Over the past few years the Detroit Police Department has gained quite the reputation for raiding afterhours establishments illegally and ticketing near everyone in attendance; they’re even facing a lawsuit for it. However, it seems that the tides have changed and Detroit Police may have gotten it right this time. Perhaps the real problem with these “rave” style events lies with the event host and underage patrons.
According to people who attended an event called “OUTTA TOWN OUTTA MIND” at the Exotic Zone Gallery located just a few miles from Wayne State University, police raided the building around 1:50 a.m. on January 30th because neither the building owner nor the event host, Dubstep Grand Rapids had the proper permits for the event.
Once inside, police discovered several people with open containers of alcohol and dozens of underage patrons who were under the influence. Police executed breathalyzers and issued Minor in Possession citations (MIPs) to anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 that was found to have alcohol in their system.
(Picture has been temporarily removed at request of Facebook user.)
While the event was for those who are 18 years or older and Dubstep Grand Rapids did not directly provide alcohol to minors, some people are still severely questioning the ethics of the electronic music group because of the “deal” they offered to those ticketed by police.
In the days following the Detroit Police raid, Dubstep Grand Rapids announced via its facebook page that they would compensate those who received an MIP by giving them a 30% discount on all shows and events for one year if they simply emailed them a picture of their citation. The announcement generated tons of feedback from underage patrons, many praising the group and leaving some to wonder if the company gave the wrong message to teens and young adults.
One facebook user by the name of Ashley* posted, “If following the rules means paying twice as much and not even having a good time…sh*t I’m happy I got an MIP…”
Another facebook user by the name of Karly* posted, “Uhm, I blew a .023, and still got an MIP. That sh*t was totally worth it though…it was awesome and now we get into raves for free, for a year?!?! TOTALLY worth it…”
One must wonder if Dubstep Grand Rapids may have made an error in judgment by trying to compensate those who received MIPs. Rather than apologize for not receiving the proper permits and ending the night early, the group rewarded minors for breaking the law. Furthermore, patrons who were of the legal drinking age must feel a bit slighted, as they did not receive the same discount on upcoming shows and are almost penalized for following the law.
It’s important to note that Detroit Chic is dedicated to local art and entertainment and fully and wholeheartedly supports all local artists. However, as a writer and an artist I respectfully assert my opinion that rewarding people for breaking the law sends a bad message to teens and young adults and can’t help but to encourage all groups and artists to be mindful of the message they send because after all, art – particularly music is a very powerful medium.
*Full names have been omitted.