Here we go… I had to write this in order to express my opinion regarding the situation last night. From the posts I’ve read in the forum it looks as if most have a problem with the police intervening and closing down the event at Treno. In my opinion the police were 100% justified showing up and doing what they did; after all they were only doing their job – keeping people safe. I don’t know who called them, but I do believe they did the right thing. If you spend some time and analyse rationally what was going on last night I believe you will feel the same way about it.
Having fights in clubs is nothing new for the Cyprus night life but it’s new to the dance scene; a scene where people are supposed to be held together by their love for the particular kind of music. Because of my involvement with cluboholic.com I attend almost all parties every weekend and during the past 6-7 months I’ve noticed an increasing number of incidents where club goers start fights. Since more or less everyone knows each other when someone gets into a fight all their friends will get into the game immediately to help them and this way is spreads throughout the club. It wasn’t the only night that was totally spoilt by fights; I remember being the only one in the club listening to Tao Tek at Dance Revolution Party because everyone else was outside fighting. FutureDreams 2 a couple of weeks ago was also stopped at the end by a fight at least on that night the fights started quite late and mostly no one figured out why the music stopped. The funny thing is that in all cases all these fights start for the most insignificant reasons (someone talking to someone else’s ex-girlfriend, someone pushing in order to get access to the bar, someone spilling his drink on someone else and most notably last night there was a fight started involving 6 people who wanted to get into the club without paying).
Who’s to blame for all this? There are two sides depending on your point of view. One is the clubbers and the other is the club’s management and promoters that do the party. I say they are both responsible.
The clubbers: They start the fights; they should be the ones to blame right? Well yes and no. I can understand that it’s natural for some people having a few more drinks on a Friday night out and losing control but does that mean that they should be looking for trouble? From what I’ve seen every single time it’s the same people getting involved in these things and sometimes dragging a few innocent pass-by’s into it. It makes me wonder why they go clubbing at all. Have they missed the point? It’s a lot like a football game, some fans go to the match to watch the game and support their team while others simply go to provoke the other team’s fans and pick up a fight for their own satisfaction. Here we’ve got the people who go to listen to the music they like, have a drink and socialize and those very few troublemakers who spoil the fun for everyone. The big difference is that in a soccer match there are 10000 spectators while in an average club night in Cyprus there are 250 who more or less are familiar with each other. Therefore I am sure it’s much easier to control this crowd and yet we fail to do so. If you want to cause trouble or express your violent side I am sure you will find some better suited places to do so, or at least places that won’t affect so many others. If you still can’t control yourself and want to pick up a fight in the club think twice, think about the others around you who are having fun, go outside, calm down and if you can’t do it then just leave; either way you’re night is over so why end it up in violence and spoil it for the others as well?
Last week I was in UK, I attended two events both with more than 1000 clubbers. Now I am sure it comes in mind the fact that their clubs are more organized with more professional personnel who can deal with loads of people easily, and you are right but that’s not the point here. The point is that the people themselves make a difference. I was at Godskitchen @ Air where on a rough estimate there were 2500 clubbers. I was in the club for 9 hours straight and everyone was around dancing and having fun from 22:00 till the morning. I wasn’t pushed once, I had no cigarette burns (actually I could hardly see anyone smoking and dancing – smoking is a sport for the chill-out room and not the dance floor) and I could move around the club easily without having to push my way through the crowd. Now does that really have to do anything with the club being more organized or are is it because we have a different crowd mentality, a crowd that knows what clubbing is about? Its really difficult to understand why we can’t behave ourselves properly when almost all clubbers are Cypriots with so many things in common. How comes abroad where the ethnic origins are so diverse they manage to do this?
Maybe next time we see a fight at a club, we distance ourselves from it, we don’t get involved, and we don’t even attempt to look as spectators in order to satisfy our curiosity. We should make the people who start the fights understand that they are on their own, that they are not part of the group, they are outsiders. It’s only then that they will get to think why on earth they are doing what they are doing. As long as we take the fights as the norm we get more used to them and we make them part of what we call clubbing. Is that what we really want?
And now let us take things from the other point of view; the club. Since they know who the troublemakers are why don’t they do something about it? Or why don’t they do something about it after a fight starts? If I can see that there’s a few people in particular that start the fights every time it means they can see that too. Therefore it means that the right thing to do would be not to let them in the first place. Losing a few people will result in less profit for the club/promoter, which is correct in a short-minded way. In the long run avoiding fights will allow more people to attend, people who will stay longer in the club, buy more drinks and have more fun. The same people, the next day will tell their friends that they had a good time at the particular place and bring in fresh faces. The club should reserve the right to stop anyone from entering for any reason, so why not make it a rule that anyone caught in a fight will be banned from the club? It won’t be effective immediately but when an example is made out of the few troublemakers there won’t be any more of them coming cause they won’t dare do anything.
In order to achieve this adequate and professional security is required. You can’t expect one bouncer to be able to keep the crowd inside the club under control and at the same time make sure that only the right people pass the door. On the other hand a non-professional security guy will selectively take sides in fights and escalate the problem instead of helping the situation ease out. Therefore this goes to the club management, who should get the right number and the right kind of people for the job.
Last night’s situation was exactly a result of the lack of what I just mentioned. We’ve seen things that under other situations I could have described as “comic” but unfortunately they were just tragic for the dance scene. People rushing outside every time there was a fight to see what was going on and then back in till another fight broke up. The club’s manager needlessly involving himself in the fights in an attempt to remove the troublemakers from the club which in my opinion is totally unprofessional; club personnel getting beaten-up; the police patrol showing up twice in order to help the situation; people fighting and screaming outside the club even long after it was closed. No thanks, I want to go out to have fun and not to end up in a hospital.
Concluding, I’d like to thank the DJs for doing their job even when the club became a battlefield. Fortunately some people have enjoyed themselves nevertheless and that’s what matters. I was very sorry having to tell Haris C to stop the music right when he was about the play his own track “United” for the first time. I saw him having the CD in his hand when I told him to stop. Moreover I was also sorry that I personally wasn’t able to listen to the back to back set that never actually started since we had to close down prematurely. It was really disappointing for all of us trying to organize something and making so much effort to end up being spoilt by very few misguided people and the other factors mentioned above. I see a lot of people blaming the laws and the police for shutting clubs down or getting involved in these situations. The same people compare the laws abroad with the local laws and conclude that they are much harsher here. I must admit that now I can see why the laws are so different and it’s our entire fault. If we, the little group of people we call clubbers, can’t show that we can behave in a civilized manner, its like asking for these laws to be imposed on us. I don’t think what I just wrote will change the situation but at least I hope that it will make some to think about the points I made here the next time they are in a club.
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| Absolute Armin - Godskitchen @ Air (19 February 2005)