Nothing foretells the end of an event like a dozen cop cars lining
up the street.
That's what happened Friday night to the first Culture
Carnival, a celebration of local artists with musical selections from bands
like The Spell, JUPILAR, The Gromble and Midnight Hour inside a nondescript
warehouse in Santa Ana.
More than 300 people were expected to attend when just
before the 7 p.m. start date, Santa Ana Police shut down the event. About a
dozen officers lined up across the street from the warehouse with batons on
The city's problem? The Culture Carnival not having the proper permits and holding
the event in a vacant warehouse.
A dialogue between Micah, the organizer, and a police
officer revealed that the Santa Ana Police would not allow the Cultural
Carnival to go forward owing to permit and safety issues, but event planners
were told by a city official that the event could go on so long as the event is
After speaking with the police officer about the shutdown, Micah
(who refused to give his last name) expressed his frustrations about the police
presence at a peaceful event to OC Weekly.
“It's just excessive that they had to bring so many police
officers to this event,” he said. “There was a lot of miscommunications between
us and the city [of Santa Ana].”
Police Commander Jeff Owens confirmed Saturday that the
police response at the warehouse was in fact related to an “unpermitted event.”
On its Facebook page this morning, the promoters said that “THE
SHOW WILL GO ON!!!” and that refunds will be issued.
“We are currently looking for a new warehouse to put the
culture carnival on at,” the statement read. “If anyone has any ideas of spots
we could move the carnival to, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets
will be refunded in a day or two. Thank you to all who attempted to come out.”