Safety First: The Reality of Housing, Parties, and Legality in the Scene

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Alright, listen Burners, while the facts continue to filter out about the disaster of Ghost Ship, the Oakland warehouse space that was reduced to ashes over the weekend, the swirling commentary, tidal wave of thinkpieces & classism masquerading as concern has (once again) missed the forest for the trees. The arguments about the responsibility of the owner, the problems with having parties at underground venues, and the nature of the community at the center of the tragedy are all aggressively useless. People can talk about “what parties should be” until the K-heads wake up, but there are realities that have forced event spaces to be the way they are for decades now. Those realities involve dollar signs, not lifestyle or philosophical choices. And, as someone that has actually made a “need a fire extinguisher to save an event from burning down” hand-off at 5 am at an underground warehouse, I hope you’ll trust that this isn’t going to be your standard anti-capitalist or anti-club rant.

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