13 drug arrests related to Phish concert, crowds “mostly peaceful”; Mumpower judges show “fun”

13 drug arrests related to Phish concert, crowds “mostly peaceful”; Mumpower judges show “fun”-attachment0

Last night, Asheville police made 13 arrests related to the Phish concert, all involving drug charges. In an e-mail, police spokesperson Melissa Williams emphasized that the massive crowd of over 10,000 people “was mostly peaceful and caused no major problems for police,” and City Council member Carl Mumpower, known for going to Civic Center shows in search of illegal drug activity, also sent out a missive praising the event as “fun, safe and managed.”

Ecstasy, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms were the most common substances alleged in the arrests, though cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, ketamine and Adderall all show up as well. Most of those arrested were from out of town, hailing from New York, California, Colorado and Washington, among other locales. None of the arrests took place within the Civic Center.

“For having 10,000 people, we had a really excellent night, and the Phish fans behaved really well,” Williams wrote.

Mumpower has in the past visited Civic Center concerts and complained about illegal drug use. After dropping by a 2007 Ratdog/Bob Weir concert, Mumpower sent an e-mail off complaining that it “smelled like an Amsterdam hash bar.” At a Widespread Panic concert a few months later, concertgoers mocked him by holding up cardboard cutouts of his picture in front of their faces. His crusade even got national attention, with Glide Magazine’s music blog making light of his account of the Ratdog show.

This time, Mumpower was pleased with the police and the concert, as relayed in an e-mail he wrote shortly after the event ended.

In a nutshell, I was impressed,” Mumpower wrote. “It was apparent that city staff, our police, event security, the promoters, and the vast majority of those most important to a successful event, the Phish fans, were on their game. The atmosphere was fun, safe, and managed. The arena was not overwhelmed by the smoke of cigarettes or pot and it was evident that most folks were trying to do their part and respect the facility’s rules. … Tonight, Asheville’s Civic Center smelled more like City Hall than an Amsterdam hash house.”

He also praised the arrests.

“I appreciate our police officer’s persistency in defining Asheville’s Civic Center, public spaces, and downtown as a place you can come to have fun, but not a place you can freely sell and use drugs,” he added.

Mumpower’s full e-mail is below. Click here to see pictures from Phish show.

— David Forbes, staff writer

———————————————————————————————————

June 9, 2009 -10:15 PM

From:          Carl Mumpower, Asheville City Council

To:            Gary Jackson, Asheville City Manager

Subject:        Observations of Phish Concert as Asheville Civic Center

Mr. Jackson,

I just left the Phish Concert at the Civic Center and wanted to share my experience there.

First, I appreciate the learning opportunity and staff support for my request to observe the event firsthand.

In a nutshell, I was impressed.  It was apparent that city staff, our police, event security, the promoters, and the vast majority of those most important to a successful event, the Phish fans, were on their game.

The atmosphere was fun, safe, and managed.  The arena was not overwhelmed by the smoke of cigarettes or pot and it was evident that most folks were trying to do their part and respect the facility’s rules.

I understand that there were a significant number of arrests – mostly outside the facility – for drug activity.  I appreciate our police officer’s persistency in defining Asheville’s Civic Center, public spaces, and downtown as a place you can come to have fun, but not a place you can freely sell and use drugs.

In short, the difference between this event and the Ratdog and Wide Spread Panic events of several years ago was night and day.  A perfected experience with such a large group was never the goal – but tonight seemed to come pretty close.

Appreciation is due for all the hands that helped Asheville hold an event that was defined by a good time versus drug activity and indifference to the rules of the house.

Tonight, Asheville’s Civic Center smelled more like City Hall than an Amsterdam hash house.

Many thanks,

Carl Mumpower
Asheville City Council

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19 thoughts on “13 drug arrests related to Phish concert, crowds “mostly peaceful”; Mumpower judges show “fun”

  1. Arwen

    If city hall smells like that, I need to go to city hall more often. I don’t think I could pass a drug test from all the SECOND HAND pot smoke around me.

  2. harry hood

    This man gets far too much attention.

    The crowd outside the civic center was well managed though. Best I have seen. The Sarah Palin event was far worse.

  3. Piffy!

    Dr carl is so interested in these subcultures, it kinda makes one think that maybe he wishes he had taken a different path in life.

  4. John Smolkin

    Doctor Carl Mumpower is a true Asheville native who cares about this town. He will not allow a bunch of drug crazed hippies to take it over. Thanks Carl for all you do.

  5. swill

    I would love more of the focus to be applied to the local dangeous street drug deals I see on our street weekly. Any large music scene brings in drugs we just don’t always hear about it.

  6. stephanie Shannonberg

    Good point shrill: “I would love more of the focus to be applied to the local dangeous street drug deals I see on our street weekly. Any large music scene brings in drugs we just don’t always hear about it.”

    Instead of these whining sustainable yuppies protesting against URTV or agitating for livestock to be allowed to be raised in the city limits, they should be out guiding the police to local drug deals. Carl has helped in that department. Come on activists, get on a good bandwagon.

  7. evolved

    I am fully shocked and impressed, Mumpower… I was the one that slipped it to him (jk)

  8. Piffy!

    [b]they should be out guiding the police to local drug deals. Carl has helped in that department.[/b]

    Actually, Carl hasnt helped at all in that manner. In fact, The APD has asked him to stay away from them and their job on multiple occasions. Carl is just a media-whore, and quite full of himself, to boot.

  9. John Smolkin

    “Actually, Carl hasnt helped at all in that manner. In fact, The APD has asked him to stay away from them and their job on multiple occasions. Carl is just a media-whore, and quite full of himself, to boot.” No doubt you are an expert on being an attention whore and being full of yourself, but my bet is you’re not fit to shine Carl’s shoes.

    Thanks Carl for looking out for Asheville. I have a friend who is an APD officer. You are well thought of down at the station.

  10. The Piffster

    “…is just a media-whore, and quite full of himself, to boot.” Sounds like an area you know quite a bit about PFK. Projecting? -:)

  11. Guy

    mumpower should do something better with is life than being a grown up hall monitor. it must be a lonely life.. their not strange, their just like you..

  12. Piffy!

    awwwww.. i got a stalker.

    how cute, cullen-thomas.

    I have never been asked by the APD to leave them alone and been threatened with arrest for interfering in police business. Carl has.

    [b]For the record, APD has repeatedly asked Mumpy to stay the heck away from them and their job.[/b]

  13. Philip Gossett

    Could not believe he said the place was not smokey? I was up stairs and could hardly breath from the smoke. There is no air flow in that place, the venue sucks! Asheville needs a outdoor amphitheater for these shows, it would be perfect. Carl is kissing his own az, pathetic.

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