A buckling support beam that compromised the floor of a downtown club late Thursday night forced authorities to call off a band’s performance and evacuate approximately 400 concertgoers.
It occurred some time around 9:45 p.m. at the Waiting Room, on Delaware Avenue at Tupper Street, where promoters noticed something odd about the patrons bouncing up and down on the dance floor near the stage. The incident occurred during the first song by the punk ska band Streetlight Manifesto.
“You could see the crowd was bouncing, and it just didn’t look right,” said promoter Chris Ring, of After Dark Entertainment. “The floor was giving a little bit.”
Promoters and other officials went into the basement, where they found that one of the beams supporting the floor had buckled, although they don’t know if that happened just then or previously.
The band was notified, and its members announced that the performance was over and that the patrons had to leave.
“They did a great job of keeping the crowd calm,” Ring said of the process, which took five to 10 minutes. “It was shockingly calm.”
Promoters later announced that refunds would be available at point of sale, or tickets will be honored at a Nov. 12 performance of the same band at the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St.
“Patron safety obviously was our No. 1 concern,” Ring said. “We got lucky. Nobody was hurt.”
All weekend shows at the Waiting Room have been canceled. The landlord and architect are working with city inspectors, and they hope to have the club reopened by Tuesday, Ring said.