Some of you may recognize this photo and where it took place, but I will explain anyway. On Saturday, October 27th 2012 the infamous Haunted Coliseum took place at Nassau Coliseum just a few days after the Long Island Islanders decided to move their home arena to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn(Coincidence I think not). Being an attendee of this event (if you can even call it that) I’m going to tell you what happened on a first-hand account. At 8:30, only four steps out of my car, I’m greeted with a 14-16 year old girl lying on her back urinating into the air in front of thousands of people. Even with security in front of this girl no one even approached her…yes this is a foreshadowing of what is to come. There were countless underage people dropping and hitting the floor. After locating the entrance into the venue I notice that they had split the “lines” into 3 separate distinctions. One line for the floor section, 100 GA section, 200 GA section and lastly the 300 GA section. The floor, 100 section and most of the 200 section line had smooth sailing, but for everyone else it was utter madness. There were roughly 2,000-3,000 people on this line and there were only two people checking tickets. At roughly 9:50 pm I was still waiting on line to get in and pretty tired of waiting. Apparently, the rest of the crowd was too. At this point the line had turned into an amorphous blob surrounding the two ticket checkers. As expected the crowd charged forward moving barricades, doors and the poor security guards completely out of their way and trampling those that fell. My ticket was never scanned, and my bag was not checked, in fact I could have walked in with a grenade launcher on my back and I wouldn’t have been stopped. There was complete disorganization inside as well, security didn’t understand the difference between ticket levels and I was told to go to section 100 when I had a section 300 ticket. Normally I would not complain, but this led to lower sections being completely overcrowded. Otto Knows opened and played a good set, the crowd did go nuts when he played his “Million Voices” remix. At this point I was thirsty and went into the hallway looking for a concession stand of some sort. I went around the coliseum and found only two that were open. Luckily, they did have water fountains albeit covered in vomit. In that walk it was impossible to not step in vomit which covered the floor. Also, it was a usual sight to see someone passed out on the floor with the EMS next to them or more security. If someone in the stands had passed out they were out of luck because it was hard to see someone passed out in-between the seats. At around 10:50 the lights were turned on as Alesso got on to begin his set. Shortly thereafter the music just stopped abruptly. I was told by a friend that at one gate a surge of people ran out trampling anyone in their path and he saved himself by hugging the wall. At roughly 11:00 a voice over the loud speaker told everyone to evacuate the building or they will be subject to the “po-po”. This means the headliner, Sebastian Ingrosso did not perform. After relaxing for about 20 minutes in section 308 one member of the venue’s security walked up simply telling people to leave and then left, basically doing nothing. Before I had even left the venue rumors were circulating of stabbings, gunshots and deaths by alcohol poisoning. Fortunately, these rumors were not true and there were no casualties. However, over 50 ambulances and other emergency vehicles were tending to anywhere from 50-100 accounts of underage intoxication or drug abuse. Officers on horse back had also arrived to deal with the large crowd. At one point a helicopter landed on a grassy area nearby the coliseum with over 20 people in the area. The driver was arrested and his helicopter was seized. Police issued this statement…“Michael Croissant, 44, of 348 Mongaup Road, Monticello, attempted to land a Bell Model 407 helicopter on a grassy area on the west side of the Coliseum. The landing had to be aborted due to pedestrians walking in the area. Croissant then returned and landed on the grassy area where at least 20 pedestrians were walking in the area. He was placed under arrest and his helicopter was seized.”
The promoter of the Haunted Coliseum was none other than Louis Branchinelli, the owner of Lou B. industries. He released a statement to www.dubstep.net about the cancellation of the event and his stance on the matter. According to the statement which you can find by clicking here you can read his personal statements. Unfortunately, most of this is not true. While miscommunication may be a factor there in fact was an unruly crowd which burst through the doors where hundreds of people entered the venue in a riot. While it is true that if “underagers” drank before arriving to the venue, the venue and event planners should not be held responsible. However, if people went into the venue without even getting their ticket scanned how could people be screened for substance abuse? Obviously drugs and alcohol as well as already intoxicated people would be entering the venue. Now I’m certain that a promoter would also participate in event planning as the owner of Lou B. industries had his name plastered all over this event. However, I do not have any official information on that matter. While alcohol was not served to minors, if bags were not checked then alcohol and drugs easily could have circulated through the underage attendees. Hopefully refunds will be issued as this was a major disappointment in both planning and organization of an event. Simply put, if your going to throw an event at a large venue for a 16+ crowd you must have proper procedures to deal with substance abuse because it will be a problem. Younger, immature people tend to make poor decisions which is a part of growing up. While one can complain that this should have been 18+ and the sorts, look at larger festivals that cater to all ages like Electric Zoo and Identity Festival which haven’t had a problem because they were organized and planned properly. Lou B. Industries had used kids that were in high school to promote this event which apparently was not a good idea. Promoters are supposed to bring quality people to a venue to try and prevent issues like this, but when you employ children to do this job they are not going to do that. They simply want to get as much money as possible. While you may consider that stereotyping, discrimination or prejudice I can just point to what happened last night. The promoters on Facebook were suggesting that the event was amazing and that the blame should be placed on the immature crowd of 14-18 year olds that “pregamed” too hard. Looking at Louis Branchinelli statement it seems that he too agrees with that. If you did not know, it is up to a promoter to decide whether or not to allow refunds to a cancelled event.
In conclusion, you cannot blame a crowd for being under the influence at a concert. Unfortunately, this should be expected and event planners must take this into consideration. Basically, if you don’t want to get royally screwed for the money you paid you should probably drop a message to Louis Branchinelli’s Facebook page and voice this with your friends. Lastly, share this with your friends!
Update: Lou B. Industries has issued a full refund via Ticketmaster. Also, my thoughts and prayers go out to those that were effected by Hurricane Sandy this past week.
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