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Trouble on the Chain Gang?

johnboy 17 December 2010 15

chain gang crowd

When I dropped in last night the Chain Gang art exhibition in the cavernous spaces above King O’Malleys was already going off the hook with a huge crowd in attendance (as pictured).

We’re hearing reports there was a near riot with security and police trying to shut proceedings down.

Anyone in attendance want to fill us all in?

Pics and reports to john@the-riotact.com or just leave it in the comments.

UPDATE 1: TripleJ’s John Barrington made this engimatic Tweet last night:

Saw a #punk almost #riot in #Canberra! Got some #Assassins88 after bouncers intervened then we left quietly #police

outside o'malleys

UPDATE 2: Bloviate had this to add:

The event was going great, although we just got way too many people, and various things that come with massive crowds were hard to control and we ended up getting shut down. The security unplugged a band mid song, which led to some pushing and shoving. The cops came shortly afterwards and we all eased our way out.

UPDATE 3: The event’s facebook listing has been removed, we’re trying to find out what’s happening as it is an excellent art exhibition.

UPDATE 4: The rest of the exhibition has now been cancelled. Well done ACT Government, the first victims of your new laws has been an art show.

UPDATE 5: Culturazi has provided this account of proceedings:

It was with mixed feelings that I left the Chain Gang show above King O’Malleys last night. For those that haven’t heard, lurking above the Kingo is a large auditorium with an even larger rooftop space adjacent. Formerly a church of the happy clappy variety, it was recently bought by the Kingo and the owner, Peter Barclay, has been shopping around for a use for it. Incidentally, the CMC was interested in taking on the lease but was beaten to the punch by a firm of accountants who’ll be setting up shop there in the new year. In the meantime, Barclay apparently offered it for use to the Canberra School of Art and so was conceived Chain Gang, a multi arts show with visual art, live bands and electronica.

I heard it said that it was ‘not like a Canberra gig’ by a fellow with a jaundiced view of the local scene, but it certainly was a bit of a stand-out show, the novelty of the environs, the variety of entertainment and the demographics of the audience (where do all those young hipsters hide normally?) added up to a fairly thrilling critical mass of youthful exuberance not often seen. And then, depending on your point of view, there was either an appropriate climax or a disturbing denouement. With midnight fast approaching, security guards began attempting to shepherd punters downstairs. Meanwhile the last band was set up and ready to play and the auditorium was filling up. Enter the security guards, exit the power plugs from their sockets and commence a bizarre scene, apparently including some unwarranted biffo from the bouncers, and ending with the security retreating from a testosterone charged mass of bellowing youf. The band started up again, but it was short lived, the arrival of a dozen or so police signalling the end. The ensuing exodus took about ten minutes.

To the uninterested observer, it was all very entertaining I’m sure, but for those with an interest in building a viable music scene in Canberra, it could be seen as not entirely helpful. One would expect Peter Barclay to reconsider patronising the arts in future. Oh well, you get that.


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15 Responses to
Trouble on the Chain Gang?
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bjnetzone 6:05 pm 17 Dec 10

Civic + O’Malley’s + alcohol = Canned art show… And nobody could see that coming?

DBCooper 5:40 pm 17 Dec 10

Makes you wonder what is there left to ban in Australia? Can you think of anything…..

“Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.”

– Robert Kennedy

Eyeball In A Quart Jar Of Snot 4:17 pm 17 Dec 10

This story reinforces my belief that leaving Canberra was an excellent idea.

Simmo 2:55 pm 17 Dec 10

TVStar said :

cegee said :

some of my friends went and said that the people smoking were in an outdoor area (apparently) but that the O’malleys bouncers came up to tell them to stop smoking and ended up acting like douchebags, starting throwing their weight around, trying to shut down the gig & turn the power off etc.

I’ve seen O’Malley’s bouncers just punch (admittedly annoying) people in the face while they are queuing to get into the place.

Then they switch the door detail (and probably wipe the security tapes) before anyone can call the cops.

I don’t doubt at all that the bouncers didn’t go about it the best way possible, but new laws in ACT say you can’t smoke even outdoors in an eating or drinking area.

johnboy 2:22 pm 17 Dec 10

The #hashtag files the story in relevant twitter streams.

And yes it’s an engineering monstrosity, but it’s how they did it.

verbalkint 1:28 pm 17 Dec 10

UPDATE 4: The rest of the exhibition has now been cancelled. Well done ACT Government, the first victims of your new laws has been an art show.

Really? I thought you were more of a personal responsibility kinda guy Johnboy.

If the accounts given here are accurate, the only people to blame for this are the smokers who didn’t do what they were asked by security guards in a bar who only asked them to obey the law.

It seems to me that the blame should be sheeted home on the people who caused the problem in the first place (the smokers) or, at the stretch, some over zealous security guards.

astrojax 1:26 pm 17 Dec 10

Diggety said :

I’m not on Twitter, but I almost feel obliged so I can understand this sh!t:

Saw a #punk almost #riot in #Canberra! Got some #Assassins88 after bouncers intervened then we left quietly #police

agreed, diggetry – what’s with this wild overuse of the octothorpe? how do you pronounce this ‘text’?

TVStar 12:57 pm 17 Dec 10

cegee said :

some of my friends went and said that the people smoking were in an outdoor area (apparently) but that the O’malleys bouncers came up to tell them to stop smoking and ended up acting like douchebags, starting throwing their weight around, trying to shut down the gig & turn the power off etc.

I’ve seen O’Malley’s bouncers just punch (admittedly annoying) people in the face while they are queuing to get into the place.

Then they switch the door detail (and probably wipe the security tapes) before anyone can call the cops.

bloviate 12:05 pm 17 Dec 10

bloviate said :

bloviate said :

The event was going great, although we just got way too many people, and various things that come with massive crowds were hard to control and we ended up getting shut down. The security unplugged a band mid song, which led to some pushing and shoving. The cops came shortly afterwards and we all eased our way out

Is the show continuing?

No. However It was only going until Sunday anyway

johnboy 11:44 am 17 Dec 10

bloviate said :

The event was going great, although we just got way too many people, and various things that come with massive crowds were hard to control and we ended up getting shut down. The security unplugged a band mid song, which led to some pushing and shoving. The cops came shortly afterwards and we all eased our way out

Is the show continuing?

Diggety 11:40 am 17 Dec 10

I’m not on Twitter, but I almost feel obliged so I can understand this sh!t:

Saw a #punk almost #riot in #Canberra! Got some #Assassins88 after bouncers intervened then we left quietly #police

bloviate 11:38 am 17 Dec 10

The event was going great, although we just got way too many people, and various things that come with massive crowds were hard to control and we ended up getting shut down. The security unplugged a band mid song, which led to some pushing and shoving. The cops came shortly afterwards and we all eased our way out

cegee 11:36 am 17 Dec 10

some of my friends went and said that the people smoking were in an outdoor area (apparently) but that the O’malleys bouncers came up to tell them to stop smoking and ended up acting like douchebags, starting throwing their weight around, trying to shut down the gig & turn the power off etc.

mp2615 11:24 am 17 Dec 10

yeah, it’s probably because of the bearded dude with a fag in his mouth. don’t they have laws about this sort of thing ?

gospeedygo 10:45 am 17 Dec 10

They ran out of smug self satisfaction.

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