Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The promotional materials boasted it as 'Tucson's Biggest Party,' and last Friday's #FridayThe15th blowout at the Seasons Apartments near 1st Avenue and Wetmore was well on its way to living up to that hype.
That is, until some late-arriving but still overly eager partygoers started doing a really bad interpretation of storming the gates of paradise and ruined the fun for everyone else.
Tucson police estimate about 2,000 people were crowded around the pool at Seasons when, after discussions between a fire marshal and Seasons management, the gates to the pool area were locked to keep things from getting even more packed.
"Then people started climbing the gates to get in," Tucson Police Department spokesman Sgt. Chris Widmer said. "It was actually the manager that shut the music down."
#FridayThe15th was broken up around 11 p.m. Friday, Widmer said.
While the majority of posts on the party's Facebook event page seemed to blame the cops for being buzzkills, Seasons manager Megan Brown said it was all her call. It was just a matter of safety that prompted the party to get shut down early, she said.
"It was insane," Brown said. "It was amazing, people were having a great time. We just didn't have the space for all those people. The amount of people that came was overwhelming."
Though the pool area was only supposed to hold about 1,000 people, it was expected the party would have been able to continue had the gate-climbing not occurred.
"I don't think we would have stopped it unless we'd received complaints of disturbances, which I can't imagine wouldn't have happened," Widmer said of the party, which was scheduled to have DJs spinning past 2 a.m.
However, only one noise complaint was called in, Widmer said. That came in at 11:15 p.m., as the party patrons were being dispersed by officers from three patrol divisions. TPD also had air support and K-9 units in the area in case things devolved into madness, as they did last month when shots were fired in the parking lot of a similarly large party at the Stone Avenue Standard complex.
Widmer said that, despite the large police presence, no force was used in dispersing the crowd. And only one arrest came of the whole night, a single marijuana possession charge.
And though some post-party Facebook comments would suggest otherwise — our favorite: 'Whoever took my car keys, consider yourself shot and dead' — it sounds like #FridayThe15th was considered a success, albeit a short-lived one.
Brown, for one, expects an upswing in leasing inquiries to come from it.
"I think we'll definitely see some positive ... renters from it," she said. "That was the talk."