night Life / A well-connected nightlife veteran sparked a significant outburst on Facebook last week when he posted, and I quote, “If your party or event features massive piles of wack bullshit, please don’t invite me. It’s annoying. Thank you.” (By the way, I wonder how many of you were able to get through Facebook’s privacy loopholes to see what was going on–did you know that if someone sends you a friend request and you leave it unanswered, you show up in their feed?!). This sparked a lengthy conversation about the state of parties in Honolulu. Those who chimed in saw through all the bells and whistles promoters throw into their events to make them pop–fashion shows, drink specials, celebrity guests, theme parties and (dare I say it) naked sushi–and they were over it.
There was a lot of complaining but not many suggestions for improvement until DJ Matt Kee stated the obvious: “Too many people following and not enough leading.” It’s true. It’s easy to call out the things that are wack, but sometimes repeating what everyone else is saying only causes more frustration. FIX IT already. People work hard. When the weekend comes they want to party. Tell them where to go. Tell them what to drink. Tell them who will be there and, hey, go ahead and make life easier by telling them what to wear.
There are a lot more people wanting to be led than there are leaders. So those who lead need to stay on top of it. The party has to be good. It has to stay fresh, it has to stay relevant. It has to have some familiarity or it’s too much of a risk. The music has to be imaginative without being blown and even then some people won’t be into it. If there’s talent flown in, that talent has to appeal to enough people to fill up a spot. The cover charge has to make sense, the door person has to be cool, the venue has to be trustworthy and the sponsors have to be happy. Most importantly, there needs to be parking.
Try piecing all of that together and making it something people want to go to. Now tell them all about it without abusing Facebook or posting the same link on a hundred different walls. Try to please everyone who actually shows up. Make the spot seem crowded so the first few trickling in don’t walk right out. Keep them in there, get them drinking, get them smiling, get them dancing.
Of course, if you have a room full of beautiful, friendly women, you can probably skip all of those things.
I’m just saying it’s not easy. Years of watching how people do it, and even doing it myself a few times, has taught me that there is never a time for the host to sit back, relax and let the party run itself. The bells and whistles are like party favors for the crowd anyway: fun distractions to keep everyone occupied while they drink, smile and dance. These bells and whistles are what some people like to call a party. They aren’t always original and they aren’t for everyone.
I’ve said many times that it’s silly to pick apart subcultures. It’s cool when they can blend together, but for the most part they do not. And that’s fine. There is something for everyone and that’s a good thing.