Crystal Ballroom evacuated during concert

Crystal Ballroom evacuated during concert »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Crystal Ballroom was evacuated during a hip-hop show late Sunday night because of a structural problem with one of the venue’s support beams.

The venue on West Burnside Street and 13th Avenue was hosting a show by rapper Schoolboy Q on Sunday night.

A staff member noticed a crack in a beam supporting the venue’s floating dance floor, which prompted the evacuation. A second crack on the other side of the beam was also found later, said McMenamins COO Lars Raleigh, who helped make the decision to cancel the show and evacuate people.

"I got a phone call, and then I got some pictures texted to me and then we decided to [be] overcautious," Raleigh said. "There are a lot of people, so we wanted to make sure everything was safe."

No one was hurt. Several roads were briefly closed downtown as more than 1,200 people left the venue. The capacity for the Crystal Ballrom is 1,500 people.

Portland police officers arrived to help with crowd control and make sure everyone left the area safely. No one was arrested, and there was no property damage, police said.

A structural engineer looked at the cracks Monday morning and work crews used three wood posts to support the beam by Monday evening. The beam with two cracks will be replaced within a week or two.

"It's hectic, but we want to make sure the building is safe and ready to go," Raleigh said.

He hopes to have the venue ready for a concert Friday and is waiting on the city's Bureau of Development Services to sign off on the construction plan.

The performer tweeted this after the show:

 

McMenamins Crystal Ballroom released the following statement about the incident:

Crystal Ballroom staff spotted the cracked beam during last night’s second performance of rapper Schoolboy Q and we proactively decided to evacuate the premises in order to safely assess the situation. While there may well have been nothing to worry about, our number one priority is the public’s safety. Structural engineers and city inspectors are coming to the building to ensure that everything is as it should be and we want to assure audiences that we’re taking every precaution.

We are offering refunds for last night’s show to everyone who requests one: ticket holders should forward their confirmation email to support@cascadetickets.com to expedite the refund. (Ticketholders for Stub Hub or other secondary outlets will need to contact those outlets directly.)

Meanwhile, we are working to make sure every concert on the calendar this week continues as planned.

We appreciate everyone’s concern and we will keep you posted once we have evaluated the situation further.