Videos: Rowdy Crowd Leads to Shutdown of Free Drake/Hanson NYC Seaport Show
[youtube O2BG82DqxbU nolink]
[youtube aznM-J-zEQ0 nolink]
[youtube AISg9Fx5FLE nolink]
TheMusic.FM was at South Street Seaport here in New York last night for a free outdoor concert with newcomer Drake headlining and Hanson and DJ Ninjasonic opening. It was organized by Paper Magazine and Ray Ban.
The show started at 6 p.m. and was supposed to be done by 9 p.m. I was excited enough at the opportunity to see a free outdoor show on a beautiful day, but the idea of finally catching Drake made it ever more enticing. The event was just another example of the privileges offered by living in New York City. But a small group of people abusing that privilege ended up turning what was supposed to be a night of fun and music into a failure.
I arrived at 5:30 and to my surprise, all the open space at the south side of the Pier 17 complex was packed to the brim with people standing on cars and food stands to see the show. The steps were also crowded as people peered over the balconies just to get a look at this Canadian new-comer whose first album was released on that day. From where I was standing, I could barely even see the stage due the immense amount of people that showed up. Paper mag numbered the crowd at 25,000. They had only expected 10,000.
[youtube nPQL34P5C1w nolink]
The event took a turn for the worst when a group of people decided to climb the roof of a shed at around 6:15. Originally, the crowd embraced this act, clapping and laughing as some on the roof started dancing with bravado and making provocative gestures. But when an announcer ill-advisedly declared that the show would be postponed until those on the roofs got off, due to the safety hazard, the crowd quickly turned against those revelers. Immediately, people started flinging bottles, cups of beer and anything they could find at those who were impeding the start of Drake’s set. So the announcement ended up making things worse.
Ninjasonic got on the microphone to try to calm the unrest, but no one seemed to pay attention. Bottles continued to fly. By 6:30, people started to leave.
No representative ever went on to stage after the initial announcements to declare the show was canceled. They just had us waiting in a tight crowd that was growing ever more agitated by the minute.
At around 7:00 it just turned into a circus. Some started to get back on the roofs and stand on the windows of UNOâ€™s Bar and Grill. Fights and arguments started to break out as some continued to throw bottles and people were pushing to leave. Where I was standing, three arguments broke out simultaneously as the excitement of seeing Drake perform quickly started to fizz out into anger.
No one knew whether the show was officially getting canceled. For me, a tweet by Drake was the only news I got about the status of the concert and by that time I was already heading out.
The organizers did a poor job of organizing the event and managing the entrance and exit to the show. Luckily no lives were lost as some even started to faint around me from heat exhaustion.
Perhaps South Street Seaport isn’t well suited for such big-name artists. When too many people show up, there are no doors to close and too many dangerous places that people will go to get a view.
[youtube ePj6qN6Hjf0 nolink]
[youtube XvcHa_rkS_0 nolink]
[youtube QxL1vQNCVIc nolink]
[youtube 1b3Aa0GRGEA nolink]
Photo: Taylor Hanson at a packed South Street Seaport by Ditzygrly@Flickr