Halloween rave at toxic site hits Greenpoint hard

Lentol asks for probe of pop-up parties

November 5, 2015 By Scott Enman Special to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In response to a Halloween rave that was held at the NuHart Plastics Factory in Greenpoint (shown above), Assemblymember Joseph Lentol wrote to New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman Wednesday requesting that his office investigate “pop-up rave parties plaguing Brooklyn.” Eagle file photo by Lore Croghan
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Kids these days will do anything to have a good time.

Even if that means throwing a drug-infused rave in an abandoned warehouse that is filled with toxic waste, fails to meet fire regulations and is over capacity by 2,500 people.

That is exactly what happened this past Saturday on Halloween when CityFox, a Zurich-based entertainment company, decided to throw a massive rave inside the NuHart Plastics Factory, a deserted Greenpoint warehouse, part of which is a Superfund site.

On Wednesday, Assemblymember Joseph Lentol  (D-North Brooklyn) wrote to New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman requesting that his office investigate “pop-up rave parties plaguing Brooklyn.”

In the letter, Lentol commented on CityFox’s attempt to throw a party in the NuHart Factory, saying, “Organizing a large-scale party of this nature at this location is akin to having a pool party in Newtown Creek. The fact that CityFox was able to obtain permits within such a short period of time, let alone at a Superfund site, is very disturbing.”

Ben Colombo, a Department of Buildings spokesman, released a statement explaining why the rave was shut down.

“The event was shut down due to flammable chemicals being hidden behind flammable curtains,” said Colombo. “Additionally [CityFox] sold 6,000 tickets but the space was only cleared for 3,500.”

In addition to the excess of tickets sold and combustible substances inside the factory, there was also hazardous waste on the site.

“[CityFox] literally received clearance a day before the event,” said Mike Schade, a spokesman for Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, a North Brooklyn environmental advocacy group. “They didn’t inform their guests that they were holding a party on a hazardous waste site associated with cancer and birth defects.”

CityFox was also able to acquire New York City Department of Buildings and New York State Liquor Authority permits in just a few days — a process that usually takes at least 30 days.

The permit applications also had erroneous information and several different addresses on them, but the permits were issued nonetheless.

CityFox’s mission, according to its Facebook page, is to “create the best attendee experience that is possible […] and our purpose [is] singular: to showcase some of house music’s finest artists in a setting that brings you a night of escape, happiness, and fond memories.”

Lentol articulated that while he isn’t opposed to parties themselves, he worries about his constituents’ safety.

“This request is made not in opposition to the parties or party-goers themselves,” he explained, “but in response to a serious public safety concern — the safety of those who attend these parties and the safety of the residents who reside next to where the parties take place.”

Go a little deeper into Brooklyn, to Crown Heights, and there is another planned party that is also being met with resistance.

The Time Warp Music Festival, a two-day electronic music festival that started in Germany, is set to take place at the Bedford-Union Armory on Nov. 20-21.

The festival, which plans to run each night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., is being met with opposition from the surrounding community — although this time, it isn’t because of a toxic waste site.

Assemblymember Walter Mosley, who has been trying to cancel the event for some time now, told DNAinfo that neighbors were concerned about “quality-of-life issues” like parking and the effect of “potentially intoxicated” visitors in a “residential community like Crown Heights.”

Richard Hurley, an attorney and leader of a local group of block associations, sent out several emails to the community about the festival.

He wrote in an Oct. 20 message that the event could bring “noise, garbage, alcohol, drugs” and “police action.”

Time Warp, however, assured its ticketholders that the festival will continue as planned, and that they received all proper authorization before starting ticket sales.

In a statement, Time Warp said that “All procedures thus far have been properly handled … We are underway for a seamless event at Bedford Union Armory.”

Only time will tell.

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