While more than 40 awards were slated to be presented in a ballroom filled with over 1500 attendees, fighting broke out around the ceremony's halfway point at 9:45PM. Losing nominees and their factions began booing winners, which quickly turned into breaking bottles, flipping tables and all sorts of other dangerous behavior.
"This community is comprised of thousands from Baltimore to northern Virginia who love to make music and support the artists who do so," said a statement from promoters. "It was in this spirit that the DMV Music Awards were created five years ago, and in this spirit, the 'DMV' will continue to move forward in the efforts to share great work with the worldwide community of music fans."
While the story of an award show breaking into a near riot seems pretty severe, it's actually a surprisingly regular occurrence for music fans in the DC area. The city's nightclub scene has been dangerous for a long time and the Washington Post reports that Distinct Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier recently established a weekly "go-go report" that targets venues where violence is expected to break out.
"The idea was to bring people together, and this is so sad," said Natasha Brown, the event's publicist, to the Post. "It took us back in a year where we were really moving forward."
Famed D.C. rapper Wale also channeled the same sentiment. "Just heard about the DMV awards," he tweeted. "DC hiphop took major steps last year...And now this. WE gotta do better."
Watch Footage From the Fight