This most recent First Fridays marked a special occasion for the monthly event. They were celebrating their 2-year anniversary here in Des Moines. One could be technical and say it was longer than that. There was a First Fridays that was attempted for a few months prior to Breon and the crew taking it on. That didn't pan out though as it eventually died out. This version of First Fridays has had more legs than its predecessor. As evidenced by the fact that is on it's second year.
I personally was running around like a chicken with his head cut off Friday. It was one of the rare First Fridays nites where I wasn't working a half day at the day job. I went right up until 5pm. Then I had a shoot scheduled for 6pm to do a headshot for one of my frat brothers (which came out very good if I must say so myself). Finished at 8pm leaving just a couple of hours to spare. After spending some time fellowshipping, it was already after 9pm before I knew it. And I still hadn't eaten.
That's when I remembered that the club where First Fridays was held has a restaurant attached to it. Having bar food wasn't my ideal dinner but it would have to do. Or so I thought. I arrived there to find out that the restaurant wasn't even open this time. It hasn't been for the past few First Fridays for some reason. Fortunately, the First Fridays folks had secured some food to celebrate their birthday. Burritos and a variety of similar treats from Chipolte. Now THAT's what was up. Just one of those and I was straight.
I had to give Michelle a hard time about the lack of birthday cake. How do you celebrate a birthday but have no birthday cake? Were the Jehovah Witnesses sponsoring the event? Instead, they had homemade sugar cookies all shaped in the number '2'. My FAVORITE kind of sugar cookies. I could have ate those joints all nite. Even though I didn't, I made sure to take home a good portion of the remaining ones.
Apparently folks really wanted to get out to celebrate that 2-year anniversary. Or maybe they were just in the going out mood Friday night. Whatever it was, by 10:30 Bar 2060 was filling up QUICK. 1o:30 is usually the time that folks start filtering in. That certainly wasn't the case Friday night. I thought for sure they were going to hit capacity before 11pm at the rate they were going. It was pretty close. They hit that mark around midnight.
The last time I recall First Fridays being so packed that they had to turn folks away was the one they had on July 4th weekend almost two years ago. They were still downtown at Peoples then. There had been a couple of nights close to the same turnout but never matching that intensity. Well they equalled that for their 2-year anniversary. There was a line out to the middle of the parking lot of folks that couldn't get in because the place had hit capacity. And it didn't even take a holiday weekend to do it. Very impressive.
The size of the crowd caused a snafu that I should have planned better for. That being the disappearance of my coat. I would usually wait until folks start clearing out before I get my coat on just to make sure none of the drunk folks bump into me and spill something on it. This is the first time that my coat came up missing. With my car keys in it. And I live 45 minutes away. I thought for sure I was screwed until I noticed that a lady's coat which was similar looking to mine was in the coat area. Some drunk chick took my jacket thinking it was hers. It didn't take long for me to find it either since she was slumped down on one of the chairs by the bar. I tried to politely get my coat back and that wasn't working. It eventually took a waitress and one of the security guys to get her to surrender it.
I really can't say enough about the security there at Bar 2060. It doesn't seem like that there are that many of them until something actually pops off. That's when they swarm like a pack of wolves to diffuse the situation. Something was bound to happen that night with folks packed in there like roaches wall too wall. Fortunately it wasn't until almost the end of the evening. But as soon as it did, security was ON it. They even make sure to follow the "Roadhouse" train of thought where they take it outside.
I was still able to get some good shots, but it wasn't easy. It was so packed in there by 12:30 that it was impossible to move around anywhere. That's how I get most of my pictures is by working the entire club and staying mobile. That tactic was rendered totally useless by the time 1am had hit. I found myself taking more crowd shots than usual since I couldn't get good angles on more intimate shots. I even contemplated not doing an official photo album here since I already post an album on The Book and on my website. Then I decided I might as well stay consistent. Therefore, you can once again check out the pics in the First Fridays March 2011 photo album if you weren't privy to the other links. Then get ready to do this all over again when the CREAM event takes place this Friday.