HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Friday night concert went on as planned at The Republik nightclub, a day after the Honolulu Fire Department said it was not up to standard fire codes. But concert promoters say they believed they were in compliance with all fire laws.
It was quiet and orderly as concert-goers arrived for the "Totally '80s Live" concert, featuring the '80s bands When in Rome and A Flock of Seagulls at the nightclub located on Kapiolani Boulevard.
HFD says they told the nightclub's management that until The Republik addresses several violations, maximum capacity for any event will remain at 299 people.
When inspectors arrived to the venue Thursday night, they discovered about 400 concertgoers inside the establishment. They told management to stop admitting people, which left hundreds of ticket holders outside and upset.
"We were given documentation that led us to believe that we were operating legitimately within the codes of the law which allowed us the amount of tickets that were sold for Thursday night's Third Eye Blind performance," state BAMP Project. "While we respect the Fire Marshals duty in keeping public safety, it was disheartening to learn late Thursday evening that we were being held to a capacity that was 70 percent less than what our paperwork stated."
However, HFD says it has issued three violation notices since Aug. 17, and told The Republik ways to correct the problems.
"We've been very clear about what needs to be done, and we've also been very flexible and fair in working with the nightclub - as we do with all commercial occupancies - to help them understand and comply with the standards," HFD spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said.
Among the violations, HFD says The Republik has not provided documentation that the fire alarm system has been tested and approved, or that the automatic fire sprinkler system had been installed according to approved plans.
HFD also says the nightclub's assembly permit application for occupancy load is incomplete.
To make up for the incident, Third Eye Blind played an acoustic show at Kaimana Beach Park, fronting the Natatorium. The band made the announcement on their Twitter page. It drew about 120 or so fans, some of whom were unable to get in at Thursday night's concert.
"I tried to go last night, but were weren't allowed in the venue and had to stay outside in the hot heat, and it took a long time for nobody to tell us it wasn't going to happen," said Victoria Stephens.
"I would've been better if someone actually came out and told us what was going on instead of waiting in line for two hours," said another fan, Jon Lindholm.
Third Eye Blind played for about a half-hour with no amplification and just two guitars and a tambourine.
"Seriously, get really really close because otherwise you can't hear it," said lead singer and guitarist Stephan Jenkins. The fans obliged, sitting on the grass just inches away from the band members.
The city parks and recreation department said the band did not have a permit and was technically in violation of the law, but that it was up to police to issue citations. Officers showed up briefly to take a look, and then left the gathering alone.
"We just came out and hung out, and they just showed up and started playing and it was the coolest thing ever, that they do this for us after the incident that happened at The Republik," said Andrea Proctor.
"It's nice that they did this because it's really great," said Stephens. "And it was wonderful to sit there with the acoustic, saying, 'what song do you want us to play?'"
BAMP Project says concertgoers whose tickets were not scanned Thursday night will receive a full refund. Ticket holders are advised to go to their original point of purchase.