Stabbing at Fat Boy Slim’s Blackpool gig

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POLICE have launched a manhunt after a gig goer was stabbed in Blackpool.

The 26-year-old man was attacked with a “blade” in the Empress Ballroom prior to chart-topper Fatboy Slim’s sell out concert on Saturday.

The victim had been standing with friends near the front of the stage when a fight broke out with another group of men.

He realised he had been injured and made his way to the toilets. It was then he discovered he had been stabbed three times in the back.

Around 3,000 people were in the Winter Gardens’ venue when the incident happened.

Police today described the stabbing as a “serious incident” and are now hunting for the attacker.

Det Sgt Paddy Dowling, from Blackpool CID, said: “Almost 3,000 people attended the concert on Saturday and I would appeal to anyone who attended and who witnessed something to come forward.

“This is a serious incident that took place in a room packed with people just before the concert.

“The man was near the stage, to the right-hand side. There was probably a minor altercation – it would have looked like a small fight between four or five men.

“It might have looked like an innocuous incident.

“It was clearly some sort of bladed instrument that was used – one of those wounds could have proved serious.”

Paramedics were called to the Winter Gardens just before midnight.

The victim, who is from Liverpool, was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital to be treated for three puncture wounds but is now recovering at home.

Police officers are now trawling through CCTV images from the venue in a bid to find the culprits.

One of the offenders is described as being white, in his early 20s and slim.

He had short curly hair and was wearing a white T-shirt, a dark jacket and dark jeans.

The weapon has not yet been recovered and police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Det Sgt Dowling added: “Somebody at that concert must have seen something and I would urge people to think back and come forward with information.”

Fatboy Slim, real name DJ Norman Cook, was performing at the Winter Gardens as part of his Five Night Stand Tour.

His wife, TV presenter Zoe Ball, is from Cleveleys.

The gig, called It Ain’t Over ‘Til The Fatboy Sings, also featured Doorly, Danny Howard and Jack Beats on the line-up.

Following the Blackpool gig, Cook wrote on his website: “From Vegas to Blackpool – last show of the year last night and what a fitting end to a great run of parties! Thanks to everyone that made it last night or to any of the gigs in 2011!”

Blackpool DJ Danny Howard today said: “I’d heard there had been a stabbing, I hope the guy is OK.

“Fatboy Slim is such a big name to have in Blackpool – putting on big events like this is something for the town to shout about.

“It’s sad that there is a minority of people who try to ruin something for other people.

“Ninety-nine per cent of people there were there for the music.

“I believe it was all over in a couple of minutes and the rest of the night was amazing.”

David Gore, marketing manager for Crown Entertainment which operates the Winter Gardens, said: “Management of The Winter Gardens Blackpool can confirm an incident took place on Saturday, December 10 at the venue leading to a un-named male requiring medical attention.

“Emergency services attended and at this stage the venue can make no further comment as police are now appealing for witnesses.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Blackpool CID on the new non-emergency police number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.