City to Capitol Hill Block Party: Talk with community before more plans for 2011

Organizers of the Capitol Hill Block Party were told they must wait until after feedback has been gathered from a community meeting with residents and business owners before the Seattle Special Events Committee will move forward with their request for a permit for another three-day edition of the festival in 2011.

The decision was part of an hour-long session on Wednesday in which committee members from City of Seattle departments heard Block Party organizers review the 2010 festival and discuss plans for 2011. The committee members also heard public comment from six Pike/Pine business and property owners, many of whom said they supported the Block Party but had suffered significant negative impact from the festival’s growth into an event that organizers estimate attracted more than 27,000 attendees over its three-day run in 2010.


No residents were present at the midday session to offer comment.

Comment from the business owners present ran from highly rational to highly emotional. Elliott Bay Book Co. owner Peter Aaron offered this double-edged assessment of the 2010 festival, the first he had experienced with his move to Capitol Hill from Pioneer Square. “I was impressed with the way it was run,” Aaron said but added, “It cost us in the neighborhood of $22,000 in sales over the three days.” Aaron said he also had safety concerns for people running across Elliott Bay’s roof to sneak into the festival.

Ferrari of Seattle’s Tino Perrina, standing, and the Block Party’s Grady Chapman, middle, and David Meinert

Cupcake Royale’s Jody Hall also said the Block Party, contrary to conventional wisdom, is bad for her business slicing revenue in half during its run. “It definitely hurts our business. It’s a bummer for our business,” Hall said. Like Aaron, she said she supports the idea of the Block Party — “I love the spirit of a community thing.” — but that there needed to be more done to lessen the impact to surrounding businesses that don’t directly benefit from the festival.

Also speaking was Michelle Cotton of East Pike’s Crescent Down Works and Anne Michelson Properties who sent the e-mail to Pike/Pine business owners asking for them to speak out against the Block Party we reported on earlier this week. “We’re totally opposed to it. One of our buildings is an old wooden building. We’re worried about its safety,” said Cotton, who along with Anne Michelson manages the Lorraine Court Apartments at 11th and Pike. But even Cotton had to admit that “last year there were real strides.”

Tino Perrina of Ferrari of Seattle, on the other hand, was angry, calling organizer David Meinert and his business partners arrogant for his portrayal of the Block Party to the events committee. “You guys are just sugarcoating this whole thing,” Perrina said. “This event has grown way too big.”

Meinert is head of Fuzed which along with Marcus Charles’s MDC Holdings operates Independent Event Solutions, the company behind the Block Party. Meinert also is a partner in Big Mario’s Pizza, a CHS advertiser.

For many of the businesses affected, Meinert and partners Grady Chapman and Jason Lajeunesse had logistical solutions that they said would help on a local scale for a business’s specific problems. For Perrina, for example, who Meinert said was right to be upset about the long line that stretched in front of his dealership on the first day of the 2010 festival, the 2011 event is already being planned to sell fewer tickets, have a more efficient gate system and to reduce the amount of will-call activity by introducing fees and establishing new ticketing locations in the city for people to buy and posses their tickets in advance.

Meinert said the ticketing process including the new ticketing locations will again be managed by the Stranger.

If there’s any business in the mix where the logistical challenges for improvement are most daunting, it’s the Lobby Bar, located at ground zero of the main stage zone on Pike. The Lobby’s Curtis Bigelow spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting and told details of his bar’s struggle to hold things together last summer. Bigelow said his business ended up “isolated” because of the closely packed crowd in front of the main stage and that the Lobby became the “de facto exit” and bathroom for many who did not want to fight the crowd and that others came into the bar injured and seeking aid. Bigelow said that even with all the business the Block Party brought into the Lobby that weekend, he believes the bar lost money because of the crowd. Even with the complaints, the Lobby Bar say it is a supporter of the Block Party and wants to work with Meinert and organizers to better handle the crowd in 2011 and make adjustments to some of the event’s configuration to improve conditions.

Logistical changes are already in motion. Meinert was told by committee representatives from Seattle Fire and Seattle Police that he’ll need to make sure the area around the main stage is a safer experience in 2011 by improving fire lanes and emergency access. This will mean the end of one Block Party tradition — the Shell station parking lot was specifically noted as an area that must be improved in 2011 because the crowd that gathers there has become too large and could block the emergency access to the main stage area, officials said. Meinert said he plans to work with the station’s owner to have security keeping the lot clear in 2011. Another needed change is the establishment of a better process to control volume when acts get too loud, one City rep said.

The events committee includes representatives from Seattle Police and Fire, the health department, Department of Planning and the Seattle Department of Transportation. Some of these representatives will meet with Block Party organizers for an on-site walk-through to work out details of more safety and logistical improvements in 2011.


CHBP People
, originally uploaded by spratt504.

Beyond the logistical improvements for specific businesses and safety improvements, Meinert said he is also hopeful to find a way to make sure the Block Party benefits Pike/Pine businesses and the community even if the local improvements can’t save every business’s bottom line. One solution he said was suggested to him by developer Michael Malone was channeling some of the Block Party’s charitable giving to the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and earmarking that money for projects in the Pike/Pine area. Meinert said he and Chamber executive director Michael Wells will be talking soon about the idea.

Wells also spoke at the events committee meeting on Wednesday. “The Block Party is a huge success story,” Wells said. “It’s an important piece of the fabric of Capitol Hill.” Wells also said there needs to be more and better communication around the event. “For many, it’s a very lucrative event but for others it is negative. More communication is key.”

Committee chair Joanne Orsucci agreed saying the committee couldn’t make a decision on the 2011 permit and the question of whether the Block Party had outgrown East Pike until after Block Party organizers meet with the Pike/Pine community to discuss the festival. The date for that session has not yet been set but Meinert said that he has gathered contact information for most every business and resident in the area to let them know about the meeting. He also told CHS that we’ll be on the list when the date for the community meeting is determined.

Assisting Meinert in this will be Virginia Swanson, former Special Event coordinator for the City of Seattle who is now working as a consultant for the Block Party. Swanson used to be in charge of the permitting process for the event — this year, she’ll be on the organizer side of the table as the community weighs in on its future.

For a sneak peek at some of the thoughts about the Block Party that will come up in the community process, check out the comments on our CHBP post from earlier this week. There are some cheap shots and low blows in there — but there are also some cool ideas and heartfelt suggestions.

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33 thoughts on “City to Capitol Hill Block Party: Talk with community before more plans for 2011

  1. It is disconcerting to hear that the Lobby Bar was a business that received injured people from this event. What is one of them had been seriously injured? Would MedicOne have been able to access the business? Obviously, changes need to be made to be sure people are not injured at this crowded event.

    I would like to know the profit amount made by Meinert and his associates. Perhaps some of it could be given to the businesses that actually lose money as a result of his profit.

  2. I’ve always had a good time at the Block party but do feel that the location is too crowded and if you manage to make your way to one stage, you just don’t move to go any where else. This is an instance when an event just becomes too big for the venue. And the businesses are hurting, the streets are a mess afterwards and traffic blows that whole weekend. Not to mention, it’s impossible to find parking for those who live in the neighborhood!

  3. I’m down as one of the people who are against the block party, at least as it has been presented in past years. I am a homeowner who lives several blocks away and I still have to deal with the noise and the mess. Especially the mess. At the very least the venue needs lots more porta-potties, a major increase in dumpsters, and a work party after to spread out far and wide to clean up the mess.

  4. Dear Cupcake Royale, Lobby Bar and Elliot Bay:
    I know this idea wouldn’t work for everyone who is pissed off, but how about joining in on the fun? How about getting your own bands to perform? Cupcake you could get a fun young all ages crowd. Elliot you can get a couple accoustic acts, Lobby you could do whatever the fuck you do.
    Obviously there is huge community support for the Block Party. Capitol Hill is young a vibrant and it wants this. I’m sorry if everyone doesn’t like it, but there are ways to make it work. Instead of whining about it work it your advantage!!!

  5. I hope I wasn’t one of the ones causing trouble, but I did make sure I tipped. The scene was pretty mobbish, but the bartenders and staff (including one manager I talked to) were supercool. Thanks for a good time. Oh … and keep the BP three days.

  6. I’ve worked on the hill for years and love the block party. It’s better run than the pride parties in the neighborhood and benefits far more businesses. For me, more tips and tons of fun.

  7. Move the block party one block South to Union. There is minimal business on that street and on the weekends, when I’m walking up and down Union, there is little to no road or foot traffic. There is all this space, and that would leave Pike open for the overflow and people to actually move around the business merchants and to enjoy them and support them. Is there something that says that it HAS to be on Pike? It’s as if by using Pike, you’re creating more of a problem where there are already overcrowding and lots of pedestrian and foot traffic problems. I was there last night, walking around Pike and just with the Artwalk going on, it was a navigational feat to walk in between cars and pedestrians trying to get to where they were going. And that’s just Artwalk.

    I’m a resident also, I live 3 blocks away. I can HEAR everything that is happening and the noise does become problematic after 3 days. By Sunday last year, I was ready for it to just all stop. The mess and clean-up issues are another thing. This should be spotless everyday, instead the mess and trash on the streets just PILES up. It’s gross and filthy and the people attending seem to have no regard. The streets surrounding the blocks outside of the area are just litter filled. There seems to be no concern for that. Why isn’t there about 100 extra garbage cans put up in a 5 to 6 block radius surrounding the area? And late at night, there are hundreds of drunk (and to be fair, not drunk) people filing home and they are all walking through the residential areas, late at night to get to their cars or busses or find cabs and such. And it’s infuriating to be trying to sleep at 12:30/1:00 am and there are just dozens of people talking and yapping and running around your building. You can hear it all, and it just doesn’t seem to stop. It’s not just the actual Pike/Pine residents affected, it’s those of us in the 3 to 4 or even more block radius outside of Pike/Pine also. It all filters through us. And why does it seem to take so long after the party for things to get back to normal? Frankly, the places I’d normally go for that weekend, lose my business, because it’s a fact that most of the people who attend the block party are not from Capitol Hill and frankly, I don’t want to try and even get close to that part of the hill, because I don’t want to deal with it all. I’ve gone to the Block Party years ago, but in the last, oh 4 or so, would never step foot near it. It’s just a feeling of total entrapment. And all of this carries over into the following week or two. Once the balance is shifted, patterns take a bit to get ahold again. It’s often several weeks before I’m back into the swing of roaming up and down Pike/Pine/Union again.

    Just a few things to think about.

  8. I have worked on the hill for a long time and think it’s great how successful the block party has become. It’s a great opportunity for the neighborhood to come together, business’s and residents. It also brings clientele who don’t normally frequent the hill to experience the most diverse and culturally abundant neighborhoods in Seattle. Not having Block Party this year would be a disappointment to many including myself.

  9. This is exactly what I was thinking – maybe there isn’t a need to move everything south to Union St. but locating the mainstage to the intersection of 10th and Union or 11th and union could save a bunch of issues plus the crowd for the mainstage could have more room (depth-wise) if the stage was oriented pointing North so that the crowd filled up the street rather than trying to cram into an intersection like it has been in the past.

  10. As a local resident I would support a move of the Block Party to Union Street. It’s more open, better ingress/egress, and would keep Pike open to keep business flowing there. Seems like a win/win to me.

    Ditto on the litter problem too. Meinert, if you’re reading this, post-party cleanup needs to be better handled. The neighborhood was filthy afterwards.

  11. I love the idea of moving the BP to Union – I’m assuming the logistics of moving the #2 route would be a challenge, but it’s a far better street for the festival than Pike. Far fewer residents would be affected as well. Where I live, the noise would be considerably more if it moved to union, but the noise doesn’t bother me. It’s more not being able to walk the most direct routes through my neighborhood (which also isn’t that big a deal) and the TRASH. Pickup seemed better this year but still wasn’t good enough.

  12. So, instead of being concerned about the massive drop in sales over one weekend, these businesses should sink money into the BP by sponsoring a stage? And still absorb the decreased sales on top of it? Yeah, that’s a great suggestion.

  13. The Lobby Bar isn’t against the Block Party – Obviously it is a fantastic event for thousands of people and it is part of what makes the neighborhood vibrant. However, we are a cocktail lounge, not a first aid tent and we cannot act as an emergency exit for hundreds of people who try to escape the crush of main stage. Our biggest issue was the safety of our staff as well as our patrons and we were unable to provide a satisfactory level of safety with the crowds that pressed up against the front of our business. We are requesting that the Block Party address these safety issues as we simply aren’t equipped to do so.

  14. I agree with you on this. Union is quite more “dead” as far as businesses go. Although, there are a couple of places there (Po Dog/ Auto Battery as well as the AIDS Alliance) that probably wouldn’t like it on their street.

    All I can say is that, while this solution is probably the most elegant considering Cal Anderson isn’t an option, it is just Pike St businesses/ residents doing a NIMBY and moving the problem over to the folks on Union…

    The real solution here is for those on Pike to realize that the Block Party has been around a lot longer than some of those businesses have been there and it’s not a total surprise that it happens each year. I might give them a concession on the fact it’s changed so much in the years it’s progressed, but, again, not a total surprise as it didn’t end up like it is now overnight. Although, with businesses like Elliot Bay that CHOSE to move to CH knowing full well what Block Party is, that’s just completely insincere on their part to complain.

    These very same businesses need to realize that outside the three days of Block Party, the Capitol Hill community gives ) massive support to their businesses. That support is translated into viable businesses that are (hopefully) profitable. The business owners complaining need to realize that their businesses probably wouldn’t be viable outside of Capitol Hill and its unique demographic. During the three days of Block Party, these very same businesses should be giving back to the community by supporting this event. The community that they rely on for their livelihoods wants Block Party and instead of just them just taking from the community, they need to give something back.

  15. Although the block party may be not perfect for some of the new businesses that have come in recently, and there are a few pre 2010 businesses that may not benefit, its safe to say that for 80 percent of the businesses in the area, and 100% of the bar and restaurants, it’s the biggest weekend of the year. It has been a main stay in cap hill culture for 13 years, and the neighborhood has changed and been developed to accommodate residential and retail expansion as a result of the rich music and night life culture.

    I have 3 businesses on the hill, and for each one its the biggest weekend of the year. With nearly 90 employees between all three its the biggest weekend for them as well. I think the new retail would not even be here, if it were not for the music and night life on capitol hill.

  16. I love the who’s been here the longest argument.

    Use it here to make a point and then somebody else will use it differently to make a completely different point (e.g. see any post related to VPC).

    I think these businesses would argue that the block party is no longer about this “community.” But there is your problem again, what “community” are you talking about and who is showing up to the block party.

    Just a couple of things you probably didn’t realize.

  17. While there isn’t any street that would not be impacted by the “block party” (which let’s call a spade a spade…it’s a full blown music festival; a block party is something that lasts a day…not a good part of a week), I agree that Union would be a better alternative.

    The 3rd day (Sunday) was bad decision for those who live there (especially those who live on Pike on 11th/12th). The final show ended around 7 pm, but breakdown continued noisely well into midnnight. After a weekend of little sleep and not having Sunday day/night to recoup, I was pretty much useless the next day at work. I’ve resigned myself to having porta-potties five feet from my front door (or having concert goers using my front door as a urinal), mounds of trash, and noise till the wee hours of the night…but it would be nice to have some consideration for those people who have to go to work on Monday morning and live in the immediate area.

  18. This would be a really good solution to creating some room between the stages and giving the crowd more space to disperse. This might allow a few smaller stages on Pike along with easier access to food, drinks, and other socializing.

  19. I agree that the organizers do a great job of attracting talent and keeping ticket prices reasonable, but that the layout and schedule is increasingly becoming actively hostile toward attendees. I go to a fair number of music festivals (both in and out of urban areas) and have never encountered as many near-dangrous crowd bottlenecks, awkward fencing, gate confusion issues, and general crowd flow problems that are a very regular feature of CHBP.

    Part of it is probably due to trying to fit several outdoor stages on the grid of city streets (essentially resulting in dead-end stages with no capacity for overflow or escape). I’m also guessing that trying to comply with Seattle’s alcohol regulations while still including underage attendees also induces some of the bizarre layout choices. Last year, having more bars inside the festival grounds was a good step and I hope that the organizers are able to think creatively about how to overcome some of these hurdles so that the festival continues to be a highlight of summer in the neighborhood.

    While they’re at it, they might pick a new name for the festival, if only to stop people whining about how a “block party” should be free and without borders.

  20. Why must it be three days? So that those putting it on and profiting can make more money. Marcus Charles bought a house with his block party profits…and the house is not in Capitol Hill. The block party is a capitalist venture put on by a few savvy, local businessmen first…and a vibrant boon to the capitol hill community second. It’s obvious that the neighborhood and blocks surrounding suffered from last year’s three day event and now those in charge either need to scale it back, move it, or both. The University and Broadway Street Fair’s manage to benefit businesses on a long stretch of city street and have maintained the same size/# of days for decades. Stop trying to make maximum profit for your “three businesses” at the expense of the people that live here in Capitol Hill and start thinking about how you can work with the community (all businesses, citizens, social services) to provide an event where we don’t have to have these discussions prior to their approval. An event that doesn’t require this process which is detrimental to your standing as community members and your already shaky reputations. Ninety bartenders/club employees having a great weekend of tips is not a great argument and not going to draw a lot of sympathy. It’s not like that extra money is really making it’s way back into the segments of the economy that could really use it…just sayin’

  21. I hadn’t thought of bringing Union into the equation, but that’s a great idea. Spread the whole block party out! Here are some other thoughts and suggestions:

    I lived in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota for a year. They really know how to throw block parties there, or at least they did when I lived there back in the mid-90s. I hope things haven’t changed. All the block parties I went to were huge AND free. You could move from block to block and stage to stage and beer garden to beer garden and food stand to food stand.

    So it was with great enthusiasm that I attended the first Capitol Hill Block Party and I thought it was pretty cool. I don’t think the population of the city knew how cool it was, though, as it was sparsely attended. The next year I was disappointed to see that caged areas were erected around the stages with black fabric on them so that no one could see what was going on inside…and that one had to pay to get into those areas and beer gardens.

    Now I almost miss those couple of years where there was a combination of free areas to walk around in, free music stages, and the paid admission beer garden and music areas/venues. I don’t like how the whole block of blocks is literally now blocked off. This is the antithesis of what a community block party should be: free and open to the…COMMUNITY.

    I understand that the block party has become a money-making festival and/or a festival with ambition that needs money from the community to fund its musical acts and participants…but I would prefer if things returned to how they were in the early days. I would love to be able to walk around the festival on days I don’t want to pay to see music if there isn’t anything that interests me on those days. I love people watching… read more d love the feeling the neighborhood streets have when you find yourself walking around areas where there is usually traffic.

    What I do not like is the feeling of being trapped inside the block party area and I would think that there are MANY people who live in the neighborhood who feel the same way. The past few years I feel like I am in the middle of one big beer garden and each year it’s gotten uglier and uglier and uglier. I’m not yet old enough to feel out of place going to these types of music festivals, but this past year I looked around at all the drunken ugliness taking place around me and thought to myself, dude, you PAID for this?

    Move the main stage back to where it was across from The Comet. It was better to be able to move to the various areas around the stage in its old position than how it has been set up the last few years. I feel like it excludes more listeners and viewers…

    Return to having several free blocks with at least one or two with their own free music stages…

    Embrace Bumbershoot’s model. By that I mean, that there is space to walk around the grounds in addition to going into the various music venues. There could be a few musical acts at the Broadway Performance Hall, for example, and with some cooperation from Seattle Central perhaps there could be a music stage on the brick walk outside of the performance hall and campus…free and open.

    Utilize Pine in addition to Pike…make Pine a free zone/free street where the booths are located…try to coordinate things with the art walk people–gallery owners and artists…turn the street into a big three day gallery walk…utilize the Oddfellows Hall stage and auditorium. Utilize the small theatres in the block party’s vicinity. I’d also like to see a better array of food offerings…last year seemed kind of disasterous in this regard…

    So, to sum up: make Pine the free zone street. Perhaps return a stage to the corner of Pine and 11th…make this a free stage…with 11th returning to the beer garden street it used to be…11th has numerous bars that used to be part of the block party action but which are now outside the action…each of them can have their own mini-music festivals within if they were given better access and integrated into the block party at large. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THE STREETS IN THE BLOCK PARTY AREA! Spread things out a bit, let people breathe, let the festival breathe.

    As for Cal Anderson Park, it’s obviously unrealistic to utilize the part of the park that is the shell covering the old reservoir, but every summer in the part of the park between the soccer field and the reservoir there are numerous music festivals and film screenings…this could be another free area or a three day open mike for music or poetry stage…

    It just seems like the options you have to make the Capitol Hill Block Party something that everyone in the community could enjoy are very obvious and easy. Let Bumbershoot be Bumbershoot and let the Capitol Hill Block Party serve its neighborhood well.

    I much prefer living here to living in Minnesota, but we seem pretty naive and amateurish in our approach to block parties compared to how they plan things every summer.

    And last, there’s no reason that some of us who live on the hill couldn’t get together and throw an alternative Capitol Hill Block Party that fulfills all of the desires we might have for it that the current incarnation of the other Capitol Hill Block Party can’t fulfill.

    On a personal note, the last time I had a good time at the block party was three summers ago when a friend’s band played on one of the small stages. I ended up on their list, which got me a VIP bracelet when the VIP area was in the center of the block party when the main stage was next to Neumo’s. It was pure joy…NOT because the beer and pizza were free, but because the VIP area felt more congenial than the other areas of the block party.

    Your goal, Mr. Meinert, shouldn’t be just to put on a memorable music event, but to make everyone feel like a VIP and not like they’re being forced to subject themselves to the rules of ill repute that seem to be the norm for every crowded caged beer garden in the universe. And no one who lives in the neighborhood should be made to feel like an outsider in their own neighborhood because of the block party.

    This shouldn’t be hard to do.

  22. Why’s it bad that it’s a capitalist venture?

    There are very few things people do without the incentive of money. Clearly, BP is a product and people resoundingly choose to give their money for this product.

    If you’re not directly connected to it (as in not making money from ticket sales or an investor in BP), then you’d better be someone trying to make money off of BP (as in owning a bar.)

    I think you’re trying to separating out something that’s inseparable. The community aspect of BP is a HUGE reason people attend it (other than seeing their fav bands, etc.) If it wasn’t, then people wouldn’t show up.

    Just because you put on a show doesn’t mean you’ll get rich. You have to have a motive to put on a show and think people will attend. Otherwise, you end up spending a lot of money putting on the show and not recouping the loss you initially paid out. These folks who put on BP just figured out they could not only break even, but that they’d have enough of a response (ticket sales) to make a profit.

    Don’t be bitter.

  23. I understand that capitalism is a fundamental cog in all aspects of American life as we know it and I do embrace it…most of the time. The block party organizers obviously need to break even and as it’s their livelihood they need to profit from it as well. But why three days when it fucks over these small businesses and completely trashes the neighborhood? The block party is great for two days and makes a shit-ton of money…enough to buy a house apparently. The block party for three days is a greedy endeavor that hurts the community it is supposed to be celebrating.

  24. “No residents were present at the midday session to offer comment.”

    ….gee, I wonder why. Were we INVITED? I didnt get an invitation…

  25. Don’t you think that if the “neighborhood” felt that the third day hurt it so bad, the “neighborhood” wouldn’t show up?

    From personal experience, there are TONS of CH residents that come to BP. TONS. They were there on the third day last year, too. They didn’t feel that it fucked over the neighborhood too much.

    Clearly there’s demand FROM the neighborhood because they voted with their wallet last year and resoundingly said yes to a third day of BP.

  26. Not to be flippant, but should they have dispatched a personal courier to hand-deliver you one?

    You have to engage the community, you know, and find out what’s happening when. Someone isn’t just going to put it on your Google Calendar for you, you know.

  27. How do we get in touch with Meinert or the Committee if we want to be notified about the meeting for community members to weigh in?

  28. I went to a block party in Eugene, OR where the main stage was across the intersection as opposed to right before the intersection. That way, the main crowd wasn’t jammed into one street and instead was 3 streets merging like a T. If they moved the main stage a half block east, it would allow for less traffic jams. Also they could have entrances at Union/10th, Pine/10th & Pike/11th. There could be porta-potties at all entrances and would really spread the crowd out and give people space to move. This would definitely involve the cooperation of neighboring businesses, but this festival will never work unless everyone’s on board.

  29. This year was just as bad as last year. The overcrowding was a serious problem. It lead to my wife and I sustaining a brutal beating by concert goers. One man punched my wife in the head, when I confronted him he proceeded to attack me and in no time several people jumped in and started kicking and hitting us. All for what? A small piece of ground in which to stand. Security was no where to be seen while this took place. It wasn’t until I was nearly knocked out that I fell into a security barricade, it fell over as I fell into it and only then did security help me. All the while my wife was still in the crowd being pushed and punch by men. Security was no help. Only one police officer came over to us and promptly walked away, it seemed he didnt want to be bothered.
    The block party has far outgrown the small space it is in and I fear that one day something very serious is going to happen down there. I think the Fire Marshall needs to be more active in overseeing how the beer garden is being over crowded.
    I will never attend this event again.