Clubs are shut down. Locals are panicked about getting sick and dying. Death counts are tragically high. And an EDM promoter has decided now is the time to throw a warehouse party in Denver, despite Level Red COVID-19 restrictions. One problem: Indoor events are currently banned in Denver.
Yes, while other music events are shut down and industry workers are out of jobs, the opportunist behind this December 12 event has decided to buck the law and common sense and proceed to party.
The event was announced by artist Tom Rogers, who wrote: "One of the first of its kind, I'm flying out to Colorado for a socially distanced warehouse rave. This weekend."
Many people in the city's EDM scene and beyond responded with disgust, begging Rogers to stay away and cautioning him that live music will never return if shows like this take place.
"Industry never gonna get back to normal as long as y’all still out here raving during the height of pandemic," wrote Johnny.
"What in the fuck?" wrote Anndrea. "This is so incredibly irresponsible. I can’t believe this. Colorado is spiking right now and some entitled promoter wants to throw a warehouse party? @tom and other DJs — I understand times are hard not playing shows money is tight but y’all doing this just endangers the community and prolongs the effects of this lockdown. I wish you all and your managers would really consider the impact this makes on this whole industry. Everyone is struggling, throw a virtual event."
Despite Anndrea's gracious assumptions that Rogers needed the money, he denied that was the reason he was coming to town.
"Times are very 'not hard' for me, with or without performances," he replied. "They are not something I need at this stage in my career. Daze Off is in a similar boat, flying out from a completely different state. We all asked about COVID before entertaining the offer, like any sensible person would. My team was impressed with how prepared the promoters were; they had more than what we hoped for, and far more than what Colorado guidelines required. If we didn't feel that way, you wouldn't be seeing this post."
But he's wrong. Colorado guidelines prohibit indoor entertainment events in Level Red counties like Denver, where the party is reportedly scheduled. The specific location of the event will be announced two hours before the eighteen-and-up rave, and tickets are no longer on sale; organizers say masks will be required, and no weapons, glass bottles or illegal substances will be permitted.
Illegal substances? Everyone there is an illegal substance! The whole shindig is illegal.
In an ungrammatical event description on Eventbrite, the unnamed organizers offer this: "Through the gloomy debt's of 2020 everyone is in some form of despair due to the current situation, as we all prepare for what's to come in 2021 the new year will be sure to bring us a multitude of various results, with the new year closing in upon us, from the ashes, we will rise above all odd's and ascend to the stars....Join us on this amazing adventure as we move forward into the future of the WAREHOUSE INVASION."
What kind of fun can you expect at this infectious invasion? Aerialists, stilt walkers, fire breathers, fire spinners, flo artists, a laser show and full lighting and sound production. The following artists are advertised as being on the bill: Daze Off, Michael Phase b2b Tom Rogers, Yellow Kitty, Life Pattern, We're Not Brothers, Hollywood Hyde, Psys'mic b2b KVRL, Muv, Party Krasher b2b Tundriix, and Jlynn.
"Your safety is our main concern, keeping everyone safe and healthy while we all enjoy this event is a priority," the promoters promise.
But if they really cared about safety or health, the event wouldn't be happening.
Update, December 12: Dustin Chaves contacted Westword after seeing his name on the flier for the event and says he was not contracted to play this show.
Update, December 15: Tom Rogers ultimately pulled out of the show, offering the following statement: "Unfortunately Michael Phase & I have pulled out from the Warehouse Invasion event. The precautions and agreements guaranteed in our contracts have come into question among new, difficult circumstances changing in Colorado. The situation is no longer the same one I had every confidence in. Thank you all for sending me articles, screenshots, and other new information I did not have before I flew out. This information has changed my perspective, and in the interest of safety for myself, my friends, and my following, I have to cancel my participation."
Update, December 21: Life Pattern, Tundriix and Jlynn all confirmed with Westword that they pulled from the show on December 12, when they decided the event would not be safe. Life Pattern's Jacob Buoniconti also says Subsidia label-mate Daze Off pulled from the event. The lineup fell apart, says Tyree Cartlidge Jr., aka Tundriix, and three artists played a separate party in Colorado Springs.
Update, December 26: Gabe Felix of We're Not Brothers offered the following comment about the Warehouse Invasion show: "We’re Not Brothers respectively backed out of the show a week and a half before the show due to us thinking over the situation and being worried about our safety and the safety of others."
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