Several City leaders are denouncing clandestine, late-night parties put on by an Everett-based Brazilian American promotor who has staged “parking lot parties” with hundreds of unmasked partiers under the Baile Do Monstro (Monster Ball) tag for the last several weeks – including a few large parties in the Gateway Mall behind Costco in recent weeks.
The parties are pretty much geared towards the Brazilian community throughout Greater Boston and have been held in Everett and Revere in recent weeks. Videos on the Instagram page show hundreds of people behind the Costco with the Encore Casino behind them dancing with an open bar and large DJ operation. There appears to be no social distancing measures on anyone’s mind, let alone any COVID-19 protocols. Some of the literature in Portuguese proclaims, “COVID never kept me away.”
With Everett’s new case numbers inching up day-by-day, and the community seemingly stuck in the ‘red’ high-risk category – which prevents the City’s businesses and organizations from moving to the state’s next phase of re-opening – such parties have become an outrage to local leaders.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said such things will not be tolerated in Everett, and the Monster Balls have not been reported to Everett Police because they are remote areas. He said they will begin patrolling with them in mind.
“Any and all gatherings that go against the guidelines set forth by the Governor are frowned upon and will not be tolerated in the City of Everett,” he said in a statement. “While we have not been made aware of these large gatherings due to the remote nature of them, the Everett Police will increase enforcement at locations where these parties can occur.”
School Committeeman Marcony Almeida Barros – a Brazilian American – said such gatherings don’t represent what most Brazilian Americans are doing during COVID-19, but those that are participating he said should be held accountable.
“I’ve heard about those parties and seen some social media posts,” he said. “I do not think their behavior represents the behavior of the Brazilian community in Everett and outside of the city. I believe many Brazilians and other immigrants and non-immigrants alike have been trying their best to follow protocols and guidance from the city and state to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, I’m disgusted by the actions of those who were part of those parties, especially the organizers. They should be held accountable by the authorities and punished to the fullest extent of the law for ‘playing’ not only with their lives but with those who live in their communities. And the authorities should continue to monitor their behavior.”
Councilor Stephanie Martins, another Brazilian American elected official, said she has also been troubled by these parking lot parties, as well as the many parties that take place in backyards and homes throughout her neighborhood on any given night.
“With these parties, there are real concerns not only in terms of COVID-19, but also with teen-age drug use during those big parties,” she said. “I have had several parents and members of the Brazilian community reach out and demand more enforcement and I have met with the police regarding this issue.
As for the house parties, there has been a real abuse with parties that are fully decorated, with live music, and no mask use. Parents often bring their children along and the children are at risk of getting infected during the parties and returning to school with the virus causing an even bigger issue.”
Councilor Michael McLaughlin – who represents the Gateway Mall area – said the City will never get back to the lower numbers needed to open things up if these parties persist. However, he said he was also concerned about the fact the Everett Police were not aware of, or responding to, such events in the city.
“I believe this underscores a bigger issue and that is the management structure in our Police Department,” he said. “I believe we need to look at the leadership structure of all shifts in the Department to ensure supervision is consistent across the board. The City of Everett needs to be firm and consistent on letting these individuals know that they are being irresponsible and that the out of control behavior can’t and won’t be tolerated in our community going forward. I was shocked and truly disappointed in watching these videos.”
A promotional flier in Portuguese on the Monster Ball Instagram indicated there would be another large party in Revere behind the Northgate Mall on Saturday, Oct. 10. It was uncertain if that would go forward given the attention such gatherings have received in Everett.