Too popular - or too popular with the wrong crowd?
It's so popular that we had to cancel it:
AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL MEDIA ADVISORY
27 February 2006
Cancellation of Dancing in the Street #3
The third event in Auckland City's Dancing in the Street series on March 17 has been cancelled due to the event outgrowing its current location.
The programme of free street parties, a component of Auckland City's Music in Parks series, are held in front of the Auckland Public Library in closed-to-traffic Lorne Street.
The popularity of the series has meant Lorne Street is no longer a suitable venue. Due to a shortage of time to find a new venue, Auckland City has decided to cancel the next scheduled event.
Or is it because of the outbreaks of violence reported towards the end of the event last time? I mean it sounds stupid enough to be a decision that the council would make; but is it just spin? Cancelled due to police pressure doesn't sound so good.
Russell Brown's experience of the last one:
I love these events; they're mad and energetic, and Lorne St was packed with kids when we arrived [...]
Around us, kids hopped up on BZP hopped around and texted their friends. Then Concord Dawn came on and they hopped 30% faster. Drum and bass isn't my favourite kind of music, but I do love the energy of drum and bass crowds, and it's not hard to see why Concord Dawn are regarded as one of the top D&B acts in the world. Here and there, a pair of cops wove through the throng, seeming almost stationary against the hubbub and clatter around them.
Apart from a brief scuffle near the front, there seemed to be nothing to trouble the plod. But as we left afterwards, someone working on the production said there had been several people staggering away from the mosh pit [...] dazed and bleeding, on account of several other people - on the P, no doubt - going way too far. There had been perhaps half a dozen arrests.
In which case, allow me to salute some intelligent, organised policing. There was a time when New Zealand police would have piled in on something like this; aggravated people, created a disturbance, stopped the music. But not this Friday night in town. They appear to have dealt with genuine problems so swiftly and efficiently - whipping miscreants to vans round the corner - that we, and a couple of thousand other partygoers, had no idea anything was amiss.
Mr Brown perhaps sees intelligence where others see necessity - or negligence. The result of low-level policing may not have been by design - it may have been understaffing and being taken by surprise at the sudden turn of events. Having attended only once before (last year or so) it was all very nice and civilized and there was no need for any heavy security presence. Perhaps that has changed? I heard from someone who was there that afterwards was no safe place for skinny white kids (although, where is, really? - not even the North Shore where there is nothing but).
No doubt the cops acted appropriately in that situation; but maybe they would find it easier to recommend cancellation than have to re-jig things to get more staff on? ie. they can't be bothered.
What about Aotea Square if it's so popular and is "outgrowing its current location." Is it just the historical association with the 1984 Queen St riot that stops them recommending that? They can use the market stalls erected for the following day as a perennial excuse not to have it there and avoid having to deal with that aspect of our past. (sorry- can't find any pics of it on google).
I wouldn't be surprised at all if this council decision had something to do with the violence and arrests last time round. And I'm not surprised that they wouldn't say it outright either.