Photo of Ghost Ship warehouse via Wikimedia Commons
According to The Mercury News, Edwin Bernbaum, whose son Jonathan died during the Oakland Ghost Ship fire last December, has urged the state Senate to create safe, affordable places for artists to live and perform to avoid another tragedy. Bernbaum spoke on Wednesday, March 15, to a state Senate committee oversight hearing on the fire.
According to Bernbaum, artists in the Bay Area, consistently priced out by development and gentrification, will, "continue to do some underground things, and they will be forced to do them in more and more dangerous places — and eventually you will have another Ghost Ship."
A December 2 fire which broke out in the Ghost Ship warehouse space killed 36 and became the nation's deadliest blaze since 2003. Musicians including Cherushii and Nackt were among the victims. Jonathan Bernbaum was a visual artist involved in the Bay Area electronic music scene.
During the hearing, Bernbaum also suggested relaxing rules for last call at 2 a.m. The Mercury News reported that Bernbaum is a part of a new effort by Bay Area locals to address the lack of affordable and safe performance venues and housing.
"This is something that Jonathan would have loved to have seen done," Bernbaum said. "It would be a great way to honor the victims."
In addition to hearing thoughts from Bernbaum and others in the local community, the hearing focused on ways local governments can protect others living in underground spaces as well legislation and building code changes.
Last week, we wrote about how to throw a safe party, no matter where you're throwing it.