Cover raided

no dancingLights up. Sound down. Gaijin cards out.

At 2am this morning the happy, unsuspecting boogiers at club event ‘Dirty’ held at Cover were strictly instructed by the police to put their dancing shoes away. Confusion and baffledness ensued. Within a few minutes of lights up it was clear the only people to be retained in the club were the gaijin clientele.

In the shadow of raid on El Barco in May this year, perhaps tonight was merely a intentional reminder of the tenuous position club owners hold in regard to ‘public morality’ and entertainment licensing. For the main body of the crowd this evening, tonight was not primarily about getting sloshed, shaking some booty and wreaking havoc or public mayhem but about private celebration between friends and meeting of new acquaintances.

Once again Hiroshima faces a predicament. In a city that so unequivocally represents aspects of peace and internationalism the authorities are caught in a jam with out-dated entertainment licensing systems and close-minded enforcement policies.

Fortunately Cover’s clientele took this evening graciously in their stride. The bar remained open to quench any disconcerted thirst as the authorities laboriously took down each and everyone’s last details – only just enough photocopied forms to go round. Twiddling thumbs as minds raced from put-out dismay at a fantastically enjoyable night ruined, to thoughts of tea and toast.

As an event Dirty undoubtedly offers a very rare and precious opportunity in Hiroshima for local and foreign DJs to successfully enjoy working and sharing music together. However, if incidents such as those tonight at Cover continue to occur, our gorgeous city will only suffer the consequences of division and prejudice; two traits for which Hiroshima, City of Peace, is certainly not recognised.

Read Dirty organizer, Mike Waugh’s account of the events at Cover here.

Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.