Maspeth’s newest, and most controversial, performance space played host to their second most notable concert last week, when progressive-house music producer known as deadmau5 (pronounced “dead mouse”) played to a packed house.
The 50,000-square-foot former factory space known as the Knockdown Center, located at 52-19 Flushing Avenue, first hit the international spotlight earlier this summer when Sri Lankan-born pop star M.I.A. graced the stage.
As line stretching from 54th Street toward Grand Avenue that afternoon, some local residents complained about unruly activity
During a public forum at a Community Board 5 meeting last week at Christ the King High School, Middle Village resident Christina Wilkinson said that concertgoers were, “urinating in the street and throwing garbage on people’s property.”
“I got several emails, photos and videos sent to me of really bad behavior that happened,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson also sent a video of one fight that broke out in the line to CB5 member Kathy Masi just before the meeting started.
“She sent it to me that day,” Masi clarified, adding that she did not have a chance to watch it until after the meeting.
Masi, president of the Glendale Civic Association, said she was mostly concerned about the differing accounts painted by local residents and the 104th Precinct.
104th Precinct Captain Christopher Manson said while there were some complaints about illegal parking near the concert and a handful of isolated incidents, the concert could not have gone smoother.
“It was the most orderly concert that I’ve ever handled in my 27 years with the NYPD,” Manson said. “I wish every restaurant or bar I have in my precinct was half as professional as they are.”
Manson said the precinct handed out seven summonses during the concert and pre-concert lines, however there were no arrests made.
He added that following complaints of illegal parking, the precinct issued tickets and sent out tow trucks, but there was nobody blocking driveways so no one was actually towed.
“There are a lot of gross exaggerations because people just don’t like the Knockdown Center,” he suggested.
Despite what he also considers a false account of the night, Knockdown Center owner Tyler Meyer said he has been more than pleased with the way his center has operated since it first opened last year.
“With the help from community leaders, who have been engaged with us from the start, we feel like everything is going well,” Meyer said.
He admitted that an unwelcome visit from the Monster Energy street team did result in some discarded cans along the long line down Flushing Avenue, but the Knockdown Center cleanup crew was sent out within minutes to pick up the mess.
“We were diligent and we left no footprint behind,” he said.
Community Board 5 district manager Gary Giordano said he spoke with people that were on site throughout the entirety of the event, and said they did not report any public urination.
“I was told there was even a back entrance or a side entrance that people could go into that they could use for the bathroom,” Giordano said.
Giordano said the board has always been opposed to allowing a liquor license on site, something he suspects may be keeping large-scale events like the deadmau5 show orderly.
“For the events that they have had, we have not received many complaints,“ he said.