Boiler Room Weekender Festival Shut Down After One Arrest
Photo of Boiler Room Weekender by Tom Keelan.
Update [November 7, 11.15 AM]: Police issued a statement confirming that one woman, Kaylan Jones, was arrested at the festival and that 18 other people were cited for disorderly conduct.
[November 7, 2.30 PM]: Boiler Room issued a statement condemning the "unnecessary display of force against attendees" at the festival.
The Ray Ban x Boiler Room Weekender was shut down in the early hours of Sunday morning after police arrested a 19-year-old woman named Kaylan Jones at the festival.
The second night of the two-day event—which featured performances by Blood Orange, NON Worldwide, and Discwoman—was in full swing when police arrested Jones, at around 2 AM as the GHE20G0TH1K party was underway.
In a statement issued by the Kidder Township Police Department, Police Chief Matthew Kuzma said that Jones, from Chicago, was arrested after being found in possession of a small amount of marijuana and suspected cocaine.
"While the officer was attempting to take her into custody she resisted arrest," the statement said. "She was then transported back to the Kidder Township Police Station where she caused damage to the bathroom in the township building."
Police have charged Jones with possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, resisting arrest, false identification to law enforcement and institutional vandalism. She is currently being held at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail for the misdemeanors.
Police said that another 18 people were cited for disorderly conduct at the festival.
The 3000-person festival—which was taking place at the Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania—was then shut down.
"It was decided between the Kidder Township Police and staff at Split Rock that the event would be shut down for the safety of all guests and performers," police said.
An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, said a black woman who appeared to be in her mid-twenties was reportedly handcuffed for possession of a substance in the upstairs room right outside of the GHE20G0TH1K stage. The witness said police officers then escorted her down the stairs and put her in a police car.
"People were just like screaming, moving, pushing the officers almost," the witness said. "And then her friend opened up the cop car door and the cop just freaked out, like 'What the fuck, you can't open the cop car door.'"
After her friends became upset at the incident, the witness said that cops used pepper spray on the guests. The police told THUMP that they did not use pepper spray at the event. THUMP has reached out to the security staff to confirm whether or not they used it. At the time of writing no other accounts corroborated this statement.
"Then, that was it," the witness said. The event was shut down shortly after.
A spokesperson for Boiler Room told THUMP at the time: "We don't have the exact details of what transpired, but for the safety of all our artists and guests we had to shut down."
Angelina Dreem, the founder of Bushwick art and technology space Powrplnt, recorded video of the incident. According to Dreem's Instagram post, the handcuffed woman had a panic attack before the police put her in the police car. "She was shaking in the center lobby as everyone watched helplessly," Dreem wrote in her post.
Kip Davis, a THUMP contributor who was at the festival, also said that he witnessed a black woman in handcuffs having what he described as a "a full-on panic-attack" on the stairs of the venue.
"I'm walking out into the mezzanine in the main lobby area, and I see this young black woman being escorted out by several officers," he said. "She's handcuffed, she's sobbing. They start taking her down the steps, and as she gets halfway down the steps she sort of collapses, and she's having a full-on panic-attack sort of incident."
Video footage obtained by THUMP taken by an attendee shows a black woman who appears to be in handcuffs, surrounded by police officers on the stairs crying and breathing rapidly.
In a later interview, Dreem also alleged she was hit by one of the security guards seen in her Instagram video. "I move around to film him from the back and he hits my hand and hits my camera out of my hand," Dreem said. "I'm still filming and he's like, "You wanna go with her?" And he starts to come at me." According to Dreem, another security guard intervened to stop the escalation.
Another witness, who also asked to remain anonymous, said that she had her phone taken from her by a resort staff member because she was filming the police making arrests.
The onlooker said she saw a woman in handcuffs in the back of the police car. "She repeatedly demanded the officer for his badge number and name," the eyewitness said. "I don't think he complied since he kept yelling at her."
The onlooker said that her friend who was with her was then arrested for allegedly obstructing the police car. She described "multiple officers" grabbing her friend.
"He had stepped away from the police car almost immediately after they told him to, so there didn't seem any reason for them to grab him and arrest him," she said.
"I was filming them grabbing him and then out of nowhere was rushed by this woman who snatched my phone," the eyewitness said. "I told the police what had happened and pointed at the woman who grabbed it and they shoved me inside the hotel."
The eyewitness said her phone was later returned to her with a smashed screen and that she was told by Boiler Room staff it had been a resort employee who had taken the phone. She later told THUMP that police released her friend with no charges.
According to an eyewitness named Damon who emailed THUMP, police officers and security guards were targeting black guests at the event earlier in the evening. Damon witnessed a black attendee being dragged out by three or four police with security guards escorting them through the lobby.
"He wasn't resisting, or in any way requiring a team of people to remove him," Damon wrote.
Damon also claimed that many black guests attending the GHE20G0TH1K stage went through more security checks than normal and a pat down by the local police department.
Shyboi, one of the artists scheduled to play, tweeted that police were preventing people from filming the woman's arrest.
Another performer, Bearcat, tweeted that the GHE20G0TH1K party that was underway at the time the arrests were made was subject to police checks.
Dreem, however, conflicts this report saying both rooms required security checks, but the security guards on duty differed in their approach.
Songwriter and musician Spree Wilson, who has collaborated with dance music artists including Afrojack, said police shut down fire exits with no explanation.
Other artists, including Mike Q of Fade to Mind, DJ Haram, and False Witness, spoke out against the police's actions during the night.
The event was Boiler Room's first multi-day festival and was co-hosted by Ray-Ban.
Additional reporting by Ezra Marcus and Michelle Lhooq.
This post will be updated when more information is available.