What’s going on with the Armory?

A bit over a week ago, a poorly managed queue for a foam party at the Washington Avenue Armory, and the resulting three injured cops and seven arrested partygoers has angered the city enough to cease-and-desist the venue. Albany is citing the venue’s lack of a cabaret license, which is what they need to operate a “night club”, but not host a concert.

Jordan Carleo-Evangelist for the Times Union:

A 2007 special-use permit issued by the BZA lists potential future uses as diverse as antique shows, concerts and circuses — but a dance club is not on the list.

That’s insane. An enormously huge venue such as the Armory simply isn’t a night club. The only common thread are DJs, which are obviously commonplace in a club, but if your venue can also host a roller derby game, it’s not a night club. If your “night club” can fit 5,400 people and has a dedicated box office, it’s not a night club.


Another event dubbed “The Wet and Reckless Tour” — the flier for which features a cartoon blood-alcohol detector with the needle spiked all the way to the maximum — is scheduled to visit the Armory Nov. 8. That party is listed as open to anyone 16 or older.

This event, which is hosting LA-based touring DJ and producer Dillon Francis among others has been simply moved to the Upstate Concert Hall, completely circumventing the shit-show of dealing with the city to host an event.

It’s obvious that Albany would react this way to anything that would get three of their officers hurt. But is it worth crippling the city’s second largest venue from hosting events within the city itself?

The Festival of the Dead, a Halloween bash that benefits the Family Trauma Fund at Albany Medical Center, will be held thanks to a last minute deal between the historic venue and the city, a spokesman for the armory said Friday afternoon.

Not canceling a benefit for the Family Trauma Fund at Albany Medical Center at the last minute doesn’t make the city “the nice guy”, it just shows they want to pick and choose who is able to use something not owned by them, which makes them a dick.

Why drive promoters and partygoers alike across town lines and move the cash flow from these patrons elsewhere? Fix the queue issue for these high capacity events, charge the Armory for their license and allow our city to move forward rather than crippling arts and culture all in the name of making an example out of someone.

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