Bieber Fever: What Went Down at the Underground

The Underground shuts down "I'm a Belieber" event citing safety concerns

Massive crowd gathers outside the Underground entrance for the “I’m a Belieber” event on Tuesday.
Massive crowd gathers outside the Underground entrance for the “I’m a Belieber” event on Tuesday.
Supplied by Russell Jenkins

The Underground shut down early on its opening night this semester, citing Bieber Fever as the cause.

The nightclub had been hosting its TBA Tuesday event "I'm a Belieber". Due to an unprecedented volume of Beliebers, the Underground was forced to shut down early.

Samantha Hume, head manager of TAPS, said once the doors opened at 10:00 p.m. an uncontrollable crowd gathered outside within a span of 10 minutes.

The overwhelming turnout caused difficulties in forming a line, so TAPS staff took precautionary action.

“I think that if it was kept open longer, there may have been [a safety threat] and that’s just why we took the precautions and sent everyone home earlier,” Hume, ArtSci’ 15, said.

At 10:59 p.m., the Underground posted a photo to their Instagram and Facebook page announcing that the nightclub was closing. A photo of the massive crowd outside the bar’s entrance was posted with a caption including hashtags such as #bekindtostrangers #waityourturn and #patienceiscool.

Well, for all 15 minutes we were open, there really was some true #bieberfever . Unfortunately, the safety of the event...

Posted by The Underground on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

While The Underground’s photo caption stated that the bar was only open for a total of 15 minutes before shutting down, Matt Vrbanac, Chief Student Constable (StuCon), said that’s a slight exaggeration.

“I believe it was about 11:15 p.m. when last call was made in the bar,” he said.

Vrbanac, said there were no fights in the crowd and no formal reports of overly aggressive or violent actions. There was, however, some pushing and shoving, he said.

However, according to Vrbanac, after StuCon staff and Campus Security to made several attempts to control the crowd, Campus Security decided to call Kingston Police.

The Underground is implementing various precautions for the rest of Frost Week in response to Tuesday night’s events.

“We have extra staff working tonight [Thursday], and we are also going to ensure that barricades are set up before students even show up to the bar,” Vrbanac, ArtSci’ 15, said.

The usual capacity for the Underground is 375 people.

According to Steve Koopman, Kingston Police media relations officer, Campus Security requested police assistance around 10:00 p.m. to ensure the safety of the Underground. While 4 to 6 officers were dispatched to the area, Koopman said, it was “more to assist Queen’s Campus Security”.

The police filed no official reports on the incident. TAPS staff, StuCons and Campus Security had shut down the nightclub before it was too late to say sorry.

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