Museum event turns ugly

While I’m always happy for something sponsored by Clear Channel to fail, the recent debacle at the Milwaukee Art Museum just makes me sad.

People threw up, passed out, were injured, got into altercations and climbed onto sculptures at Martinifest, a semi-formal event organized by Clear Channel Radio and held at the museum Feb. 11, according to several people who attended or worked at the event.

. . .

“We were sardined in,” said Collins, a first-time museum visitor. “People, boy, they wanted their martinis.”

. . .

“It was crazy,” said attendee Kathleen Christians, 39. “People were shoving people over. People were getting sick, screaming, shouting, messing with the artwork.”

It sounds as if the jury’s still out on the extent of damage to various artworks, but overall the whole thing sounds like a case of greed in overselling tickets, failure to set limits on alcohol consumption (through drink tickets, for example), and an inadequate level of security during the event. Yeesh.

[thanks to Tracey for the link]

2 Responses to “Museum event turns ugly”

  1. 2fs says:

    Visit 2fs

    Comment from (one of?) the blog’s Milwaukee reader(s): Those people are idiots. I refer not primarily to the drunks (that’s obvious) but to the sponsors. Milwaukee has a well-deserved reputation for cheapness, and a pretty well-known fondness for drinking. So you sponsor an event called “Martinifest,” you offer a one-price-fits-all admission (i.e., the more you drink, the better the “value” of what you paid) - oh, and then you oversell it so the place is crowded, bartenders run out of mixer and pour vodka straight, and serve everything in impossible glasses that you can’t walk with or set down so people are pretty much compelled to just chug them down - well, I grant you that no one was forcing these idiots to keep drinking, but the organizers were bone-stupid in not anticipating such a reaction. It’s laudable that the art museum makes use of its facilities for public events (brings in revenue and creates potential interest) but clearly some rethinking is in order. (Oh: no, I wasn’t there - but it’s interesting that this story’s been picked up beyond the local media)

  2. Paula says:

    Visit Paula

    This gives lushes and drunks a bad name!

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