Pipeline parties move
BY JASON GENEGABUS / firstname.lastname@example.org
At least three events at Pipeline Cafe have been relocated after construction issues forced the Kakaako nightclub to reduce its occupancy to fewer than 300 people.
Both the Volcom Stone 4th annual "Volcanic Rock Out Tour" featuring Big Island rockers Pepper and "Digital Paradise 3D" have moved to other venues, according to promoters for both events. The two parties were originally supposed to take place at Pipeline on Dec. 10, but will now happen at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace and Chinatown's SoHo Mixed Media Bar, respectively.
A third event — a Dec. 11 concert by Passion Pit — has also been moved, according to promoter BAMP Project. That show will now take place on Dec. 12 at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, with all tickets previously issued to be honored at the new venue. Those who bought tickets for the three events and are now unable to attend are encouraged to contact the point of purchase for refund information.
The venue changes are a result of building permit and fire sprinkler issues at Pipeline, according to owner Greg Azus. A first-floor addition lacked the proper permit when it was built in 2003, and the club's emergency fire sprinkler system does not operate properly. The lack of adequate fire sprinklers is what requires the nightclub to limit access to 299 people — much less than the 1,200 to 1,500 people who packed inside on countless occasions over the years.
"We've been operating all this time as it is," said Azus, who assumed ownership of the club in 2008. "We've never had a violation or a problem with the Honolulu Fire Department before. … I have no idea what made this come up now."
According to Azus, he needs to work with his landowner, Kamehamameha Schools, and the city to get the Board of Water Supply to upgrade their connection to the fire sprinklers — a fix that will cost approximately $50,000.
"The main thing is, we got to have the water hooked up with the Board of Water Supply," he said. "We're putting in a new water tank, and once we get that, then we're going to work on the bigger project of digging everything up and connecting with the city."
Representatives for the City and County of Honolulu and HFD did not immediately return requests for information on the situation.
THINGS APPARENTLY came to a head last month, when the city sent Pipeline a notice of violation on Nov 22 in regard to the building permit.
Two days later, a HFD fire marshal and officers from the Honolulu Police Department showed up to observe the crowd at the fifth anniversary party for "Livewire," hosted by local electronic dance music promotions company PureCoalition. Dozens of unhappy club kids took to social media networks to voice their displeasure over how club managers and police and fire personnel on the scene handled the situation.
"There were cops and firemen everywhere, giving people the eye and making everyone uncomfortable," said "Digital Paradise 3D" co-promoter Miko Franconi, who was also at Pipeline on Nov. 24. "That's pretty much the nightmare any promoter never wants to deal with … where the fire code is an issue all night."
The scene outside Pipeline during "Livewire" on Nov. 24.
In response to the complaints, PureCoalition's Paul Brandon wrote on Facebook:
"I was outside the whole night trying to take care of things. I missed the whole party trying to make sure I got every person in, even though I knew it would take some time.
"As far as Pipeline is concerned … until they fix the issues they have … we will not host any more parties there (and) we will look into other venue options."
Brandon did not respond to a request for further comment.
For BAMP Project's Matty Hazelgrove, the capacity issue has proven to be quite a headache for a promoter known to attract thousands of music fans to his company's concerts.
"We have contingency plans in place for all our shows … (but) at the same time, it's tough because we have a lot of shows we were going to put on sale," he said. "Now, we don't know whether or not to announce them.
"We have about four or five shows that we've had to freeze, and then we have about another four offers that I've held off on for now while the dust settles."
WHILE THREE events have been moved, a number of others are still scheduled to take place at Pipeline.
Three performances by hypnotist Sailesh this weekend will continue, as will Friday's Mickey Avalon and Andre Nickatina concert. Saturday's "Sagittarius B-Bash" featuring Jeremih, a Dec. 8 performance by stand-up comedian Jordan Rubin and Los Lobos' concert on Dec. 9 remain on Pipeline's calendar. The club will also remain open for lunch and special events.
"We've got a fundraiser for HPD this weekend, so we're just trying to keep going," said Azus. "We're working on a compromise and getting something into place. We plan on staying open and … working within the guidelines set forth by the city."