Have you been to Pearl Street in Northampton, MA lately? If you were there for Saturday’s Baroness show, you probably remember it as being hot. Like really hot. Hot enough that 200 people complained about it. The Daily Hampshire Gazette says that almost 200 people complained about the heat, stating that there was poor ventilation and non-functioning air conditioning. Three of those people lodged formal complaints against the city’s Health Department. Body odor was another complaint, which happens when you cram 500 people into a venue on one of the hottest days of the year. Masslive.com, who says the show was headlined by “The Baronesses,” repeats one report that said people were drinking out of the bathroom sinks despite the restrooms’ poor sanitation:
Thomas Peake, wrote in the letter shared on social media, “I have spent a good deal of my summers in Kansas and I spent a lot of last summer working in a heavily insulated attic with no air conditioning, and I’m not sure I’ve ever spent much time in an environment hotter than that. It should go without saying that this was not a safe environment for a show.”
For his part, the president of Iron Horse Entertainment Group, the group that owns Pearl Strett, chalks it up to an isolated incident due to malfunctioning air conditioning.
“We had two of our a/c unit compressors completely freeze, as the outside temperature was 97 degrees with very high humidity,” he said via email. “All of our units are being fully replaced, which will hopefully solve this issue from happening again.”
Northhampton Mayor David Narkewicz tells the Gazette that there were no medical calls to the venue, but they’re investigating the incident, adding that the thing the Health Department is so concerned about isn’t the heat, but people drinking out of the bathroom sink, which, yes, sounds gross. The article also quotes several local musicians that say the heat was the last straw, and that Iron Horse’s pay-to-play policies and refusal to give free water to performing musicians also have them irked.
Either way, even Baroness complained about the heat a bit: