Neighbor Says Brooklyn Concert Turns Into Nitrous Oxide Fest, Posts Video On YouTube

Says Streets Near Williamsburg Amphitheater Littered With Drug Paraphernalia

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a sour note for a popular concert venue in Brooklyn.

A show last weekend ended with dozens of fans taking to the streets, to get high. And as CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reports, concerts may now be in jeopardy.

On Saturday night in the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after a concert by the group Widespread Panic at East River State Park  Waterfront Amphitheater, there was chaos as the music stopped and neighbors say the drugs started.

They say there were canisters of nitrous oxide being inhaled for a high, through balloons.

“Just hundreds of people standing around doing this, so I called 911,” resident Susan Fensten said.

Fensten shot a YouTube video because she said she just couldn’t believe it. Her streets were littered with deflated balloons and other drug paraphernalia.

Fed up, she wrote a letter to the Open Space Alliance, calling the Saturday night scene a “lawless drug nightmare” and holding OSA “completely responsible for this horror show.”

“In person it was much worse, because it was the sound and the noise and chaos and the whole thing,” Fensten said.

But others said the popular music venue is getting a bad wrap.

“I think it’s a good thing. It’s fresh. It’s new. It’s bringing something to the waterfront. What’s there not to like?” one person said.

“Brings a lot of energy to the area. I’m a music person so music is cool, I love it,” another added.

So the concerts at the East River State Park really are pitting neighbor against neighbor. Some love the music and like the venue. Others say the noise and now the drugs are too much.

“Who could defend this? I mean, who could defend this?” Fensten said.

Organizers with the Open Space Alliance admit their events, which benefit park improvements citywide, are now in jeopardy with the NYPD. Executive director Stephanie Thayer said she’s nervous.

“This was an ugly aberration. We don’t want to see it happen again, near our parks, near our concerts, nowhere,” Thayer said.

But the reality is a night of music is now a nightmare for many neighbors and police. The NYPD responded to the scene, but no arrests were made. The FDNY had to be called in to remove the nitrous oxide canisters.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • b dubbs

    Let’s see, Social Security Bust, Obama Budget Bust, able to park anywhere is the city without getting a ticket Bust, Commuter Costs Bust, Space Program Bust, Wars Everywhere Bust, Ponzi Scams Bust, Wall Street and Bank Crooks Bust, NY Mets Bust and you people are worried about a few balloons in your neighborhood – BUST IT BIG…… we have slashers in the subways, Guys kidnapping and killing little boys walking home from camp and ya’ll are worried about this? Is it healthy NO! did it cause a crowd to gather outside a few apts for a little while YES – If you had heard someone being mugged outside would you have ran outside and video taped for 10mins – doubt it!!!!! thus proof you really were not afraid nor were you ever in danger…….. Get a grip which I’m sure you were able to do once you popped a pill prescribed by your family therapist aka Dr. Feelgood……

  • billy

    You are holding the concert promoters responsible for the crowd’s behavior on the street outside the venue? Well that goes right along with holding the bar tenders/owners responsible for somebody abusing alcohol in the bar and then driving home drunk. It is absurd and entitlement attitudes such as this have ruined just about all the fun to be had in this country.

  • hk

    this is hilarious . . . I walked that block after the show and the most menacing thing I saw was the littering of balloons on the ground. Reminds me of the East Village in the late 80’s & early 90’s . . . yuppies moved in to take advantage of the low rents and then got mad because the bars in the neighborhood were loud. Ridiculous.

  • Laura Risi Hofmann

    Williamsburg is no longer zoned to be solely an industrial neighborhood. Even through it’s industrial history, it was always a community where people lived close enough to their jobs to walk or cycle there. The people living in this community should NOT have to leave in order to accommodate a mismanaged concert. Even though I don’t live in Williamsburg, I do live within the same community board. I, along with many others living here, worked our asses off to make this waterfront open to the public. We never expected that the same organizations we were part of, would be so inconsiderate of people living near the event sites. After all, this isn’t Central Park or Madison Square Garden. There’s no buffer zone to protect the rights of nearby residents. And they DO have rights. I don’t think it’s a big ask for event organizers or concert goers to have respect for the very people who made your fun and jobs possible. The woman who took these videos put herself out to do the right thing. I think she deserves a trophy for perhaps saving the rest of the community from the same level of mismanagement and disrespect. Thank you.

  • Anthony Pepe

    what a nerd this woman is. you live in williamsburg, loser – get with the program or get out

  • Surfin Bird

    thi s lady needs to mind her own buisness


    Sal, PLEASE we don’t want her out here on Long Island. She doesn’t belong anywhere near New York, and I don’t mean the city i mean the state. Judy please move to maybe Utah.

  • Sal, Williamsburg

    Haha! The lady who called 911 and filmed the video is trying to turn Williamsburg (traditionally a neighborhood of artists) into Orange County. If you google search her name, she gives 5 starts and raving reviews on for Sarah Palin’s autobiography, a book called “Obama’s Rage”, as well as an alarmist right wing book that explains how Obama is undermining the CIA and exposing America to terror attacks (never mind that he caught Osama in two years, isn’t the one who started a ‘pre-emptive’ war on Iraq and didn’t ‘out’ any CIA operatives that I know of). She’s living in New York City and complaining about noise? Hahaha!!! She’s in the wrong city. Move to Orange County, lady — problem solved!

    • KPMc

      No.. the (new) residents of Williamsburg are in the wrong city and state. You come here from Ohio or wherever in the midwest, pretend you’re a NYer for a few years, then return to home to takeover the family exterminator/plumber/hardware business you ran away from in the first place.

      Hipster=temporary NYer

      Go back home, apologize to your parents, take over the family business and leave real NYers alone.

      In the meantime.. take a bath, shave your face and get a haircut you loser!

      • danny

        KPMc, you are my friend!! You forgot to mention, ride your bikes according to the law, and drink good beer.

      • dwight

        KPMc, You tell it like it is ! They should all go back to the midwest or wherever…

  • KPMc

    Nitrous Oxide is legal. Inhaling it to get high is not. Just like household chemicals, they are legal when you use them for their intended purpose but “huffing” them is not legal.

  • yetanotherlocalsickof"locals"

    Judy, seriously? I’ve seen a couple shows there and I live a block away. It was one show with a harmless bunch of dummies walking to the next bar, nothing more. Drugs & guns? Really? My, what next, the weapons of mass destruction that were promised? Please go back to building your bomb shelter and recognize that not everything is the end of the world. Oh, and I love the violence at the end of your statement. That should be the solution to everything- throw them through a plate glass window? You are hardly “decent people”, that is obvious.

  • Jake

    We are taking about fans of an 80’s jam band filled with 49 year olds. Hippies don’t carry guns.

  • judy, nyc

    this is how a neighborhood of families with children and decent people becomes a victim of drugs and crime. soon to follow, i guarantee it. they don’t come for the music. they’re high to begin with and nobody stops them from doing drugs at the venue so it’s a freeforall. neighborhood residents won’t be able to leave their homes. you can also e sure there are guns being carried by these creeps. many years ago we had this in my neighborhood in our 24hour diner. until one of the owners threw a few of them through the plate glass window. seriously. they NEVER came back.

    • Joe of B'hurst

      What drugs? Nitrous oxide is LEGAL and HARMLESS. That is why no arrests were made.

      Drugs have always been in W’burg. You want to see heroin addicts, take a walk up to Rodney Park. They have been there since the ’70s.

    • Sal, Williamsburg

      Judy: Please stop reproducing. You are violent and that is not decent. Move out to Long Island and put a brick wall up.

    • danny

      This is actually a neighborhood of industry. That is what annoys me about people like the woman who is complaining, and you. If you want to move to a family setting, go to the burbs. This is Brooklyn, not Brookdale. Oh, you must be one of those over entitled folks that want convince, at their convince. I bet you weren’t even born in NYC.

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