Drake Free Concert Creates Chaos in New York City
Drake has had quite a week so far. The singing rapper, in New York to do press for his debut album 'Thank Me Later,' has inadvertently created a level of public pandemonium usually only reserved for the biggest of pop stars.
On Monday night, Drake lead a secret listening party at a downtown apparel store known as the ALIFE Rivington Club. Hopping on the microphone with A-Trak on the turntables, Drizzy ran through fan favorites from his new record and last year's 'So Far Gone'. The packed venue was backed-up by a mob of people waiting on the street, clamoring for a glimpse of the rapper.
Yet that was only a preview for a free show that Drake was scheduled to play at the South Street Seaport on Tuesday night. Promoted by Paper Magazine, the oddly billed show also featured '90s pop mainstays Hanson and Brooklyn party rap rockers Ninjasonik. When we arrived at 6PM, fans had already mobbed the Seaport area and the cramped crowd continued to grow. By 6:30, it was relatively clear that a Drake performance would danger public safety. Thousands of people (estimates are between 10,000 and 20,000) were jammed in too small of a space without necessary security.
"Police are shutting down the show at South Seaport," tweeted Drake. "I'm on my way anyways... Drizzy Hendrix Woodstock 2010."
That optimism didn't last very long, though. Drake returned to Twitter to cancel the show.
"NYPD will not let me go on stage tonight," he wrote. "I am so disappointed. To all the devoted fans that came out I wish you could have seen what I had planned! Until next time..."
After the show cancellation was announced, the crowd became increasingly restless. A subset of the audience began throwing bottles, minor scuffles broke out, chairs were tossed off balconies and police moved in to try to avoid a riot scenario. Zach Baron of the Village Voice quotes a source as saying that police had to eventually pull out cans of mace to subdue the rowdiest members of the crowd.
We'll be sure to update you as more details from this poorly planned event and its aftermath emerge. Here's some footage of the incident: