January 1, 2017
4chan was calling the fire department on illegal nightclubs and “art collectives.”
In 2017, let’s try to get them all shut down.
Scores of mostly young people followed the digital-age equivalent of treasure maps to faceless warehouses and old storefronts in downtown Los Angeles, a hotbed of the city’s underground music scene.
Entrée to the makeshift nightclubs that take shape in the buildings required message exchanges or security codes, parceled out through websites and Facebook pages.
Typically, the locations were not revealed to the ticket buyers until shortly before the doors opened.
The hosts of the events collected cover charges of up to $20, sold alcohol at premium prices and kept the music going well into the early morning hours.
And little or none of that was legal — or safe for the revelers who crowded into spaces that sometimes lacked sprinklers, well-lighted exits and other safety features found at legitimate performance halls.
The business of these illicit concerts and music parties has thrived for years in L.A. and elsewhere, despite operating in violation of fire and building ordinances.
The events generated little scrutiny from public officials until earlier this month, when the deadliest fire in modern California history cast a tragic spotlight on the dangers. Flames swept through the Ghost Ship, an illegally converted warehouse in Oakland where a concert was underway. Thirty-six people died.
Los Angeles’ record of cracking down on such concerts has been sporadic and infrequent at best, according to city data and interviews.
The underground clubs present shows within blocks of L.A. Fire Department stations, but the agency has cited fewer than 10 of them in the last three years, spokesman Peter Sanders said.
If anyone has a list or directory for these clubs, send it and I’ll post it front page.
I think we can get them all shut down after Oakland.