Pier 17's First Concert, on Thursday, Will Continue Into the Wee Hours

Pier 17, a mall and performance venue at the South Street Seaport, is nearing completion. Its rooftop is due to be fully ready for use on Aug. 1. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

May. 01, 2018

Pier 17’s first concert, scheduled for Thursday, will be a late one.

The city recently informed Community Board 1 that the May 3 concert, a largely hip hop show that kicks off this month’s Red Bull Music Festival, will start at 9 p.m. and last until 3 the next morning on the pier’s fourth floor. The citys Department of Buildings says it is granting Red Bull a Temporary Place of Assembly permit for 1,000 people. (It had applied for 1,800 people, the DOB said.)

News of the concert, which Community Board 1 received from the city last Friday, came as a surprise to some community leaders who had reached an understanding with the piers developer, Howard Hughes Corp., that concerts would end by 10 p.m.

But that curfew apparently applies only to events on the roof, the major focus of concern by many local residents who have met twice with Howard Hughes representatives over noise and security worries. Concerts inside the pier building were never mentioned.

“This is something that wasn’t even broached in the last meeting [in February],” said Paul Kefer, board president of Southbridge Towers, an apartment complex near the pier. “We were only talking about the rooftop. We didn’t even talk about indoor concerts or how often these will be or how long they’ll last.”

“When people exit at 3 o’clock in the morning you’re concerned about all those people at one time,” Kefer said. “Their level of intoxication.”

“That many people for that long, 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, is a long time to be at a concert,” he added.

Kefer said his complex is hiring two additional security guards and a supervisor for that night, to be paid for by the Howard Hughes Corp.

The 1st Precinct’s community affairs officer, Detective Tommy Moran, told the Trib that eight extra officers and a sergeant will be “around the perimeter for the event. “We’re going to put them strategically around the location to make sure that everyone sees cops when they’re leaving,” he said. Moran said he only learned about the event on Monday, through an inquiry by the Trib.

Though not a rooftop event, noted Paul Goldstein, chair of CB1s Waterfront Committee, which held the community meetings with Hughes Corp., the concert will be a good case study in how it will go. And obviously, he added, we hope it goes smoothly.

Howard Hughes spokeswoman Cristina Carlson did not respond to a request for information on future private events at the pier. In February, Saul Scherl, a Howard Hughes executive vice president, told a meeting of residents that the only scheduled Hughes-sponsored concert was in August, with a possible earlier one on July 4. He did not mention private events or the use of Pier 17s fourth floor.

Among the acts that Red Bull lists for its Thursday concert are Show Me the Body, the Philadelphia duo Moor Mother and DJ Haram, and Onyx Collective.