An event at New York’s Nowadays club last week has raised suspicion after mace-like fumes threatened partygoers, Resident Advisor reports.
The party went ahead on Thursday, February 3, featuring an all-Black line-up led by the interdisciplinary platform black beyond.
Partygoers - most of whom were Black - reported feeling a burning sensation in their throats at around 1:AM and began to “excessively” cough and sneeze before heading outdoors to the patio.
Lamb, one of the DJs on the line-up for the event, told Resident Advisor: ”At first, people were trickling out to the back patio. I thought they were just getting some air or were part of a really big group who came together and were planning to leave."
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"Then you could see a bit of commotion stirring - people asking each other if they'd begun coughing and sneezing too. When the consensus was 'yeah,' almost everybody moved outside,” they said.
Guests also reported seeing powder on the floor outside of the venue causing concerns that the mace-like fumes could have been caused by a pepper bomb or something similar.
The incident happened shortly into DJ duo SCRAAATCH’s set. MHYSHA, one half of the duo, told Resident Advisor: “I will say, it felt like a hate crime."
“It felt like they intentionally set that mace bomb off at peak time when the floor was the fullest I had seen it in the two hours I had been there. It fucking hurt like a hate crime.”
Since the event, black beyond took to Instagram to speak about what happened at the platform’s first-ever in-person event.
“Attendees were quickly affected by the pepper spray and exhibited symptoms typical of exposure to the weapon, including coughing, shortness of breath, and eye irritation,” they said in the statement.
“We will not allow this heinous attack on our community to distract or diminish our efforts to celebrate and uplift each other,” they added.
black beyond is now urging anyone with information on the incident to come forward. Read the full statement below.