Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Ninja party is canceled this year

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Ninja party is canceled this year

    I wanted to nip this in the bud so I don't spend all day on Friday explaining it to everyone.

    We've been forced by the Riviera to shut down the Ninja party this year, as their demands are simply too great to be met for what is supposed to be a non-corporate-sponsored private party. (This would have been the 10th anniversary too. Sniff.) All said and done, it sounds like they're looking for about $15,000, and in-context that number is so ludicrous that I don't even know where to begin.

    I'd like to fill you all in on how it went down last year, so you can get an idea of what we're dealing with.

    Last year, a few hours before the party, we were informed that it was being canceled by the hotel. We had an emergency meeting with myself, Charel from DEFCON, and Grifter, where we agreed to pay the hotel $2500 for -permission- to bring alcohol into the party. A corkage fee, if you will. This was paid as cash in a paper bag in a back hallway to some guy.

    Once the party started, another $1200 in cash found its way into the hands of "other" bartenders (that were not working the party) but showed up to "assist" the legit bartenders, mostly by supplying them with a couple (and I mean less than six total) small bottles of plastic-bottle, "well" tequila or rum. These bottles were obviously stolen from the hotel by the bartender(s) in question, and they demanded $1200 cash for them, which we had to pay.

    The kicker - at the end of the night, partygoers had donated (in the party donation jugs that we always have out) over $3,000 in cash. The hotel took it. All of it. Their justification was that it could be considered gratuity for the bartenders, however, it was obvious that this was not the case. They just took the cash.

    All in, the hotel fleeced us for $6700, which was literally money out of our pockets into theirs. We still had to pay for ALL of the alcohol, sound systems, and other related costs for the party (of which there are many.) That $6700 was literally just hotel overhead. For a party.

    This year, they want more than double what they got last year. Charel from DEFCON negotiated with the hotel on our behalf, and we offered $2500 again, which we think is a reasonable fee for corkage for a five hour party. The hotel declined. They apparently want to run a cash bar (like you find everywhere else at the hotel) or a prepaid bar at near cash-bar rates, which is outrageously expensive. Neither option would work. Besides that we always run a 100% open bar, a cash bar would just bring the whole thing to a grinding halt. You can't serve 750+ people from two slow-moving cash bars. These guys take 1-2 minutes to make a drink and sell it. That's 30 to 60 drinks an hour. Do the math.

    So that said, there will be no party Saturday night. Considering that over 750 people attended the party last year, and it went on for 7 hours, I think it's unfortunate that this year people will probably end up going their separate ways and not seeing each other all at the same time, which was always the best part about the event. Everybody being in one place at the same time.

    Not only that, we'd designed a lot of really kick ass industrial art this year, some awesome stuff built on a custom milling machine constructed from scratch by some of the Ninja crew, and now none of that stuff is going to see the light of day, which is very unfortunate. The art was to be displayed in the room during the day for all to see.

    I really think that the event had become a part of the DEFCON culture for a lot of people. I get approached by all sorts of people (feds, often) asking for badges even after the party is over just so they can hang them on their cubicle walls. Then there's the notorious story where the big group of FBI agents showed up two years ago and flashed their badges, and TW (who was carding for age verification) famously said "I see FBI, but I need to see D.O.B.". The feds said "Are you serious?", to which TW replied in the affirmative. They reluctantly showed their driver's licenses before going in. Ah, memories.

    If we were taking over a bar, I would understand the numbers they're coming back with. If this was a standalone, corporate event, I would understand the numbers. But this is a private party underneath an existing event (DEFCON) that is paying the hotel large sums of money already, and we're willing to pay corkage for our event. It's very unfortunate that in this context, we're being shut down.

    Anyway. To those of you who were planning on attending, we're sorry there won't be an event this year. Thanks for all the support in previous years. :)

    Oh, and we're contacting the MiniBosses and canceling their appearance, and letting them know they should book the Black and White ball now if someone from B&W wants to hook that up.

  • #2
    Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

    There's also the option of having a "bring your own alcohol party", I believe the 303 party got around the corkage fee by only having free beer or something?
    --- The fuck? Have you ever BEEN to Defcon?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

      Hmmm wow. And ugh. Followed by more UGH. Did I mention, Ugh? Seeking a venue for plan B?
      ======================================
      DJ Jackalope
      dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

      send in the drop bears!
      ======================================

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

        This really really really sucks. The Ninja Party is by far, my favorite part of DefCon. It's where I can dance to some of the most fun DJs at the con, surrounded by my favorite people. Last year, for some reason I couldn't really make it to DefCon.. but I showed up at 7p Saturday just for the Ninja party.. and left noon the next day.

        One of my favorite memories is going to Kinkos with Wilx to make water bottle labels for the party three years ago, and then seeing a trashcan filled completely with bottles with pac-bell drawn on them, which was rapidly emptied as people grabbed the much-needed hydration.

        I loved handing out glowsticks at the parties, and dancing with random people.. watching the Minibosses play.. seeing the SMS wall in action.. standing guard over last year's art piece dressed like a ninja and messing wth people who walked by.. teaching a mini karate-class in the hallway to drunk people...

        I was really excited about the party this year, cuz I had some ideas for it that I wanted to do. This sucks. Stupid hotel.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

          Originally posted by kallahar View Post
          There's also the option of having a "bring your own alcohol party", I believe the 303 party got around the corkage fee by only having free beer or something?
          Unfortunately the hotel is clamping down this year on such activities. All skybox parties had to have a contract with the hotel regarding alcohol. People can walk in with their own drinks, but with no bar, they're going to have to walk right back out to get another one.

          Sure there's plenty of things to do other than drink (I think I had perhaps one single drink all night last year), but people still want to nurse a drink while they're talking/playing/etc. If that's not available, it doesn't really work...

          We had all kinds of tech coming this year, lots of activities and things for people to play with. But underneath that, you've gotta run a bar. :)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

            Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
            Hmmm wow. And ugh. Followed by more UGH. Did I mention, Ugh? Seeking a venue for plan B?
            Plan B was taking over the bar at the Alexis Park and running 4 rapid, simultaneous shuttle buses from the Riviera all night, but things were looking pretty grim at the AP. They don't want to run late-night entertainment events, because it bothers the hotel guests. Understandable.

            Also the artwork we'd built this year was built to fit -exactly- to the specifications of the room at the Riviera (we even went to Vegas to scout it out and take measurements), so losing the cool art would have really blown.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

              Anger. Frustration. Unhappiness. Sadness.

              Are there any venues close to the Riv that are easily in walking distance that would be more reasonable?

              Though there is not enough electricity or any electricity at all, the Toxic BBQ might be an option. Sadly, such a thing wouldn't be 100% private, and it is also far from walking distance, making it difficult for goons to visit, and an open bar without flow control and validation could be problematic, and they require people leave by sunset, or some-such, but it is an alternative -- especially with enough generators.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                Originally posted by barkode View Post
                Plan B was taking over the bar at the Alexis Park and running 4 rapid, simultaneous shuttle buses from the Riviera all night, but things were looking pretty grim at the AP. They don't want to run late-night entertainment events, because it bothers the hotel guests. Understandable.
                Was the AP the only alternative location considered? Would hosting it at another hotel (besides transport logistics and last minute planning) cost just as much?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                  you would probably just need one $35 a night generator to run enough sound for a party with the powered Mackie speakers I am thinking about. (if i am remembering how the sound was rigged last year...i dont remember what the subwoofer situation was in the skybox- were those Mackies', too?)

                  If I remember right, Londo or Converge knew some of the park's regulations on amplified sound.

                  As for the alcohol.... I foresee lots of plastic cups to get around that one.
                  ======================================
                  DJ Jackalope
                  dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                  send in the drop bears!
                  ======================================

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                    Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                    Anger. Frustration. Unhappiness. Sadness.

                    Are there any venues close to the Riv that are easily in walking distance that would be more reasonable?

                    Though there is not enough electricity or any electricity at all, the Toxic BBQ might be an option. Sadly, such a thing wouldn't be 100% private, and an open bar without flow control and validation could be problematic, and they require people leave by sunset, or some-such, but it is an alternative -- especially with enough generators.
                    We spent a lot of time thinking about alternative venues. There's a lot of variables, the least of which isn't getting people to and from the location, and making it a simple process.

                    The big loss would have been on the technology and the access control stuff. This year we were doing something really cool for the badges that had an interactive element and some hackability. We were designing these art pieces in CAD and milling them in aluminum and building in these video walls and... well, it was all very cool. But it was all built to use at the Riviera (measured for ceiling height, distance between doors, etc). So if we can't use all that stuff, and had to throw the event anyway, it would be disappointing.

                    Anyway, we stopped work on those devices a couple weeks ago when things went sour, and there's hardly time to start it again now even if we wanted to.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                      Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post
                      you would probably just need one $35 a night generator to run enough sound for a party with the powered Mackie speakers I am thinking about. (if i am remembering how the sound was rigged last year...i dont remember what the subwoofer situation was in the skybox- were those Mackies', too?)

                      If I remember right, Londo or Converge knew some of the park's regulations on amplified sound.

                      As for the alcohol.... I foresee lots of plastic cups to get around that one.
                      They also had a band, video games, a pretty cool SMS board, and the artwork with displays that could be powered.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                        Originally posted by jedi View Post
                        Was the AP the only alternative location considered? Would hosting it at another hotel (besides transport logistics and last minute planning) cost just as much?

                        Jedi-
                        since most of Vegas is Unionized (please correct me if I am wrong) the Ninja love will run into that everywhere.

                        I am still really partial to here as a club spot. Its not close to the Riv which blows, but still feels like home when you walk in. And besides, they serve Assjuice and I played in a bikini there.

                        Ninjas: I think if you offered maybe even a 1/3rd of what you were going to offer the Riv, you'd get into somewhere with proper villians like ourselves at the healm. (But... i know how you guys operate, and I know I am preaching to the choir.)
                        ======================================
                        DJ Jackalope
                        dopest dj in the galaxy. *mwah!*

                        send in the drop bears!
                        ======================================

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                          jackalope- that place looks really cool. but getting any group to leave the hotel in a coordinated fashion, even just for dinner, is like herding cats.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                            Originally posted by pinguino View Post
                            ...getting any group to leave the hotel in a coordinated fashion, even just for dinner, is like herding cats....
                            Hyperactive cats, wish sever schizophrenia, and a bad meth habit!
                            If I had a nickle for every time someone offered me ten cents to keep my two cents to myself... I would be a rich man.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ninja party is canceled this year

                              Originally posted by DJ Jackalope View Post

                              Jedi-
                              since most of Vegas is Unionized (please correct me if I am wrong) the Ninja love will run into that everywhere.
                              Would appear so, in the case of the bartenders:

                              http://www.herelocal165.org/Index.htm

                              There doesn't appear any way to report abuses to the union on their site, which from the description of last years event and this year's price jump is exactly how I would describe the situation.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X