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

Says Streets Near Williamsburg Amphitheater Littered With Drug Paraphernalia
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Nitrous oxide video

A woman who lives near the Williamsburg Amphitheater shot a video of what she says is hundreds of concert goers inhaling nitrous oxide through balloons after a recent Widespread Panic show at the venue. (Photo: YouTube)

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.

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