Attendees at a popular "Full Moon Party" at Lincoln Street Art Park blame a rookie Detroit Free Press reporter for a police response early Thursday morning.
"Good job, Free Press. You done fucked up! There’s a reason this isn’t really publicized," says a Facebook user posting as Audrey Jo. Another online critic, King Shaw, says he hasn't "seen anybody this disliked in the city sense [Matt] Stafford two seasons ago."
Devin Culham sketches the background at Metro Times:
Detroit police descended on the Northwest Goldberg industrial center-turned-sculpture park at approximately 1:40 a.m. to break up the late night gathering, a monthly word-of-mouth underground event which has regularly occurred since 2014.
The incident follows a culture feature published in The Detroit Free Press last month, titled A dusk-to-dawn party in Detroit you've probably never heard about, which included gratuitous details noting the presence of marijuana and "whip-its" while at the same time noting that organizers had not wanted to publicize the event.
Police with flashlights broke up the event at the seven-year-old sculpture park, but made no arrests, the paper adds.
Still, now that the dust has settled, some partygoers are angry that one of the city's hidden gems was narc'd out by the Freep. There's even a photo circulating on social media of the writer with a caption stating, "Keep this one out of your next underground event."
At the art park's Facebook page, owner Matt Naimi posts Friday: "We will continue to be a place for expression and community." Without mentioning the raid, the post describes why the site was created in 2011:
The Art Park was started because we believe that the strength of a city is the collective energy created by the citizens working to live together in this defined space . . . to create opportunities for interaction. To create opportunities for people to Share Their Candy.
At his page earlier, Naimi showed he's far less outraged than some partyers:
We didn’t speak with [the writer] about the original article. We didn’t publicly dismiss it when she published it, didn't freak out about the police breaking up the party and didn’t try to shame her after the fact. We have had helicopters spotlight and events shut down before.
The police broke up the party. They didn't raid anything. The police did what they were sent to do. We have a good relationship with DPD and Wayne State Police.
The media created this problem and is now feeding off of it. For the sake of the space, it would be better to not have reported on this at all.
Let's move on. . . . There are far bigger things going on in the world to worry about right now.
The Freep writer, Meira Gebel, joined the paper in early September, four months after earning a Columbia University master's degree in journalism. She's a "breaking news reporter with the FreepNow team, focusing on local news, health, tech and business," her LinkedIn profile says.
This is among social media blowback:
Another critic, bartender Jamison Buchanan, addresses Gebel in a Thursday comment under her Sept. 28 article -- while acknowledging the he hasn't attended the Full Moon Party:
"Just enjoy the things in life. You don't have to publicize everything you do to get validation you're cool. . . And don't blame your job -- this isn't breaking news.' The only think you broke was someone else's good time. . . . Shame on you."
The reporter, who grew up in the San Bernardino area of Northern Californoia, has an undergraduate journalism degree from San Francisco State University and began her career as a magazine intern in that city.
On Facebook a few days ago, Todd Sedlak posts: "Meira Gebel, you caused this with your bullshit 'article.' Go back to New York."
Her piece four weeks before the raid describes the event:
This is Lincoln Street Art Park’s monthly Full Moon party — a dusk-to-dawn rager filled with music, art, community and party antics. The two owners of the park don’t publicize the event, and don’t want to, other than a Facebook post a couple of hours beforehand, probably because of the party’s ability to swell in size.
On a clear, summer night, it can garner thousands, but on a recent rainy Monday, a harvest moon, there were, at most, 300. It’s a mix of newcomers, college kids and techno heads.
The park is located on its namesake street, crossing with Trumbell Avenue, across the highway from Wayne State University. Now an nontraditional sculptural park and recycling center, Lincoln Street Art Park was formerly an abandoned industrial site.
Colorful graffiti wraps the walls of the park, metal structural art installations are scattered throughout.
On publication day, the journalist promoted her piece on Facebook, where her page no longer is visible. A screengrab of her post is shared in one of the critical threads:
I got to write about a monthly full moon party that takes place at an abandoned industrial site/now sculpture park. It's filled with college kids doing whip-its, techno music and, most importantly, a grassroots art community holding on to an old Detroit. Please give it a read!
This reaction to her article was posted an hour after the nighttime raid: