ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The owner of the Main Street Armory has canceled many of the smaller hip-hop shows booked at the venue for 2015, and is turning down requests from some promoters looking to book more.
"It's not a question of if something's going to go wrong, it's a question of when," said Scott Donaldson.
bought the Armory in 2005, and over the years, has been working to
update the building and bring different events and shows to the space,
but a man was shot several times outside the venue in December.
"The final straw was that one a few weeks ago, where somebody rolled down Main street looking for somebody and fired off a shot right in front of the police," Donaldson said. "That's it, we're done."
Over the years, police have been to the Armory and the streets around it for a stabbing, fights, the Dec. shooting and have made several arrests.
Donaldson said he will no longer host what he calls "urban" hip-hop music shows that play in the smaller club part of the Armory. Those shows let out around 2 a.m.
"There's always one or two that like to instigate and get it going and they just have no concept of decency to people and they ruin it for everybody, so now we've just decided that we're completely stopping the late night urban shows so that we're not torturing the neighbors and not risking anyone's well being," said Donaldson.
Neighbor Bill Bump lives on a quiet residential street almost directly across from the Armory. He said the noise of the December shooting woke him up. He's one of several neighbors who told us they're glad for Donaldson's decision.
"I feel sorry that the venue is taken away for the hip-hop shows; for us here with the recent incidents, that's the way it has to be," Bump said. "You just don't know if it's going to bleed out up and down the street."
Another neighbor who didn't want to be identified has owned several homes on the street for decades. He said it's not just the hip-hop shows that can cause problems, but admits some shows are worse than others.
"I'd like to see them do well there, however, it shouldn't have to impact the rest of the neighborhood. People that live here 24 hours a day shouldn't have to put with five hours of mayhem."
Donaldson said he's done pretty much all he can when it comes to security, and appreciates the added police presence outside over the years. He said he has been in talks with the city for a solution, but until something changes, it's not worth the risk anymore.
"Down the road, we're going to discuss more ideas but in the meantime, I'm not doing it anymore," said Donaldson.
Time Warner Cable News reached out to promoters who hold shows at the Armory. Some did not want to comment. Others did not get back to us.
A Rochester City spokeswoman said in a statement:
“We support the vitality in our neighborhoods and downtown brought about by entertainment events. City officials met with the owner of the Armory, and we are pleased that he is taking steps to improve the safety of his facility.”