According to folks texting me from the belly of the beast, NYCC security temporarily blocked entry to and attempted to evacuate Artists Alley as a result of overcrowding. There have been numberous reports of a bottleneck at the entry and restricted-to-no movement in the hallway.

This sort of thing typically gives rise to confusion and even anger among those affected, but if you’ve ever organized an event in New York you know the seriousness with which the city takes potential violations of the municipal fire code, which has a section expressly dealing with overcrowding at events. The city’s rules and strict enforcement on overcrowding reflect a series of horrific events, with the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 9/11, and the Blue Angel nightclub fire perhaps the best known tragedies. 

A quick caveat: this is, as they say, breaking, so I haven’t run it through my usual degree of scrutiny.