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.