Wednesday, February 6, 2008

First Rihanna, Now This?

Umbrellas in the News

By Nate Seltenrich
Wed, Feb 6, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Rihanna made umbrellas cool, rain made them necessary, then the Oracle Arena made them disappear. According to Dani Nuccitelli, a Foo Fighters fan who contacted the East Bay Express, maintenance staff threw away hers and dozens of other umbrellas sometime during the band's concert at the arena in Oakland last Saturday.



It was a rainy night, so naturally Dani and many other concertgoers carried an umbrella. However, when they got to the arena's upstairs East Entrance, security personnel prohibited them from bringing their umbrellas inside. They were asked instead to leave the umbrellas outside the door, where they could retrieve them after the show. Dani complied. "When we went in to the concert there were dozens of umbrellas being left around the planters right next to the doors, and there was a huge line of people behind us still waiting to go in, many of whom also had umbrellas, so I assume that there were more left outside after we went in," she wrote in an email.

When she returned to the East Entrance after the concert ended, the umbrellas were gone. "We saw and heard at least a dozen people looking for their umbrellas at about the same time that we were but most of them just assumed they were stolen by other concert-goers after they searched the area." So while everyone else took off umbrella-less, Dani approached a security guard to ask where the umbrellas had gone. "She explained that Maintenance had collected them all and thrown them away. THROWN THEM AWAY," wrote Dani. "She told us that she had tried to keep them from throwing away the umbrellas for as long as she could."

Dani was understandably pissed, but the most she got from the security guard was a recommendation that she "tell the promoters" (LiveNation) that they "owed us an umbrella." The next day she did just that, but still hasn't received a response. "I contacted Live Nation as well as the Arena/Coliseum folks, but I can't imagine anyone taking responsibility for this madness," she told the Express. "Shame on everyone involved for their thoughtless treatment of customers' belongings."

As Dani insightfully pointed out in a subsequent email, for many of those involved -- particularly out-of-towners visiting Oakland only for the concert -- the incident's consequences may echo well beyond one lost umbrella. "A lot of people were assuming that leaving our umbrellas outside would mean they'd get stolen but that we had no other options, so when they saw their umbrellas were gone they just figured they had been right about that. Basically, the Arena or the promoters or whoever was responsible for this benefited from Oakland's bad reputation -- while contributing to it."

"I want to spread this information so that Foo Fighters fans will at least know where their umbrellas went," Dani concluded, "and so that other locals can avoid the same fate."

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