Wednesday, 6th April 2022
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25 Years Ago Rioting At DEF LEPPARD's Guatemala City SLANG Concert

Def Leppard 1997. Screenshot

Def Leppard played a Slang tour show in Guatemala City on 6th April 1997 and archive news story videos are available.

The show took place at the Plaza De Toros Monumental with possible up to 20 to 30,000 people in attendance.

The first time the band had ever played in Guatemala, and one of the few rock bands to ever do so.

The final leg of the Slang tour started in Monterrey, Mexico on 4th April and made its way down into central and South America.

Unfortunately at the third show in Guatemala City there was trouble after the concert with rioting around the venue.

One news story published the day after the show had the headline - "Rock concert riot leaves 45 captured and 57 injured".

Further news stories suggest the violence were incited by local gangs and up to 80 people were arrested. From the translations it appears that people trying to get inside the venue without tickets began fighting with the police who were providing security on the night, starting with throwing rocks at them.

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Def Leppard 1997. Joe/Phil 6th April 1997 by local fan

One fan did post a few photos and a concert ticket online a few years back and the actual Def Leppard performance appears to have gone smoothly inside the venue.

This prompted authorities to try to band future shows at the venue. There is only one mention online of another show at this venue since April 1997. Mexican pop-rock band Timbiriche played there in March 1999.

A local fan made a video of the local papers they collected after the show with the news stories about the trouble.

Note - The videos have since been deleted but did not contain any concert footage.

Def Leppard 1997. Screenshot

Part of the article mentioning how the trouble started outside the venue with people trying to get in, and attacking the police.

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