Hayley Williams stops Paramore show to break up a fight: ‘Detention for everyone’

A blond woman wearing rainbow face paint and a white outfit holds a microphone in the air onstage.
Hayley Williams of Paramore performs at the 2018 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee.
(Amy Harris / Invision / AP)

Paramore singer Hayley Williams abruptly stopped a concert this week in Canada to break up a fight in the crowd.

In footage from the event shared by Twitter user @fakeplasticbee, the lead vocalist halts the band’s performance of “Caught in the Middle” to assess a situation unfolding Monday on the floor of History, a venue in Toronto.

“Stop! You good? Everybody OK?” she says, approaching the edge of the stage. “We got a fight? Oh, man. What do you guys think this is? A Terror show? We’re not a hardcore band, bro. We’re gonna dance tonight. We’re gonna have fun, or we’re not gonna do it.”

The band, now a trio led by singer Hayley Williams, is set to release its first album since 2017, following mental health and personnel struggles.

Sept. 28, 2022

The pop-punk group visited Toronto as part of its fall 2022 concert tour, which began Oct. 2 in Bakersfield, Calif., and ends Nov. 19 in Mexico City. On Thursday, tickets went on presale for Paramore’s forthcoming North American tour tied to its next album, “This Is Why,” which drops Feb. 10.


“Are you OK? Do you wanna split up?” Williams asked the clashing concertgoers in Toronto. “Got me up here acting like a teacher. Detention for everyone.”

After de-escalating the situation, Williams told the audience, “I better not have to do that again,” and resumed the show.

Paramore announced that COVID has forced the band to postpone its Thursday show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, with a new date already scheduled.

Oct. 19, 2022

The Toronto incident came about a month after another disturbance occurred in the audience of a Paramore concert in Utah. The band released a statement Oct. 5 after learning that a man “physically and verbally assaulted multiple women, including an engaged couple” at the Great Saltair theater. Though the performers did not witness the encounter, the band’s security team and the venue staff were alerted and were able to “restrain and remove” the assailant.

“We did not realize this was happening, as the incident took place out of view from stage,” the band statement read.

“Had we seen any of this happening, we would have stopped the show until the situation was under control. PARAMORE DOES NOT CONDONE violence, homophobia, or bigotry of any kind. ... Paramore shows are meant to be a safe place for people. If you can’t respect that, do not come.”