Club Crawl dominates downtown
Tucson's biggest music event brought more than 12,000 fans and 80 bands downtown on Saturday night for the fourth annual Club Crawl.
"The response has gotten bigger by about 20 percent every year," Club Crawl organizer Jeb Schoonover said.
Many University of Arizona students attended, and some had active roles like ticket sales people and performers. Several UA bands played at the event, including Tricky Luz and Zero to Sixty, who played a set at the packed bar, 7 Black Cats, 260 E. Congress St.
"I had a great time," UA estate law student Mitch Preston said. "The bands were good, but it took too long to get a beer."
Although the general atmosphere was celebratory and upbeat, some attendees expressed displeasure with the long lines for beverages and entry to venues and bathrooms.
"The bathroom situation sucked," said UA political science senior Eric McNey. "There was no place to go to the bathroom."
UA undeclared sophomore Summer Bennett, who sold $5 admission wristbands near the Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., said some attendees lost sight of the event's purpose.
"People didn't seem to remember the point is to have a good time," Bennett said. "They let the lines and waiting get to them."
Schoonover said despite any inconveniences, those who attended Saturday night's event were generally in good spirits.
"Everybody comes to have fun," Schoonover said. "This was the fourth Club Crawl, but we've had two previous Showcase Shuffles, which are basically the same thing, and two Fall Crawls."
The event called for large segments of Fourth Avenue and several downtown streets to be closed off, requiring the construction of four outdoor stages and necessitating several hundred security and staff workers.
"We were working from 7 a.m. (Saturday) until 5 a.m. (yesterday), setting up the streets and stages and then taking them down," Schoonover said.
Schoonover added that the increasing Club Crawl attendance may call for more space and equipment in the future.
"We're anticipating more street closures and outdoor stages (for the next Crawl)," he said.
The event is the biggest single music showcase in Tucson yearly and helps expose bands to a larger audience than normal weeknight gigs.
"That's why we do this twice a year," Schoonover said. "This is a night where bands get so much appreciation - they love playing it. The goal (for Club Crawl) is that there's an increase in music venues downtown. It would be nice next year if we had three or four more clubs."
Most of the venues were only open to those ages 21 and over and sold alcohol, requiring the purchase of a wristband. However, some underage venues took part.
The outdoor Main Stage - located at the blocked-off intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue - showcased some of the more well-known local bands, like rockers Nevershine and kitschy cover band the Zsa Zsa's.
"I really enjoyed the Zsa Zsa's," said McNey. "They were the most entertaining band I saw."
Nevertheless, Schoonover expressed satisfaction with the event overall.
"Amazingly, at all the Club Crawls we've had, there's never been an (violent) incident that I've heard of," Schoonover said. "There's never been a fight or any ugliness like a band's gear getting ripped off."