Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » How do you know what to expect for a first-ever event?


Our apologies to those turned away at the door for the first showing tonight of "Drug Wars: Silver or Lead." We didn't know how to anticipate the size of the crowd for an event we've never tried before. We would have been happy if half of the 476 seats in the Welder Center were filled.

Imagine our surprise when people started lining up before 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. When doors opened at 6 p.m., a stream of people poured into every available seat. Those who saved seats for other latecomers had  to fight off the crowd. Some seats had been reserved for law enforcement officers and other VIPs, causing some hard feelings for those who couldn't get in. The place was standing room only by 6:30 p.m. About 200 to 300 people were still outside.

Fortunately, Kay McHaney, one of the Advocate's owners, came to the rescue and arranged for a second showing of the documentary at 9 p.m. For those reading this now, it's not too late to make it downtown and still catch the film. The panel discussion will follow the second showing.

For those at the first performance or others who will miss the panel discussion, we'll be broadcasting it live online. We also plan to tape the discussion for viewing at your convenience.

We're thrilled by the community's response to this important issue we've been covering in our "Fatal Funnel" series. Based on this success, we hope to organize similar community events in the future. The Welder Center director also has to be encouraged by the possibility of showing other films in the performance hall. The picture quality is outstanding.

For those who did see either show, we look forward to hearing your thoughts about the event.