It was bad, but could have been much worse.
At least that seems to be the prevailing thought from some of the Christian rappers who were hired to provide entertainment at this weekend’s overnight “youth lock-in” at Typhoon Texas – a recently-opened waterpark in Katy.
As the Houston Chronicle and other media outlets have reported, the night ended earlier than expected due to the rowdy behavior of the teens that were present. Typhoon Texas’ posted hours for the general public on June 10 indicate they’d close at 10 p.m. but the private lock-in was advertised as running from 10:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m.
Although a Facebook page for the event promised “ONLY 3,000 tickets” were available, more were sold at the gate which resulted in an estimated attendance of between 5,000 and 6,000 people.
Stage manager DJ Overflow said he arrived onsite around 5 p.m. and grew concerned about the crowd size after observing the long lines of people buying admission at the gate.
“Out loud I remember saying ‘I hope there are enough chaperones.’ It’s just common sense if you’re going to have that many people,” Overflow said.
Adrian Angelo was booked to perform that night and said he had a hard time getting into the venue. He said he witnessed some teens using non-Typhoon Texas parking lots and others being dropped off in the middle of the street.
Once inside, Angelo saw the night’s entertainment had already kicked off and that some of the behavior problems had begun to present themselves. The stage was set up in front of the wave pool.
Bobby “Tre9” Herring, whose Eyes On Me Inc. was set to benefit from the ticket sales, said the wave pool was halfway roped off – a situation that caused additional overcrowding in this part of the park.
Overflow said he understood the safety concern from the lifeguards who may not have been able to see if any swimmers needed help in such in a densely populated area.
“The teens were splashing water and throwing the floats around,” Herring said via text message. “That was the worst incident we eye-witnessed. Keep in mind that the stage entertainment and schedule was our only responsibility – not waterpark management and security.”
Once the splashing and float tossing began, DJ Overflow took to the mic and asked the crowd to calm down. As heard on a widely distributed Instagram video from rapper II Crunk 4 Jesus, Overflow can be overheard yelling “If y’all get too rowdy Typhoon Texas will shut down early and everybody will have to go home. That’s right. That’s right. So I need y’all to chill out for a second.”
Overflow said he was just doing what any responsible adult would in trying to help change the atmosphere. After his warnings from the stage (three that he remembers), Tre9 told him park officials asked for the music to be cut off and his team complied.
Overflow recalls that 30 to 40 minutes passed as the kids relaxed in the wave pool. During this time Tre9, Can You Hear Me Now founder Peggy Merkey, and members of the Typhoon Texas staff gathered to assess the situation and ultimately to end the event.
Shortly after the impromptu meeting, rapper Pyrexx took to the mic and pleaded for the audience’s attention.
Pyrexx shared his testimony of being a former mainstream rapper and convicted felon and presented the gospel message – ultimately leading the thousands of people in the wave pool in the “Sinner’s Prayer.”
After that, Overflow said someone from Typhoon Texas announced that the event was ending, that their tickets would be honored at a later date, and that everyone needed to exit the park.
“After that, people started walking out,” Overflow said. “There was no riot. Everybody left in a calm and collective way.”
Trevor Lee was another recording artist who did not get to perform due to the cancelation but says he felt that Merkey, Tre9, and the Texas Typhoon staff worked together to make the right decision. He was also able to pick up a last minute show for a youth group who retreated to their home church once the event was shut down.
While Typhoon Texas and the ministries involved hash out who is responsible for the situation, DJ Overflow said it definitely wasn’t the rap music.
“We were saying ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.’ The music had everything to do with representing who Christ was and shouldn’t get anybody this rowdy. None of these songs will give you the motivation to turn up like that,” he said.
In the end, it was a youth event that ended early due to some misbehavior but no arrests, riots, or weapons. It seems particularly small in light of Sunday morning’s mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.
“This was Typhoon Texas’ first lock-in. I’m certain things could’ve been done differently, but at the end of it all I’m thankful that thousands of people made it home safely,” Tre9 wrote.