A few new photo galleries have gone up since the last time I mentioned them: Pentagram, Baxtalo Drom, 16 Volt, Hubba Hubba, Rocky Horror, Bohemian Carnival, Meat, GDGT, Hex Rx, and a bunch of Death Guilds.
By the way, it may seem early, but now is the time of year when you should start thinking about reserving a date to have your company's holiday party at DNA Lounge. Wouldn't you rather have it here, than in the cafeteria? Sure you would. Spread the word to those who arrange such things!
Based on the prevalence of cell phones with usable web browsers, I think that dismantling the kiosks right now might be slightly premature, but it will definitely be time in a year or two. If there was someone who was excited enough about them to put some work in to making them slump along for another year or so, that would be nice.
But, the public has spoken with a collective "meh."
So we'll probably tear them out some time in the next week or two, failing some last-minute public outcry that is also accompanied by offers of help that don't sound like they will take up more of my time than they will save.
Anyone want to buy some nine-year-old 15" LCD monitors? Nah, I didn't think so.
Going to DNA Lounge during the middle of the day is a strange proposition. But on a Saturday afternoon in late June, the San Francisco bar is filled with a hundred or so people, including, strangely enough, Kris Kristofferson, whose son Jody is trying out a different kind of public career. There's a smattering of people hanging out on the balcony level, but most of us are pressed against metal guard rails that surround a ring set up in the center of the dance floor. Professional wrestling has, ahem, put a stranglehold on venue, and it's the middle of the show.
This is hilarious:
When Bottom of the Hill was first accused of not serving enough food, they filed a petition to get the "50%" condition removed from their permit, on the grounds that there was no legitimate reason for it to be there in the first place.
So, last week, Bottom of the Hill received two letters from ABC, in two different envelopes, both dated August 10th. The letter first granted the petition to remove the 50% condition... And the second letter "corrected" the first, denied the petition, and set a deadline for asking for a hearing.
Nicely done, ABC!
Here's the most likely explanation for how this happened: One of the ABC attorneys looked at the file and agreed that there were no reasons for the condition in the first place, and issued the first order. Then that first order reached someone's desk, who went ballistic and ordered it reversed.
ABC likes to maintain the fiction that they are just a bunch of bureaucrats whose hands are tied, who are simply obeying the law and have no room for discretion or rationality. But this kind of arbitrary and capricious behavior is a perfect example of how they really operate. Someone inside that organization is running a vendetta.
Incidentally, apparently in the midst of California's budget crisis, ABC is hiring, and just got an extra $1.5 million.
Your tax dollars at work.
In more local news, SF Supervisor David Chiu, who represents North Beach, is gunning to destroy the Entertainment Commission and give control of nightclub permitting back to SFPD. Because, you know, that worked out so well last time.
He was on the radio this morning talking about this. You can listen to it on KQED's web site (though frankly, I don't recommend it).
Apparently having an actual representative of the Entertainment Commission on this show would have been too much, so instead you can hear Chiu and SFPD's Captain Dudley gang up on Mark Rennie, an attorney who represents several embattled clubs that aren't even in Chiu's district.
Though at the very end of that radio show you can hear Dudley express his opinion that San Francisco's economy would be better off with no nightlife, because the cost of policing nightclubs is higher than the tax and tourism-related revenue that the clubs bring to the city. It's almost worth listening to it for that howler. Almost.
DNA Lounge's permit struggles from 1999 through 2001 were a direct result of SFPD's abuse of the permitting process when they were still in control of it, and the creation of the Entertainment Commission was in response to those and similar abuses.
Having their authority over permitting taken away apparently stung, and so SFPD has been trying to undermine the Entertainment Commission since its creation. Chiu is just their latest tool in this six year effort.
In case I haven't mentioned it enough lately:
- DNA Lounge Legal Defense Fund!
- "Save DNA Lounge" Facebook group and t-shirts!
- "Stop the War on Fun" Facebook group!
The kiosk graveyard.
Long may they rust.
As you might imagine, we do business with a lot of promoters who are amazingly flaky, inconsiderate, and otherwise unprofessional. It appears to be par for course in this line of work. Normally I wouldn't bother calling one of them out, because it's just so common, but this latest one is so egregiously unprofessional, and cost us so much time and money, that it deserves special mention and ridicule.
There's this group called "Twestival" whose gimmick seems to be throwing simultaneous events announced on Twitter, and raising some money for charities. I'm told they've done this before in SF, and got a decent turnout. They approached us in July and I gave them a quote for a date in September. They couldn't decide which date they wanted, and we ended up changing the date we had on hold for them three different times -- including rescheduling another promoter's event so that we could give Twestival the date they preferred.
They wanted to meet in person and do a walk-through of the club, as first-time promoters usually do. Our first warning sign: they couldn't manage to actually show up when they said they would. They asked to stop by on a Wednesday at noon, then at 9AM on that day emailed us to say "we can't make it until Friday". We rescheduled for Friday. Then on Friday, they just didn't show up. No explanation. No phone call. And (eventually) barely an apology, by email, a week later.
Still, it sounded like it could be a profitable event, so we didn't give up on them yet.
We sent a contract, and asked for a deposit. Months went by. A few times they asked when they could stop by to drop off the deposit, but never actually did so. We emailed and called them at least a couple times a week and got no response at all. I even asked a friend who works at Twitter to try to contact them, since they seem to have some vague affiliation. Nothing.
Then today, I got this!
Date: Fri, 28 Aug 2009 09:24:39 +0000
From: TwestivalSF <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: TwestivalSF Venue Change
We are excited about a few new announcements that you may have not gotten sooner...please take note of the last most important announcement :-)
[...two paragraphs of random hype elided...]
Last but not least, we have a venue location change....
The new location will be at [some other venue].com full details will be announced on the blog over the weekend. As part of behind the scenes of Twestival, we wanted you to be the first to know and PLEASE tweet it out! We want to make sure that everyone is aware of this change!
Your TwestivalSF Team
Note that that's not even a message to DNA Lounge telling us that they no longer want the date we have on hold for them. That's a message to their announcements mailing list, to which they seem to have added us, encouraging us to tell everyone about the great new venue they've found.
Does that sound like an apology for wasting our time to you? No, it doesn't to me either.
So as a result of them having jerked us around for so long, now we have an empty night to fill on Fri Sep 11, just two weeks from now. This is way too short notice to arrange anything, especially with most of the city's reliable promoters heading to Burning Man next week, so chances are we'll be closed on that Friday.
So thanks to Twestival's rudeness and unprofessionalism, we're going to be closed on a Friday night. It's fair to say that they just cost us at least $5,000.
Don't do business with these people. Tell your friends. And hey, for extra irony, use Twitter to do it.