Houston fans who attended three separate locations for the Kanye West screening of “New Slaves” were left confused and frustrated on Friday night as one location was completely shut down by the Houston Police Department and two others were delayed by technical difficulties.
HPD officer outside Rothko says that we’re on private property and that we’ve had a fast one pulled on us.
— Cory Garcia (@cfaust) May 25, 2013
The originally scheduled 10 PM showing at the Rothko Chapel in Montrose was greeted by a throng of Yeezy supporters who had wanted to catch a glimpse of “New Slaves” firsthand. Instead they were soon met by police officers who told them they were on private property and would be arrested for trespassing if they did not disperse. One eyewitness said a man was attempting to explain to an officer about Kanye’s projection but was threatened with arrest.
At the Central Library location, onlookers sat on the sidewalk and waited as a white fan dumped out projectors, speakers and more to set up, only for technical difficulties to mar that showing but it’s occurring at 12:15 AM CST according to the crew. There’s still a large crowd gathered at the George Bush Monument for the third showing while as of press time has yet to occur.
UPDATE (10:30 AM CST): After the initial crowd had flocked to the Central Library and then darted to George Bush Monument for the presumed third showing (that never happened), wind came from the company Next Episode, the crew that was onsite for the first showing but never left thanks to cord and projector issues, that there would be a showing at the Central Library location and that location only. The crowd began to return, peaking around 12:15 AM when a near fight broke out. The crowd quelled the issue themselves and by 12:35 the generator and projector were finally working for the screening.
Around the same time, HPD arrived on the scene, drawing lusty boos from the crowd. Patrol cars had been flying by the library all night batting an eyelash to the crowd of people on the sidewalk but finally upped patrols around 12:45. An officer pulled up to the white van, discussed the manner of the video and then told the company to shut it down. The two groups went back and forth with loud audible groans from the crowd when the generator was turned off and on and off again.
HPD officers finally relented and allowed for the video to be played finally with a blue Panasonic screen popped up on the side of the Central Library. However, just as the Next Episode coordinator was set to press play on the video after the rush of people flocked over to see the screening up close & personal it was shut down altogether and the Next Episode crew was threatened with a fine with if they played the video.
— Day & A Dream (@dayandadream) May 25, 2013
The already restless crowd continued to protest the non-showing of the video, pleading with officers to let it happen because people had been waiting for hours on end but to no avail. Cops then asked the crowd to move out of the street as they began chanting “KANYE!” “KANYE!” and “PRAY TO YEEZUS!”
Soon, the crowd slowly but surely dispersed, with the Next Episode guys telling fans that there may be a rescheduling of the showings. One fan got hold of Don C (Kanye West’s manager) and informed him of the police shutdown of the screenings but even that didn’t sway HPD officials.