Thursday, January 3, 2008

Busted: Drunk and Horny New Year's Eve

By now many of you have probably heard that the Drunk and Horny New Year's Eve party was busted. I was standing on the main dance floor with a cocktail in my hand around 10.20, just a few minutes after the doors opened and the first attendees began to come in, when I saw four cops enter with their flashlights on. At first we thought that this might be the usual kind of walk-through, but then the music went off and the lights came up, and at 10.30 they were telling us to leave because the party was over. Jeff and Gary had all the folks who were there over to their apartment in the Haight for what turned out to be a gloriously fun New Year's party in spite of everything, but the boys got very thoroughly shafted out of some significant bucks because of this.

Later conversations brought several interesting things to light. For one, the owners of The Gingerbread House (also known as Danzhaus) seriously misrepresented what permits they held; according to them, money could be taken at the door and alcohol served. As it turns out, the first things the cops said when they came through the door was that they didn't have permits for either of these things. It also turned out that they had busted several other parties in that space recently, another fact that was not brought out to Jeff and Gary. And, worst of all, neither of the owners was on the premises for the event, so there was no one to run interference when the cops showed up. All in all, pretty poor form, and rather than refunding the rental fee to Jeff and Gary, they instead insisted that it was Jeff and Gary's fault that the party got shut down and only gave them a partial refund. Granted, I would not have publicized the address of the party myself, but it's pretty clear that the cops have their eyes on this place, and unless the owners get their act together and obtain the proper permits, The Gingerbread House is a very compromised space. I can't imagine that things will get any better when the condos being built behind it become occupied. If you are a promoter considering using this space, I would strongly recommend against it unless you can get hard guarantees from the owners about what they will do to keep you from getting shut down, and what they will do if that contingency comes up.

There are a couple lessons here for independent promoters; for one thing, when you rent out a space, make sure you understand what you can legally get away with and make sure you take steps to fall within those requirements. But, also make sure that the owners of the space will be there to run interference with the police should they show up. Also, don't publicize your location on any flyers, emails, or websites, but instead put it on a phone line or using a map point system to get people there; this may add a little hassle, but anything that makes it a little bit harder for the cops to find you helps. These things may wind up saving your some grief, and money, in the end.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I drove by around 11. I'm really sorry G & J got f*@#ed, they are too nice to have ish like that happen. I have seen this space since 2001, and since 2003 it has been garbage for anything resembling a good party, I guess that is why I was interested. I hope their turnaround on those funds is quick, I'll be sure to head out to D'N'H soon. I feel bad now that I might be persuaded to go to hot mess on Saturday. The Tantra party seemed pretty bs to me, but I'm probably more jaded than you Mr. DJ. Just not my scene anymore I guess.