okay - i was the promoter of last night - and just to put the story straight before 8,000,000 various tales appear online this is what occured..
started playing back to the motor league (sod's law - the song i most wanted them to play) the dimmer rack caught fire - i don't mean a few sparks i mean as in flames shooting out. the venue has an alarm system which automatically contacts the fire station when it detects fire (as obviously on club nights etc, these areas aren't monitored) as soon as the fire service is called the venue HAS to do a full evacuation by law.
so far so good - we thought we'd go out, the fire service would come - the rack wasn't on fire anymore, so the fire service would check nothing else was on fire etc and if needs be they would finish their set under minimal lights whatever, hence why the venue only made people go out onto the main steps, ready to readmit.
Now's where it all goes pear shaped, for some reason 2 riot vans of police also arrived at the venue, slow night perhaps.. they went and positioned themselves between the audience and the venue, and the fire service went in, we'd been led out via some weird fire escape route from back stage, but were all stood by the propagandhi
bus, awaiting the next announcement.
After about 15 minutes the head fire guy tells the manager we can go back in - he was happy the fire was localised, and there was no further problem, so the manager came up and told us that he was happy to let propagandhi
go back on and finish their set, and that he would hold the club night which followed back, to wait where we were and someone would lead us back the way we'd come - this sounded great 90% of the audience had stayed where they were, so no one was going to have to miss out = however at precisely this moment in time a police officer was announcing to the crowd on the steps that they needed to disperse and that the academy wouldn't be reopening that night?!!?!?! further not helped by one of the academy bouncers deciding he was actually the manager and telling people to go away as it was time to start setting up for the club night. both of these statements were made off their own bat - we weren't told, and neither was the manager of the academy who was as stunned as us!
The fire brigade went - satisfied they'd done their job, but the police officer in charge refused to allow re-entry, we were outside for another 20 odd minutes before finally being re admitted but only to allow everyone to start stripping down the band equipment. the manager was taken off and proceeding to get a master bollocking from some police guy over the way they'd not evactuated people to the designated fire point (opposite the venue that bus shelter)
to be honest the communication from the venue wasn't great, but i think they were being told various things by various people so as they were ready to say one thing, the police would just start saying another, i'd have thought the fire brigade carried the clout in reopening venues after a fire, but it would seem they don't! and obviously once the police started saying there would be no readmission and then people started chucking stuff and smashing windows, we were never going to be able to get everyone back in - and all that happened was the police called for more back up...
refunds - i have no idea where the police officer who announced this got that idea from as they simply didn't ask anyone connected with the show or venue anything at any point during the proceedings - as it stands the venue settled the show with propagandhi
, who were paid their full fee (including break), and had played over 60% of their set so i have no idea their stance on refunds/ part refunds or whatever, but the academy should be the first port of call for info.
as to the size of the venue - propagandhi
would like to apologise for getting popular, but unfortunately this happens once bands grow - everyone would prefer to only hold shows in 200-300 cap venues, but they're only here for 5 days, and specifically requested a minimum capacity.. they outsold the small academy 2 venue with a month to go so the show was right to be in the main room
and the most bizarre point of the night was after the evacuation, when propagandhi
was stood waiting for the news on whether we could re-enter, the singer from black widow was stood to one side in his cape and shit looking completely out of place!!!
feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
for that is i or pm me here; with any other questions and i'll try to answer them, provide contact details or whatever...
i'm sorry how the night ended, i've been looking forward to this show for ages, and this is a first for me, i've put on over 100 shows in the past 4 years, and then 2/300 more when i booked for the corp before that, and i've never had this situation arise, it's always a nightmare as in the grand scheme of things i have very little say, as it's not my venue, but we'll try and learn from what happened, and i'll also help with info on refunds etc
hopefully see you at the next, touch wood - flame free show...