The local arts community's Bargain Basement Ball, scheduled for tonight and featuring the local new-wave rock group the Urban Verbs, will not be held at the Lansburgh building as planned. Instead it will be held at the Pension building, at the same time (9 p.m.), according to organizers.
City officials had declared the party and the concert canceled almost two weeks ago, in the wake of publicity about a dance attended by nearly 1,000, including many from Washington's gay community, in a Northeast Washington warehouse. City fire officials had refused to issue a permit for the event but poice officials subsequently refused to stop it once it was in progress.
However, according to some of the party organizers, there seems to be some doubt as to whether or not the city had originally approved the use of Lansburgh's in the first place.
Bill Warrell, who arranged the appearance of the Urban Verbs at tonight's ball and began publicizing it more than a month ago, said he "raised a lot of stink" in different city officials' offices and eventually got the city to agree to the party if the fire marshal would allow it.
But upon inspection of the Lansburgh building, according to Warrell, the fire marshal said there were not enough fire exits.
This week, a city official suggested that the group use the Pension building -- at 440 G St. NW. -- which has been agreed upon, Warrell said. b
On Saturday at 6 p.m., there will be a party before the ball at d.c. space a downtown restaurant, which is also dispensing tickets to the ball. The event is a fund-raiser for the D.C. Foundation for Creative Space, the organization that runs the Lansburgh project. The vacated Lansburgh department store will house 26 art groups if the city finally rents the building from the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp.