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Posted:A friend of mine is a DJ and was spinning at a graduation party in Quincy MA saturday night. He asked me to go too and do a fire performance. I was excited and figured I could maybe make some new contacts outside of my usual poi circle. The party was happening in a yacht club, right by the beach. I got there around 9 and quickly realized the party and people were lame: beer drinking airheaded college kids. After an hour of hanging out, I went down to the beach and got my stuff ready. My friend switched the music, made an announcement, I started and all the people (30-40) watched me from the deck of the club. I wasn't too happy with my performance and couldn't get in the right mood (note: I was at Burning Man 2 weeks ago, so it was hard for this lame-ass crowd to compete with spinning in drum circles in the desert) but did it anyway and thought people liked it. I resoaked and started a second set, and quickly noticed some people on the beach, under the deck besides me. I thought "Cool, some people actually came down to see me closer!". I looked again and saw that these 2 people and little flashlights and badges. At which point my friend says in the mike "You have to stop, cops are here". Oups.I stopped and went towards them. I had a fireman and a cop, both asking me "who are you and what are you doing??". They were not aggressive, just seemed surprised and not knowing how to handle the situation because they probably had never seen anything like this. They asked me questions like "where do you normally do this? is this what you do for a living? what fuel do you use? let me see those chains..." and i'd answer calmly and politely to all of it. They were pretty cool and just told me i needed a permit to do this so i had to stop. Being on the beach and my feet soaking in the water, i really didn't see the danger (didn't even have a safety!) but anyways.... Then a guy from the yacht club came and started yelling at me. He was being rude and stupid ("Do you go to college?" "No, i have a job" "Well..... then maybe you should go to college!" "I did and I graduated" What the hell does that have to do with anything asshole???) and i was arguing back so the cop told me to just pack up my stuff. The music was turned off and i quickly took off with my friends, trying to pass the door incognito. Obviously, my friend hadn't mentionned anything to the owners of the club about the fire show and that's why this guy was so mad. Going out of the club, I saw 2 firetrucks standing by, cop cars and state police cars. Oups.Nomad
Posted:Ouch, sounds like a major case of miscommunication. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience, however thanks for posting it so that we can all learn from it. I'll make sure from now on that our troupe at least has all it's ducks in a row. ------------------AislinnTribe Rolling Thunder, Sisterhood of the SerpentThe Rolling Thunder web site -- http://www.geocities.com/aislinn0325/drum.htm * Ask no more and give no less than honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and fairness. *
Aislinn Tribe Rolling Thunder, Sisterhood of the Serpent * Ask no more and give no less than honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, and fairness. *
Posted:I posted something similar to this once, but I'll sum it up again.What we do is not clearly defined in the fire codes of most US cities. In Texas, outside a municipal area, it is completely legal, but inside cities, it is in a gray area between 'open' and 'contained' flame. The latter being ok usually, the former not ok usually. If the cops/fire marshal wanted to be real dicks about it, they could even call it fireworks - which is bad, because most cities have hefty fines for that. Having an open flame (in their opinion) will generally just promt them to tell you to stop. So don't ever antagonize the authorities, cause they can make your life miserable if they choose.I know the Austin (TX) fire marshal is basically cool with fire twirlers and they haven't had any problems there. In Houston, fire performers are supposed to have a permit, but then we don't exactly fit their definition of 'fire performers' either. We have done several public performances here in Houston with cops in the area. More often than not, they just act like nothing is going on. Occasionally they stop and watch. The only time had a cop tell me to stop was in Galveston, I was only doing glow ("you might hit someone swinging those things around so wildly"). So I stopped and that was that.My advice is to get a copy of the fire codes in your area. Most likely it will tell you to keep fuel covered and at least 20 ft away from any source of ignition and to always have a fire extingusher on hand. If a fire marshal does come and sees all this, then he is likely to be more amiable when he talks to you.Also, as you discovered, make absolutly sure the owner of the establishment is cool with what you are doing. He is probably the one who called the cops/fire dept. I always talk to the proprieter myself directly before any performance and make sure he/she knows what to expect.Like I said, get a copy of the fire code for your area. highlight any relavant areas, and carry it with you to performances. This way if they do hassle you, you'll look like you are concerned about being in compliance and they'll be much happier to just give you a warning.Above all be safe - just one incedent anywhere in the US will affect all of the fire performers here.Hope you enjoyed BM01 - I had a total blast this year! -v-
Posted:Dang Nomad... Police, Fire Men.... See I'd have just called INS on your ass. Non-Https Image Link In all honesty I DO think that the best way do deal with law enfocement is to agree, apologize, and smile. Then find somewhere else. No need to argue with Mr. Overworked-underpaid-large-man-with-gun when there's plenty of parks in the city. Unless you REALLY have DOCUMENTED proof that you have a right to be there. I've seen FAR too many people pick fights with cops when the path of least resistance is often much more desirable.A good tip though. You really need to make sure you have permission of the person IN CHARGE of the ENTIRE venue before you can do much of anything. I wouldn't have thought of that...
Well, shall we go? Yes, let's go. [They do not move.]
Posted:The group that I practice with recently had an unfortunate encounter with the cops. We've been looking for a good practice spot for a while, and a person new to the group volunteered the parking lot at his office (he's the president, so it's OK, and his landlord didn't mind). The only downside to this location is that it is very visible.A cop came by at one point and was happy to let us do our thing. So we felt pretty good about that, but later, someone (presumably a neighborhood resident) phoned in a complaint. 3 cop cars showed up and told the group to disperse immediately.From what I've been told, if anyone calls in a complaint, the cops will always assume the complainant is in the right, and will act to make the cause of the complaint go away--they won't say to the complainant "we're not going to bother with that, they're not doing anything wrong."We're still looking for a suitable venue...
Posted:Thanks for the input guys, especially Vanize. With the current events in Boston, i don't know how safe it is for us to spin with fire in the secret park, because police presence is heavy in the city. Maybe we'll hold it for a little while.Nomad