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Author: Subject: Good Venues Gone Bad. Trouble at the 9:30 Club.

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 09:29 PM
My latest bad experience. WTF is going on. This happens everywhere, happened at Red Rocks. Those of you who have been to a show with me, know that I'm no trouble-maker, but the one trying to keep the peace. Below is my letter to the 9:30 Club.

*********
Iím no rookie. I see 40+ concerts a year. I love the energy of a sold-out GA show. I know the etiquette and go out of my way to be kind, considerate, and even helpful to the less experienced.

Friday night, for the Moby show, my boyfriend and I were there at door opening. We got a beer and went to find a spot. Normally we stand at the balcony rail. It was filling and we knew it would be a busy area considering the show was sold out. We moved to the small space just behind the rope to the VIP area. We left the appropriate space behind the rope, we know how this works.

During the opening act, I left to use the restroom. When I returned there was a man directly in my space and against the rope. I looked at my boyfriend and he explained that they knew I was returning and would adjust when I got back. They didnít. They completely ignored me. When between sets I kindly ask the man to move before Moby came on, he refused. You know where this story ends. An ugly exchange ensued and the people just refused to budge.

Yes, I know itís GA. Yes, I know I left my spot. Yes, I know that itís not the clubís responsibility to babysit. We actually called over the woman-security-person sitting right inside the VIP area who had seen us standing there for an hour. She was indifferent and said they were there now, and there was nothing she could do.

This was the third time in as many shows that we have been hassled by rude people. Iíve been pushed, my friend has been hit, weíve been drenched in beer. I was so incredibly frustrated, that I gave up the battle and literally walked out of the club, in tears, planning on just going home. My boyfriend, a little more resilient than me, continued to try to plead our case and called to ask me to come back assuring me that everything would be worked out. I did. It wasnít.

When I got back, there was another security person intervening. He asked us to come with him so we could get everything resolved. I didnít get his name. He was youngish, with a lot of puffy dark hair. He told us he understood what happened. He told us to wait in the entry area because he was going to get us into the VIP area so we could enjoy the show. I was skeptical.

Now people are pouring into the club knowing Moby will be coming on soon. 10 minutes pass, 15 minutes pass, precious time that we could have been spending finding another decent place to watch the show from. He finally returned with a more sr. security guy. I believe he is the asst. manager of security - clean-cut, long goatee. He said we were more than welcome to stay, but the other security guy was out-of-line to promise VIP admission and there was nothing he could do. Again, we explained what happened. He was very professional and respectful. We got the GA, sold out show explanation and he also suggested that we should have called security at the onset. We explained we did.

We talked with him for a few more minutes expressing our disappointment by our experiences at every show this year. He was sympathetic. I asked who that manager was so that I could simply voice my overall concerns and I let him know that I understood he was just doing his job. He brought Josh over.

We had the identical discussion. At this point there was no goal of getting into the VIP area or any other special consideration for the Moby show; I still wasnít sure if weíd even stay. Josh told me he was head of security, but not the club manager and he told me how I could contact the manager. Iím confident all three of these security guys would confirm that these discussions were completely pleasant and respectful.

I love the place. Itís my favorite venue. And until 2009 Iíve never had anything but a fantastic experience. We buy tickets, we buy parking, and we buy food and beer. That adds up to a lot of money. We are also actively involved the nation-wide music community. For years we have been singing the praises of the 9:30 Club to this huge market. For years we brought many, many out-of-towners to the club. For years we have defended club to those who complain about lack of crowd control, the neighborhood, and the general dingy and unwelcoming atmosphere. We donít support Verizon or Nissan for these very reasons.

Maybe our time has just run out and the numbers are against us. Maybe itís just the general lack of respect and sense of entitlement that seems to be prevalent in all areas of society. As far as the clubís responsibility for our unpleasant experiences, Iím not even sure if you have any. In general, the security staff seems present and competent. I will tell you the woman inside VIP had her feet up, took no interest in who was coming or going, and didnít seem to care.

Times are tough and I assume that you would be concerned about sales and retaining clientele. Yes, Moby was sold out. But weíre the ones who faithfully show up for mid-week shows and support acts that many have not heard of. I do know that we will be thinking very hard about coming back. There are four shows we were planning on seeing this fall/winter at 9:30, but we also know we can catch the shows elsewhere. We are in our 40ís and are lucky to have some expendable income which usually goes toward music. If we decide to drive to Philly or NY to see our favorites and then just skip the others, we all loose; less music for us, less money for you, less support for new artists.

I hope that my past devotion and financial support warrants at least a response. It would be really unfortunate to me personally, to the neighborhood, and to the music community at large if you are turning into just another venue only concerned about packing them in and making a buck. I want to return, and I hope you can give me a reason to do so.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 09:42 PM
Unfortunately we live in a society where everyone is told that they are right, the best, entitled, etc. The generation that is following us is even worse - this will not get better.

A few years ago I took my wife to NOKIA to see Rod Stewart. We were in GA. A woman about 6 inches taller than my wife was clapping her hands non-stop right at eardrum height for her. My wife asked her to stop several times; then her husband stepped in to intercede. I wanted to be of help, but the lady looked like Fred Flinstone in drag. I don't think I could have take her out, none-the-less her husband who was about 6 foot 3, 250 lbs.

It is amazing (but not unexpected) that this happened with your companion holding your spot. It is just how life is in the 21 st century.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 09:47 PM
Too bad I wasn't there. I would have convinced the squatter to get the eff out of your spot. Bad manners is what that was.

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 10:12 PM
quote:
Too bad I wasn't there. I would have convinced the squatter to get the eff out of your spot. Bad manners is what that was.


I know you've got my back Dave. And I know what you're saying.

Me and the BF are not small people and could have "convinced" them to move. but where does that get us? Kicked out....and marked for future shows. Not that I really matters at this point if we decide not to return. I'm just so angry about this. Does money talk? I doubt it. Someone else will be there to spend it.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 10:22 PM
sad story Rhonda...

Lee Ann and I had an observation about the attitudes of people these days, that is (at least in someways, i think) related to this..

We walk 3 miles each day on a track at a local high school. The track cirlces the school and surrounding athletice practice fields.It is football and cheerleading season here and that means that come 5pm, the kids and parents start pouring in..the kids range in age from 5-13 and the parents are all ages..

The school has a big problem with parents drving thier cars right on the walking track, to park, right alongside the fields so the "kiddies" and mommy and/or daddy don't have to walk the 200 or so yards to drop the kids off and watch practice.

So, the school started posting BIG signs , telling people not to park thier cars there or drive on the track...

we still observe a lot of people ignoring the signs..saw one guy ( easily in his 40's) with three teenage girls (mid teens) in the car swing around us on the track to pull over on the grass, get around us and pull up to watch somebody do cheers..I just stared at him as we wnt by, even turning my head to KEEP staring with a WTF ? look on my face...

I really wanted to say something but since it is not my high school, i kept my mouth shut..

Our mutual thought was about people that your letter described..and how those girls were getting a great parental example that the rules are for other people..THEY were exempt..

it is learned behavior...encouraged by selfish people..

sorry you have had such bad luck...

 

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  posted on 9/20/2009 at 11:10 PM
Had a frat boy in front of us Saturday at the Kentucky football game who was more concerned with annoying the people behind him than supporting UK.

As I find myself often saying, I like individuals but people in general suck.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 01:00 AM
Been there done that... I agree with your thoughts and feel your anger, pain and disappointment. I have even been to the 9:30 Club twice, and know they need the support of fans like you. I found their security people are more concerned about hunting down smokers and picture takers that having their visitors treated properly.

More and more, I am avoiding GA venues due to the behavior you describe. I don't want to have to "defend my turf" if I have to pee.

Venues like GA since they can pack more people into the same space. I don't like being a sardine.

Voting with your feet is the only thing you can do. I also agree with Lefty that there are a lot of selfish, disrespectful people walking around with the sense of entitlement that lets them disregard the feelings of others. Most of them learn this lack of respect at home.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 04:36 AM
I heard a story about the 9:30 club from some tapers who ran into problems at the balcony rail. I think it led to tapers in general being banned from the venue. I can't remember the whole story but somehow a woman got covered in beer. Was that you? Anyway, the tapers are not happy with the way the club is being run either.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 05:13 AM
Well this just stinks Rhonda!! I don't usually have too many problems at the venues but I know plenty who do and it's a shame. When you left to hit the bathroom, perhaps your BF should have held a w i d e stance and made sure to tell people you were coming right back. Maybe he did try this but those people were an exception unforunately. I always make talk with people (who are willing) around me and even mention about holding space for eachother when one needs to go to the restroom. It seems to work out good this way and I've even shared beer runs with folks. From what I have heard that 9:30 club can be filled with very tough people due to the area? Is that right? If that's the case then it wouldn't surprise me that people were out for themselves with no care in the world about anyone else. It's such a shame to have your entire show ruined over this.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 05:31 AM
Those who know me will know what this means....

Even when the dTb are at the 9:30 Club, I don't go....

 
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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 08:32 AM
Rhonda,

Sorry about your bad experience at the 9:30 Club, but I'm not at all surprised. I've never been a fan of that place, even though they get a lot of good acts in there. My preference in venues to see acts in the DC area leans more towards the State Theater, Birchmere and Barns of Wolf Trap. The 9:30 Club COULD BE be run much better, but unfortunately at this point, there is no "competion" in the DC area for the type of venue that 9:30 Club is and the acts that they book. Hopefully, when the Filllmore opens in Silver Springs that THEY will start getting many of the acts that 9:30 Clubs gets, and will provide a much more pleasant concert enviroment for the fans, than the 9:30 Club currently provides.

Btw, if I was you I would DEFINELY be sending your letter not only to the 9:30 Club management, but also to Seth Hurwitz at I.M.P. Productions (his company is one that books acts into the 9:30 Club and also at Merriweather), stating what you've already stated in this thread.


[Edited on 9/21/2009 by sibwlkr]

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 09:32 AM
Unfortunately, I don't think owners/management of this type venue are too concerned about the customer's overall experience. It is all about headcount and alcohol sales, etc. to them.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 10:02 AM
I have to disagree here. Im not a fan of the 'save my spot' policy. If I'm on a crowded GA floor, and the person in front of me leaves for a beer or whatever, Im moving up. Im a pretty tall dude, so I usually don't have a problem letting someone else slip in front of me unless they're sasquatch-like, but I also don't think I have to. If you want a reserved spot, buy a seat. That's the basic premise of Reserved Seating vs. General Admission.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 10:23 AM
quote:
Rhonda,

Sorry about your bad experience at the 9:30 Club, but I'm not at all surprised. I've never been a fan of that place, even though they get a lot of good acts in there. My preference in venues to see acts in the DC area leans more towards the State Theater, Birchmere and Barns of Wolf Trap. The 9:30 Club COULD BE be run much better, but unfortunately at this point, there is no "competion" in the DC area for the type of venue that 9:30 Club is and the acts that they book. Hopefully, when the Filllmore opens in Silver Springs that THEY will start getting many of the acts that 9:30 Clubs gets, and will provide a much more pleasant concert enviroment for the fans, than the 9:30 Club currently provides.

Btw, if I was you I would DEFINELY be sending a letter not only to the 9:30 Club management, but also to Seth Hurwitz at I.M.P. Productions (his company is one that books acts into the 9:30 Club and also at Merriweather), stating what you've already stated in this thread.


[Edited on 9/21/2009 by sibwlkr]


DAR is a cool place as well.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 10:33 AM
quote:
I have to disagree here. Im not a fan of the 'save my spot' policy. If I'm on a crowded GA floor, and the person in front of me leaves for a beer or whatever, Im moving up. Im a pretty tall dude, so I usually don't have a problem letting someone else slip in front of me unless they're sasquatch-like, but I also don't think I have to. If you want a reserved spot, buy a seat. That's the basic premise of Reserved Seating vs. General Admission.
Rubba, you wouldn't make an exception for a woman who was with her date?

 

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Ultimate Peach



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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 10:37 AM
Rhonda,

Here's a contact number for I.M.P.

quote:
Contact:
Audrey Fix Schaefer
for I.M.P.
240-876-1588


 

True Peach



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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 10:41 AM
quote:
I have to disagree here. Im not a fan of the 'save my spot' policy. If I'm on a crowded GA floor, and the person in front of me leaves for a beer or whatever, Im moving up. Im a pretty tall dude, so I usually don't have a problem letting someone else slip in front of me unless they're sasquatch-like, but I also don't think I have to. If you want a reserved spot, buy a seat. That's the basic premise of Reserved Seating vs. General Admission.


I'm sorry, but I find that attitude just plain rude.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:05 PM
quote:
I have to disagree here. Im not a fan of the 'save my spot' policy. If I'm on a crowded GA floor, and the person in front of me leaves for a beer or whatever, Im moving up. Im a pretty tall dude, so I usually don't have a problem letting someone else slip in front of me unless they're sasquatch-like, but I also don't think I have to. If you want a reserved spot, buy a seat. That's the basic premise of Reserved Seating vs. General Admission.


Nice of you to so openly admit that you donít give a chit about anyone but yourself. Let me try and explain to you how it is supposed to work. If there is a person in front of you, that means that person was there before you. GA is based on a first come, first served basis. Common courtesy dictates that you respect that, and allow a person to grab a beer, hit the head, or whatever without poaching their spot, and assuming they return in a reasonable amount of time, you allow them to return without that person having to get into a hassle with you. Itís called manners, which I know is an outdated concept to many people like yourself. Your boorish attitude is why I pick and choose what shows I attend very selectively these days, and why I always try to have a group of four of more so we can stand wide while one of our group is gone. Your post is a sad, but true testimonial of the ďme firstĒ attitude that has encompassed our society today, which Lefty accurately pointed out in his post.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:28 PM
quote:
Um... Throwing myself to the wolves here but I'm with Rubba. GA means that you don't have a spot. You might think that you're entitled to that spot on the rail, but you're simply not. Isn't it equally selfish (or at least presumptuous) to maintain that a certain position or standing space at a concert belongs to you and no one else?

However, I do believe it's just common courtesy to let someone return to their spot if they're going to grab a beer or hit the head. Still, if I was posted up on the rail and I left my spot, I'd do so knowing full well that it probably wouldn't be there when I got back. That's the reality of GA - I just don't think there's anything depraved about it.

[Edited on 9/21/2009 by mglowenstein]


Your post contradicts itself. While you state that you believe in common courtesy, youíre more than willing to snag that rail the minute the person that got there before you steps away. If a person attends a show by themselves, with no one else to help save their spot, they are typically SOL when it comes to keeping a rail or stool. Sure, thatís pretty much the way it is, but not always. However, in this instance, Rhondaís bf told the person that there was someone already in that spot, and they just didnít care. It wasnít that long ago that a simple knowing nod would appeal to peoples sense of fair play and common decency, and they would move back, knowing it was the right thing to do..

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:29 PM
quote:
Your post is a sad, but true testimonial of the ďme firstĒ attitude that has encompassed our society today


amen...Rubba, I have to respectfully disagree with you..they were there...first come first serve means just that

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:29 PM
quote:
quote:
I have to disagree here. Im not a fan of the 'save my spot' policy. If I'm on a crowded GA floor, and the person in front of me leaves for a beer or whatever, Im moving up. Im a pretty tall dude, so I usually don't have a problem letting someone else slip in front of me unless they're sasquatch-like, but I also don't think I have to. If you want a reserved spot, buy a seat. That's the basic premise of Reserved Seating vs. General Admission.
Rubba, you wouldn't make an exception for a woman who was with her date?


Of course I would, but I don't have to. I would do that 'cause I have manners and common courtesy. However, I don't think that those who seize opportunities in a GA venue - i.e. a vacated spot in front of them - are in the wrong. GA is a breeding ground for 'me first' thinking. If no one thought like that, everyone would be standing in the back....


 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:42 PM
quote:
Um... Throwing myself to the wolves here but I'm with Rubba. GA means that you don't have a spot. You might think that you're entitled to that spot on the rail, but you're simply not. Isn't it equally selfish (or at least presumptuous) to maintain that a certain position or standing space at a concert belongs to you and no one else?

However, I do believe it's just common courtesy to let someone return to their spot if they're going to grab a beer or hit the head. Still, if I was posted up on the rail and I left my spot, I'd do so knowing full well that it probably wouldn't be there when I got back. That's the reality of GA - I just don't think there's anything depraved about it.

[Edited on 9/21/2009 by mglowenstein]


At the DTB show iin Damrosch (Lincoln Center), which was GA, I was there early enough to snag a front row seat. Latecomers were cleared by security from the space between the front row and the rail, but the producer of the concert series overrode security and waved to people from the back to come up front. It was just like a GA madhouse, full of rude, and drunk kids. One seventy year old out of town visitor had beer spilled over her, it was really sad. The producer said the band wanted a "party atmosphere".

Is this acceptable behavior on the part of the show management?

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:43 PM
quote:
Of course I would, but I don't have to. I would do that 'cause I have manners and common courtesy. However, I don't think that those who seize opportunities in a GA venue - i.e. a vacated spot in front of them - are in the wrong. GA is a breeding ground for 'me first' thinking. If no one thought like that, everyone would be standing in the back....



Rubba/mglowenstein,

I remember a time when just about all rock concerts were GA, and people would bring blankets, and reserve spots on the floor, and pretty much party with all those who were around them. And everybody respected people's spaces and no-one tried to take a person's place, if that person went to get a beer and/or made a "head call". One more example of how times have changed.

 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:44 PM
Its the bad manners of everyone and we were all brought up with self confidence and entitlement. Add to that alcohol and testasterone and there you have it!!!! Its not the air in Georgia, its everywhere today.
 

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  posted on 9/21/2009 at 12:48 PM
quote:
I remember a time when just about all rock concerts were GA, and people would bring blankets, and reserve spots on the floor, and pretty much party with all those who were around them. And everybody respected people's spaces and no-one tried to take a person's place, if that person went to get a beer and/or made a "head call". One more example of how times have changed.


This is how I remember most of my early concert experiences. Living in Ca. . all up and down the Coast this way the way it was. Winterland, Avalon Ballroom, The Cow Palace...and the Hollywood Palladium...roll out your blanket, then you rolled up your stash...you partied, the lights would go down and everyone would stand and move forward...ahh, those were the days.

 

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