Lift 3

Saturday, 23 September 2000
Rockafella's, Buffalo NY
Offworld Productions

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Click here for pics of the lasers and lighting

Line-up: Doc Martin; Mike Dearborn; The Stickmen; DJ Rectangle; Miss Honey Dijon; O'Sheen; Mike Huckaby; Zuk v. RTSA; J Jajik; Peshay; Total Science; DJ Reality; Seba; Meek v. React; Chris J/Cable/Concept; 1% Free; DJ Maus; DJ Ram; Sean Michaels v. Charles Masters; Scottie B; Tommee; Dolby; Marty McFly; Xotec; Flex; Josh Doubles; Chad Collins; Chris Parkhurst; Soundwave.

Note: Well, I was going to write this just as soon as I got back home, but I thought it might be better to wait a week or so in order to be a little more objective about this party. The event itself was a good time. The venue, a warehouse-like rundown building in Buffalo NY (in a not too desirable neighbourhood) was a great concept, but it was awfully dirty. There were several rooms of sound and chill areas, so the setup was good... although a little large and broken up which hurt the vibe overall. My overall opinion of the party was very good. I wish that there would have been a little more dancing going on, but the scene in Buffalo is still developing and changing, so it wasn't really out of the ordinary.

This party, however, ended up being shut down at 4:00 a.m. by the Buffalo Police. It seems (from what I heard) that some girl was outside under the influence of some drugs and this single occurrence caused the police to shut down the entire event. Also, what I believe to have been in conjunction with this incident, one of the promoters was arrested. For what, I still do not know. After the police shut everyone out of the event and the production crews began packing up their equipment, it seems that the venue owner was very insistent over receiving approximately $950.00 which he clsimed was still owed to him under his contract. Forget the fact that the production crews did not get paid, the venue owner wanted his money. Now, he had a signed contract and the remaining promoter insisted he would be paid (and he was even willing to go to an ATM to get some money), but this wasn't good enough for the venue owner and he called the police back.

So you're figuring, this guy called the police over some owed money... that isn't a criminal offence and the police would tell him to just sue the promoter. But that isn't how things happen in Buffalo NY apparently. The police came back and began arguing with the remaining promoter all the while twirling their nightsticks and flashlights. The police were argumentative and made every attempt to incite the promoter. Then, they arrested him. What followed was even more bizarre.

It seems that when the police left, they instructed the venue owner that he could prevent the production crews from leaving with their equipment. Now, the venue owner already has the doors to the venue gated off so we couldn't leave, but then the owner came out and told everyone to 'Get the f*** out... you all got paid and I didn't and I'm not losing money... so leave your sh**and get the f*** out!' So here we are, lighting, sound and laser crews with hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment to be locked inside this building all to secure payment of $950.00. Forget the fact that the one promoter, after the party was shut down, had driven his newer SUV into the venue and parked it inside... and that the SUV was still there. Forget the fact that the production crews equipment was not the promoters to use as collateral. And also forget the fact that the venue owner had a crew of his friends come in during the second police visit and walk around to all of us in production asking the cost of all of our equipment. It was like little kids in a candy store or some greedy adult who just won the lottery. Very, very scary.

After various memeber of the production crews tried to talk to the venue owner, pointing out his sole liability for anything happening to all of this equipment, if left, and the fact that the promoter's SUV was still parked inside, and considering the small amount of money still owed (and, I'm assuming, finding out that production also had not been paid), the venue owner let us all leave with our stuff. This happened though well after the shutting down of the event. We finally left the venue with our equipment around 8:30 that morning.

This night wasn't one that was someone's fault. There were a combination of events which occurred to cause what happend here. It was bad. It showed how these events could become out of control and how the ignorance of the police can contribute to these issues. It also goes to show the incompetency and total arrogance of the Buffalo Police Department. There was simply no excuse for what occurred that night and I fully blame the actions of the Buffalo PD for all that went wrong. Every member of that Department who showed up that night was rude, abusive, arrogant, dictatorial and was on the largest kind of ego trip imaginable. These events are NOT as bad as the Buffalo PD made them out to be... but they certainly added fuel to an already dangerous fire. I understand they are being sued for their actions and I hope they lose tremendously. Nothing that happened that night nor the actions of anyone who was present, warranted the trashing of our constitutional rights that evening like they were.

The lesson to be learned here? For all of you in Pittsburgh... be thankful for the scene we have and the cooperativeness of our local police. You can't imagine how bad it is elsewhere. For those of you in places not Pittsburgh or Buffalo, keep your scenes true... keep the music the emphasis... and do everything possible to prevent problems from forming. For those of you in Buffalo... those of you I met were fantastic people... you deserve a good scene... please consider moving somewhere other than Buffalo NY.

I MUST give my total respect though to the promoter's setup crew for this event. NEVER, at any other party, have I EVER seen such a hard-working group of people. This venue was a total disaster when we arrived on Saturday morning and during the course of the day, they transformed it into an appropriate space for a party. Not only did the routine setup things have to occur, but concrete block walls had to be slege-hammered through and new concrete block walls constructed. Tons of trash and other debris had to be hauled out. Major, serious reconstruction work had to occur before the doors could open... and they did it all. These guys have my total respect for everything they did before, during and after the event (when they were basically running on instinct after the second promoter was arrested). I can't imagine a better crew anywhere!

The pics for this event are pretty minimal as I spent most of the night working the laser equipment for the show. I'm sorry I didn't get to meet more people there, but I hope I get to see everyone again at a party in the future. There were some great people who deserved a great party... what they got was good, but the ending sucked.