As the body count continues to increase in the awful Oakland warehouse fire that took place during an electronic music show on Friday (2), many hard rock and metal fans are probably reminded of the Station nightclub fire of 2003 in which 100 people lost their lives at a Great White show. At least 36 people are among the dead, and only 30% of the building has been searched so far. Anyone that’s been to a show at a DIY venue or known an artist that’s worked at an arts collective knows that this could have happened anywhere. There’s not as much sympathy from Joe McKay, who puts on Philadelphia’s annual This Is Hardcore Fest.
CLRVYNT found a post that a mutual friend on Facebook made, asking those at DIY venues to reach out to them for help if they needed anything regarding code violations. McKay responded by calling the fire a “blessing in disguise,” stating EDM was the “death nail of all cultures.” Not surprisingly, Facebook users have put his response on blast, with many of his comments being taken over by reposting of that comment, which has since been deleted by him. McKay responded publicly, stating:
Sometimes you get bad information. Driving to work before the sun came up today, I heard a story reported as underage ravers dying in a fire.
I was unaware that friends of mine lost friends in the fire.
I made a Facebook comment on a friend’s page that has gotten quite a few people upset. I’m sorry to my friends who’ve lost and feelings I’ve hurt.
Sometimes you write something crass, probably over the line and far from a well thought out response, but never intended on being taken so literal or meaning to wound good friends going through a bad time.
I’m now fully aware of the reality to which every single word written can be used against you literally, by people upset by them.
I’m sure this will be some viral madness.
I’ll bow my head and drop to my knees and apologize to my real friends, but I owe nothing to those who will use this against me, or those who will walk away out of fear of disassociation.
While McKay does apologize here, it’s too little, too late. Sure, he made those comments to a friend on Facebook, had bad information and likely had no idea anyone that his comments would be seen by so many. But it appears that if he didn’t know people that had friends that are missing, he wouldn’t have walked back his comments in the first place. Stating people deserve to die because of their taste in music is a cheap shot, and as someone that’s been to and thrown shows at illegal DIY venues, some empathy should have been in order.
If you’d like to donate towards the Ghost Ship fire relief fund, you can do that here.