Inside D.C. entertainment

D.C. music venues welcome your plastic weapons on Oct. 31, provided you play nice

October 26, 2010 - 03:30 PM
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You'd have no problem getting into area music venues with any of these costumes. (Photo:AP)

Halloween is Sunday, which means that people will be dressing up, and they will be wearing their costumes while riding Metro, buying groceries, shopping at the mall, and attending concerts.

But while the security guard at, say, Harris Teeter probably won't give you crap about the giant plastic scythe that is part of your grim reaper costume, the door staff at your favorite music venue might.

Clubs like 9:30, Black Cat, and Rock & Roll Hotel have strict rules about bringing in contraband, and anything that things that could be considered a weapon and/or do harm if hurled at performers or other patrons.

So, do those rules relax to accommodate Halloween costumes? Slightly.

"We're fine with props—for the most part," writes Maegan Wood of Black Cat in an e-mail. "If something is so big that it would impede the flow of traffic or cause people trip, etc. we might encourage that person to put it aside."

"And if someone begins using a prop weapon as an actual weapon, that will definitely be an issue," Wood continues. "Like the year a guy decided his fake lightsaber was a real one and began hitting people with it —yeah, he didn't get to keep his lightsaber."

Steve Lambert, booker for the Rock & Roll Hotel, says that "discretion will come on a costume to costume basis." Lambert says that most of the costumes that come through the H Street, NE venue don't include props, but that he hopes adults wielding plastic axes would conduct themselves properly.

"I mean, it's Halloween, if children can play safely with props....I would hope that grown adults with professional careers can behave themselves," Lambert wrote in an e-mail.

Audrey Fix Schaefer, publicist for the 9:30 Club, says there are a few rules governing Halloween costumes worn to concerts at 815 V Street NW this weekend.

"Nothing that would obstruct your hands where we have to stamp you to prove you're over or under 21," she says. "And nothing on your face that would make it hard to tell it's you when we look at your ID. If you have a mask on, you can pull it up so we can check, but if you've gotten some movie makeup expert to style you and we can't recognize you, then you will not be let in."

As for props, the rule is "nothing that would obstruct another patron's view, or could be used as a weapon," Fix-Schaefer says.

Not even a plastic wizard's staff or teeny little plastic ninja star?

"People should use common sense," Fix-Schaefer says.

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Black Cat is hosting Bhangraween 2010 with DJ Rekha and DJ Dredd on Saturday, and the Yeah Gates Halloween Spooktacular with America Hearts, The Cheniers, and Foul Swoops on Sunday.

Rock & Roll Hotel has the D.C. Rollergirls Garage Rock & Soul Halloween Party, with Billy Woodward & The Senders, The Blackberry Belles, Dirty Names,The Dupont Circles, and DJ Mac on Saturday, and H Street Halloween Bash with The Pimps of Joytime, Nayas, DJ Christine Moritz, and DJ Concerned on Sunday.

9:30 has two shows on Halloween: Anberlin with Crash Kings and Civil Twilight (4:30 PM doors) and Blonde Redhead (10 PM doors).

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