Katarina Hybenova


We can only imagine how Alex Kay must have felt when he was forced to post on the Unicorn Meat Facebook page just 15 minutes before the gates were supposed to open that this year’s New Year’s Eve party was cancelled.

Only a couple of days ago, we interviewed the man behind the party production collective, Unicorn Meat, who since 2011 have gained a significant notoriety in the New York nightlife scene. His annual New Year’s Event, The Wander, is one of the biggest, most imaginatively fantastic events of the year. It was therefore a great disappointment to find out that the event was cancelled last minute due to a “friendly visit” from authorities who pulled the permits and caused almost 1,000 people to improvise in finding something else do to last minute. Alex posted the following explanation on the Unicorn Meat Facebook page:

Later on January 1 a more detailed explanation followed:

Tickets were refunded but the damage cannot be undone.

We requested a comment on the situation directly from Alex Kay, but as of yet have received no answer. A representative of Eventbrite, the ticketing company used by Unicorn Meat for this event, confirmed that the ticket holders were refunded, and Alex sent everyone the following message:

Dearest Friends,

Thank you for deciding to spend NYE at my event. I’m really upset you could not see and experience what my team had worked so hard to create for you. My motivation in this business has always been to create something experiential and unique. A special place for people to meet the people they’re going to spend the rest of their lives with. Greed has in no way ever been an influential factor. I care profoundly about you, your happiness, safety and well being is of pinnacle importance to me. Refunding your money has been my number 1 priority. I sincerely love each and every one of you. Until next time when we can share the night again.

Your friend,

Alex Kay

Sarah Feldman and Neil Meyers were planning to attend this year’s The Wander after a wonderful experience they had last year. “We decided to go to Tutu’s Prom Party for New Year’s Eve and then to Pine Box Rock Shop,” Sarah told us. “It was a serious bummer, but I was empathetic. I don’t even want to think about the negative slack they were getting from strangers. They worked really hard to make this happen and I don’t think it’s their fault really. The only thing is all that excitement we built up needs to go to another party. I have raver wings that need to be used and my brain needs an unch unch groove. I’m hoping all will be well with Unicorn Meat,” she continued.

But commenters on the Unicorn Meat Facebook page were not all as understanding. One of them had this to say: “Unicorn Meat ruined New Years Eve. It was difficult to pull together any plans that late in the game. Canceling 15 minutes before doors are set to open? Who does that? So very disappointed….for the artists, for the fans, for myself, for my two brothers and sister-in-laws I convinced to come with me to this.”

At this year’s Bang!ON (photo by Matt Dilantro for Bushwick Daily)

Bang!ON was a rager

While the warehouse at 77 Morgan Ave. was tragically quite, another warehouse on 699 Scholes St. was vibrating with DJ beats, and hundreds of colorful people were waiting in freezing cold to get in and live their warehouse party dream. Bang!ON’s “Time & Space” party, which featured DJs, aerialists and even a functioning zip line, likely benefitted from the suddenly party-less rave crowd. They were lucky because they managed to party the night away without any authorities interfering.

One of the previous Rubulad parties (photo by Maria Gotay for Bushwick Daily)

Rubulad was shut down at 11 p.m.

Another NYC underground nightlife legend, the decade-old party collective, Rubulad, was not as lucky as Bang!On. “We spent 300 hours preparing for this party, and then we had only two hours to enjoy it,” told us Sari Rubinstein, one of the collective founders. Rubulad’s “Cheap & Dirty New Year’s Eve,” which was held at 893 Bergen St., got shut down at 11 p.m. by the NY Fire Department.

Sari partially blames bad luck because the roll gate to the space fell off, and the authorities used it as a reason to shut the party down. “I don’t see why people can’t celebrate New Year’s Eve,” said tired Sari, who is still in the midst of cleaning up from the short party in the space. “The permit from the city costs so much money that the only way you can afford it it to be really huge and really, really rich,” Sari told us. “It is a larger problem; the city makes it impossible for this kind of party to be legal because of the cost of the permit. I have a general feeling that they don’t want people to have fun,” said Sari.

WTF permits….

Unicorn Meat said on their Facebook page that they had the necessary permits but still the cops decided to shut the place down because it was getting “swarmed.”

Despite many angry comments on, Unicorn Meat lost hundreds of hours of work and thousands of dollars that went into preparation of the party. A dozen large scale art installation were assembled in vain to sadly go unseen by their audiences…

Our thoughts should really focus on the city laws that make unique events like Rubulad or The Wander virtually impossible… As one of the commenters on the Unicorn Meat Facebook page put it: “Not the same Brooklyn. Not underground anymore. Time to find new horizons elsewhere. Sucks. But true. Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.”