and everything else. You know what? I probably got his nationality wrong,” the frontman laughed (as transcribed by Blabbermouth).

He later added, again with a laugh, “I shouldn’t have called him a Greek cunt; I should have just called him a cunt.”

However, Dickinson doubled down on his stance against lighting a flare in an indoor arena, saying, “It’s about them drawing attention only to themselves and damaging the people around them who have this thing, this extremely toxic thing flying around.”

He continued: “Of course, if you happen to be asthmatic, if you haven’t been having any lung conditions, ‘Oh, we don’t care about them. We’ll just fill the place with smoke, ’cause it makes me feel important,’ is their attitude. It just annoys the hell out of me.”

Dickinson has famously been outspoken against what he deems to be unacceptable crowd behaviour during concerts. In 2013, while onstage, 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 is currently promoting his upcoming solo album, The Mandrake Project, which is out on March 1. It will be his first solo album since 2005’s Tyranny Of Souls.

The vocalist is also the cover star on the new issue of Metal Hammer, which tells the in-depth story of The Mandrake Project. It also includes interviews with Tool’s Justin Chancellor, Amaranthe, Opeth and many more. Copies are available to order now.

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.