Friday, October 31, 2014

After "mob" rushes front doors to Barclays Center, arena closes entry to Powerhouse 2014 hip-hop show; police out in force

Something went wrong last night outside the Barclays Center, as a "mob" of people tried to push their way into the arena, forcing arena managers to close the doors at 9:30 pm. Some apparently had tickets to the Powerhouse 2014 hip-hop concert, while others didn't, at least according to secondhand sources.

That led to a tense situation on the arena plaza as well as the Dean Street loading dock entrance, as police were out in force, keeping concertgoers on the sidewalk and away from the street.

The 78the Precinct also shut down Dean Street between Flatbush and Sixth avenus for a stretch; I'm not sure whether it was simply to limit traffic on the street or to allow VIPs to exit. (After all, the street was shut down two weeks ago for another concert--see bottom.)

The scene at Dean and Sixth, which I witnessed at 10:20 pm, some 50 minutes after doors were shut, had an air of tension, with a good number of cops and temporary barriers for the crowd, though the people outside were leaving.

The honking and shouting, which surely disrupted neighbors across the street, was a reminder of how little margin for error the Barclays Center has in its operations, given that an override of zoning meant there is not the required 200-foot cordon between the sports/concert facility and residences.

(The margin for error will narrow further when residential towers are built flush to the arena; the original plan was for office towers, whose workers presumably would be gone by the time events started.)

Further compounding the issue for vehicles is that Dean Street just east of Flatbush is already narrowed for construction of the stalled B2 tower, leaving a limited passageway for vehicles. That impingement on the street will last far longer than originally projected, given the delay in and legal battle over the tower.

Update: DNAinfo followed up, but couldn't learn much more. Police said there were no arrests. The arena wouldn't say more than the statement below.

Dean Street and Sixth Avenue, 10:20 pm



The Barclays Center statement
Due to a group of disruptive people which sought to gain entry to tonight's Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2014 concert at Barclays Center, we elected, in consultation with the 78th Pct, to close the doors and no longer allow patrons to enter the building at 9:30 pm.
We apologize for the inconvenience to any ticket holder who was unable to enter the arena. We made the decision to close the doors to preserve the safety of our guests and our building. For any customer service related questions please email guestservices@barclayscenter.com. Again, we apologize for tonight's inconvenience. Safety is our No. 1 priority and it will not be compromised.
The reaction

Some were frustrated. One Twitter user wrote:
Seriously @barclayscenter? I had floor seats to #POWERHOUSE2014 and you're going to deny people at the door? That's complete BS. Ridiculous.
On the Barclays Center Facebook page, one commenter called those rushing the doors a "mob," while others debated fault.

"See what happens whenu put a whole bunch of ghetto people in one place," one wrote, while another responded, "no it's bad security poor planing. They brought a concert to Brooklyn, security should of been on point."

Another wrote, "I[t] was crazy concert attendees & staff both need to do better."

Jay-Z, from Power 105.1 Twitter
Added another, "Wrong move Barclays. You just proved you had inferior security required for shows so you just shut out paying customers because you neglected to have adequate security. If the problem was that bad you should have called the cops rather than shut the doors."

Apparently they did both.

Those inside appeared to have a very good time. Barclays Center was a big ass hot box tonight," one Twitter user declared, given a lineup featuring Chris Brown, Young Jeezy, Ne-Yo, and a host of others, plus a surprise performance by Jay-Z. (Tickets started at $20.)

A Facebook commenter stated:
 "Barclay's you guys have to do better with the entrance of these shows. Why do I have to wait almost two hours to enter a show I paid almost 200.00 for????
So unorganized and just confusing. You guys need a better system. Not efficient at all"
There was another unfortunate aftermath--a shooting in East Elmhurst Queens, quite far from the arena, a a club hosting an after-party for the event, in which one person was killed and two injured.

Street shut down for Def Jam concert

As noted in a post by Peter Krashes on Atlantic Yards Watch, Dean Street between Flatbush and Sixth avenues was shut down 10/16/14 near midnight to facilitate departure of VIP cars from the Def Jam concert:
The narrowed traffic lane and the bicycle lane on Dean Street near the arena and B2 construction was blocked to facilitate VIP cars at the end of the Def Jam concert. It was an organized effort. A woman with a clipboard was stopping the cars in the traffic and and helping the VIPS load. She told me the cars were for the artists. Near the end of the video that follows you can also see people with promotional signs standing across the street from the arena. They told me they worked for Def Jam. They were right next to a house. Video showing blocked traffic, woman with clipboard (in background speaking to car). Def Jam employees across the street at the end:


He also attached the photo below, showing the sidewalk totally closed, apparently to keep the public from the artists. This would pose particular challenges once residential towers are built next to the arena.

Remember, the towers around the arena were originally supposed to hold office space, whose occupants presumably would be gone by the time arena events started.


More from Facebook: reviews

One concertgoer wrote:
"One star because I have NO CHOICE! I was DISGUSTED during tonight's performance of Def Jam 30th Anniversary! ! You smelled the aroma of people smoking weed as soon as you came in. After Method Man I left. Security gave me the explanation that though it's a smoke free building with over 1800 people here once the lights go out there's not much they can do. Barclays you should be ASHAMED!"
Note: this has been an issue, for occasional events, since the arena opened.

A comment from a FB user:
"I went to powerhouse last night [Oct. 30] and it was the same... the ushers came told them to stop and they did it again...you have to blame the thousands of adults who should know better not Barclays"

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