In the Mix

Pipeline parties move

December 2nd, 2010



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."

Related Posts:

City addresses Pipeline occupancy issue

City limits club's capacity over fire safety concerns

32 Responses to “Pipeline parties move”

  1. Asian1855:

    I hear that this Azus person over charges, and treats people (customers) like crap. very bad venue. Hope he goes out of business and learns a lesson on how to run a business and treat his customers.

  2. Shabba:

    Funny, I heard that too. Everytime I'm in there it smells bad, the prices are steep, staff are rude and on power trips, and the owner acts defensive when approaching him about the lame downward spiral Pipeline has been on. Perhaps he should stick to selling the drug paraphernalia at his head shop.

  3. Anonymous:

    Every time you go there? So youre saying that it smells bad, prices are bad, staff is bad owner is bad... BUT YOU KEEP GOING BACK?!

    Nice try at trolling. Try harder.

  4. The Boss:

    Yo mikey, weak argument. I've been there on four occasions, and "every time" I'm there, I've experienced similar situations as stated above.

    So why would I keep going back? For the band/entertainer, not for the venue.

    Have the bands play at a different venue and you'd make my day.

  5. City officials address Pipeline occupancy issue – Honolulu, Hawaii Calendar of Events – Hawaii Entertainment and Nightlife – Honolulu Pulse:

    [...] Pipeline parties move over occupancy issue blog comments powered by Disqus /* [...]

  6. SeaSalt:

    I heard the Earth was flat and the sun was controlled by Apollo. We all hear things and they are often false. By the way I go there for Happy Hour and its like $2 for a full meal. You guys are just trolls. I mean Hawaii needs a place like Pipeline. We hardly get any good concerts as it is and now we will be more off the map.

  7. Mr Musubi:

    Hey Miko, enter "Station Nightclub Fire" into your search engine and read any one of the many reports you'll see, especially the sections that describe "lack of sprinkler system would have extinguished the fire". Let us know if you would be "uncomfortable" dying by fire in Pipeline.

  8. !!:

    well i dont think we're going to be spraying fire in a club .

  9. U R not thinking:

    probably the same thought everyone attending the Great White show had at 11 PM on February 20, 2003. 15 minutes later, 100 of them were dead, and 230 were injured.

  10. Josdhawaii2:

    @Mr. Musubi: Ummm you do realize that the Fire Department knew about it for 7 years since 2003 and did NOTHING! I say it is the HFD's fault for being disorganized and then basically shutting a place down without notice after ignoring it for 7 years. There has to be temporary water tanks or something that can be placed up so shows can go on. We need shows in Hawaii! I hope this is resolved.

  11. jay:

    fire code violation is a fire code violation, period. saying "they knew about it for seven years" doesn't excuse the club or any of the fans who simply want to ignore the problem. Just ask the fans who went to the "great white" concert, February 20, 2003. Ask yourself if its worth it.

  12. jay:

    100 dead...200 injured....likely would have been avoided if a sprinkler system was present. and pipeline has issues with its sprinkler????

  13. Josdhawaii2:

    totally different situation this club is 4,484 sq. feet. Pipeline is over 21,000 sq. feet. Also it is ALL about the EXITS. if you have 1 exit you will have a difficult time getting out. Pipeline has so many exits it is crazy. 4 in the front, 4 separate on the sides and the back. So not a good example. This is what CAN happen at a place in chinatown like SoHo or Next Door where they have like 1 exit and no sprinkler. The smaller the venue the more chance of problems with fire, especially if there is like 1 or 2 exits only. Don't get me wrong the sprinkler system should be taken care of but the HFD cannot expect Pipeline to dish out $50,000 and dig up the ground when they have so many shows lined up. There are temporary alternatives that includes a water tank that HFD should accept.

  14. jay:

    21000 sq feet, 100 gallons per minute per 100 sq feet. water tank average size, 3000 gallons, sprinklers work for 2 minutes, tops. Can you guarantee that 1> the tank will not wear out pressurewise (50 psi) and that the water will last long enough for 1200+ people to escape within 2 minutes?

    not worth the risk, the fire dept did the right thing.

  15. Josdhawaii2:

    YES because there are like 8 exits jay!!! That really makes a big difference and is more of an life saver than any water can do. When you have a venue with 1 exit people have to move all to the same exit which creates havoc and death. That is what happened with that White Party incident and most others. These venues do NOT have side doors. Pipeline has 4 side doors, back doors, and the whole front opens up fully to a huge large exit. That should be taken into account because that is what really saves lives.

  16. Anonymous:

    You realize that you can have more than one tank, right? It doesnt have to be just one and only one. Also, they make larger tanks than 3,000 gallons. The average water hauling truck is 10,000 gallons. Something thats easily parked near the building and hooked up to the sprinklers.

  17. !!!:

    they shoulda solved that 8 years ago when they built the place lol

  18. Josdhawaii2:

    @jay: yes but the Fire Department should compromise to the alternatives that CAN happen including a water tank hooked up to the sprinklers. The sprinklers work just the water from the city is not connected properly. There are violations everywhere in this state for this. I hope they treat all those other places with the same policy. HFD needs to work out a compromise so Pipeline can keep all their shows. I know for a fact there are ways to compromise and HFD seems to just rather put more people unemployed.

  19. jay:

    I think the word compromise equals bribe or "lay off" if you want HFD to treat all locations equally, the word compromise can not be part of it at all.

    jobs vs lives. lives win everytime. Those who chose jobs over lives end up in court explaining their actions.

    For the record, Pipeline's capacity was reduced because the sprinkler system could not properly control a fire long enough for 1200 people to escape. That is a fact of fire suppression immutable by all parties as evidenced by the club's owners remarks and the presence of a citation.

    in order for a water tank to be used, you need to disconnect the main water system of the building from the sprinklers in its entirety. You cannot supplement the water sprinklers with a water tank and still maintain adequate pressure to ensure that 1200 people (or greater) can escape.

  20. Josdhawaii2:

    Again jay, it is all about how many exits you have. Pipeline has more exits then any venue I have seen. There are tanks that can do it easily. They are costly to rent but do the job. As I see it, and I have been in the business a long time, this is just the HFD having vendettas against the place and not wanting to work on a solution. They really should go to ALL the venues on the island and inspect them. I guarantee you there are much riskier places that don't follow the rules at all.

  21. jay:

    probably right, but this one got caught. now those places can get caught too. turn them in. its your civic duty to turn in the "riskier" places.

    HFD has a requirement to inspect a place that has been reported.

    buidling code violation got reported to HFD, so they came and checked it out. vendetta or not, its proper and so is following code.

    dont get me wrong, I like pipeline. But it is what it is. if youve been in the "business' you know that firecode is firecode. Deal with it, learn from it, make sure your building is safe and worry less about everyone elses place

    I, for one, do not want to ever be stuck having to rescue someone from a working fire that could have been prevented if a business owner had simply followed code.

  22. jay:

    have you smelt burning flesh? I have.

  23. Josdhawaii2:

    Yes but Pipeline cannot operate as is and without anything coming in they will most likely have to close for good and then what do we have? Just another venue closing in Hawaii. Anyways I'm sure there are many details to this we don't know but I just don't want to see another place go down for something that could have been fixed.

  24. jay:

    not could have been fixed, should have been fixed..... theres a big difference for something that has indeed been there for...7? years?

  25. Haha:

    It's all Karma. They had it coming!

  26. lemoncake:


  27. supersexyguy:

    Owner assumed ownership but its the same GODDAMN Management and they all knew what the issues where. they figured. lets make a new person the owner and see if we can get away with it for another amount of years

  28. Flabbergasted:

    Asshole security will take your drugs away and sell them off.

  29. Onblast:

    drugs are illegal so youre a stupid ass for posting this comment. loser

  30. Phakap:

    yeah we had to wait in line for 3 fkn hours because of this wth.. SMH. NEVER going to a Pipeline Event ever again. The last time i went before this years livewire. some sicko shit their pants and stunk up the whole damn place

  31. Rippedoff:

    you guys are missing the point.. the sprinklers are in place.. they havent hooked it up.. when you take over a lease or get a new car or move into a new place.. youd normally check everything out atleast twice to make sure youre safe and sound on your purchase or whatever. Greg himself should have known what was going on and for him to say otherwise makes him stupid. there are other things that were said by him that makes him look even more stupid but he already looks as stupid as he can.

  32. Dead Undead:

    yes unless the LESSOR failed to fully disclose that information during the sale OR they (the Lessor) agreed to pay for it as part of the sale and have NOT followed through. I believe the new owner knew what was going on and was planning to do something about it but it time. The HFD did NOT for the past 7 years even say anything about it. Had they said to them "Do it or face the consequences" I'm sure they would have followed through. But that is NOT the case. They just out of the blue decided to shut them down without notice or compromise to get it done. To me the HFD looks MORE stupid because they FAILED to address this issue for over 7 years!! And now they are punishing the new owner for the mistakes of the previous owner. Stupid is what Stupid does and the HFD has done NOTHING for 7 years of violation! They are the real problem here and are trying to cover their flaws by blaming the new owner and hiding the fact that they knew about it for SOOO long and did nothing.

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