A gig at an Indian wedding reception became a nightmare for a local performer from Vancouver named DJ RUSH, and he was allegedly assaulted due to a simple song request.
Everything started without a hitch during the wedding reception at the Riverside Grand Ballroom Banquet Hall in Richmond.
“Things started amazing; the wedding reception was one of the best receptions I’ve ever done,” DJ RUSH, whose real name is Ricky Sian, told Daily Hive.
However, things quickly escalated due to lots of alcohol and some demanding patrons.
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“A random uncle came up to me and started harassing me,” said Sian.
“Uncle” is a term of endearment for any older relative at an Indian gathering or function; there’s no actual familial relationship.
“He wanted me to play ‘better music,’ even though the dance floor was full with the music I was playing.”
Sian says he kept getting harassed for an hour and a half.
“At one point, he said, ‘I’m gonna f*ck you up like how we f*ck up DJs in India.'”
Sian told Daily Hive that he eventually turned the music down and politely asked the patron if he wanted to DJ instead since he was a “professional in music knowledge and how to get the crowd going.”
The patron just kept swearing and eventually walked away.
One hour later, the same uncle came up to Sian and was incredibly nice. He hugged Sian and kissed him on the cheek.
“You’re just like my son,” the uncle said.
“You’re doing an amazing job. I’m sorry about what I said; let’s forgive and forget.”
Sian agreed that was the best course of action. He gave the DJ a $50 tip and asked him to play a couple of songs, which Sian says he did indeed play.
“At this point, the party’s going amazing. Everyone is having an amazing time.”
At 1 am, things finally wrapped up, and DJ RUSH was packing his equipment. As he was packing, a group of six people approached him. They were accusing Sian of “saying sh*t to our dad.”
“They made me seem like I was the imposter for something I didn’t even do.”
The group told him their father was upset that Sian didn’t play his requested music. Sian tried to explain what happened, but he said they weren’t listening to his side of the story.
“They told me if I don’t give them $200 plus the $50 his dad gave, they’re gonna attack me.”
Sian didn’t know what to do, so he caved to their demands, thinking that would be the end. But instead, they asked him for more money and demanded an apology, even though Sian did say sorry for the ordeal.
“It sucked because I was alone, and security didn’t do much because he was alone too. One of the guys punched me in the face minutes later. I took the punch and took a step back. I thought they were going to leave, but they didn’t leave at all. One of the guys ran towards me and grabbed me. He didn’t hit me, thankfully, because some of the people involved just started saying leave it.”
Even that wasn’t the end of it for Sian. Outside, Sian says they damaged all of his gear by flipping his equipment as they walked out.
As Sian was getting ready to leave, security warned him that more people had pulled up in three vehicles. Sian believes they were going to jump him. If he didn’t call the police, Sian thinks that things could’ve taken an even more violent turn.
Police told Sian they wouldn’t press charges because “this is so normalized in the city.”
Sian has yet to receive an apology from any wedding party member, but he’s hoping that telling his story could shed light on DJs being mistreated in the industry.
An outpouring of support
Sian shared a video on Instagram titled “What has the industry become,” in which he told his story. DJs from around Vancouver and North America shared their support for Sian speaking up about something that seems problematic for the industry.
One person who responded to his video said, “I’ve had some guy pull a gun on me over a song request; sh*t is wild.”
“This year, it’s getting crazier. These kids/uncles can’t handle their liquor.”
Another DJ quipped that this has “been happening in our Punjabi community for far too long.”
One DJ wrote, “This is a huge issue amongst Punjabis and Punjabis only that needs to be addressed.”
“Screening helps, but that occasional idiot will slip through the cracks.”
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Richmond RCMP confirmed to Daily Hive that they received a report about the incident.
The RCMP says that “alcohol consumption or drug consumption by itself or in combination with alcohol are primary factors when police are required to attend banquets or formal celebratory events.”
RCMP also said that there is “not one ethnicity that poor behaviour is more or less prominent in.”