Armory cancels more events
It’s the second event in less than a week to be cancelled at the Washington Avenue Armory, and ticketholders have taken to the venue’s Facebook page to vent.
Excision—a dubstep DJ and music producer from Canada—was booked and set to perform on Thursday, March 12. Reports say that performance was shut down after disputes about security. Another electronic music event called “Electric Safari” was shut down by the city of Albany just hours before doors were supposed to open on Friday, March 8.
After speaking with a promoter involved with the Electric Safari event, I was told that all necessary permits were secured from the city. Regardless, that promoter stated that the event was cancelled because of the fact that it involved DJs rather than bands. In both cases, each event was cancelled on the day of the performance, and after tour busses arrived, electrical equipment was set up, and—most importantly to patrons—tickets were sold.
The Facebook page of the Washington Avenue Armory is littered with comments from those who had planned on attending the show, ranging from confusion about refund policies, to pleads for another venue to host the performance, and—perhaps the most popular—a simple “F – You.”
The Armory has been blocked from holding performances in the past, and a recent Times Unionarticle stated that the commissioner of the city Department of Buildings and Regulatory Compliance said the venue is acting as an illegal nightclub. Still more disputes stem from on-going security and safety issues, such as the October 19, 2012 “foam party,” where a fight broke out between patrons and Albany Police officers. Earlier this year, residents of Lark Street pleaded with the Board of Zoning Appeals to put an end to the raves, stating their concern for—not only safety—but also a measure of common, neighborly decency.
So, who is to blame? Should patrons direct their anger toward the Armory for continuing to book raves while being aware of on-going issues with the city? Should the city be blamed for shutting down performances mere hours before they are supposed to begin? Should the public have the mentality of “buyer beware”—or at least, buyer be aware of what’s happening in the news—before purchasing tickets to the Armory?
Perhaps most importantly: Should the city of Albany allow raves and foam parties to take place? How do these parties differ from a concert? Do they compare to a nightclub, and is the city justified in accusing the venue of acting as such?
Crista Leigh is a millennial, journalist and broadcaster who was born and raised in the Capital District. She has been involved in the local music scene for nearly a decade, and has an unhealthy obsession with zombies and all things pumpkin.