When are club owners in this city going to get the message that their patrons are more than just walking cash opportunities? I offer my New Year's at Revival as a case in point. For reasons I still haven't been able to fathom, I found myself at 10:15 pm standing outside the College Street club with a crowd of others, being treated by bouncers like an unreasonable hooligan. The fact that I actually planned in advance and bought a ticket was entirely, it seems, beside the point. Why did I bother?
We arrive to find a lineup of at least 100 people and immediately assume this can't be for people with tickets. How wrong we are. Approaching the front door, we ask the doorman what's up and are told there's a problem with the coat check and that the line is backed up. If only.As the time ticks toward midnight, our frustration grows. We ask for a refund so we can go somewhere else and are told to send our complaints to a Web address. If we'd shown up at 8 pm when the doors opened, the doorman opines, we wouldn't be waiting now. I check the tickets -- no mention that access will be restricted after a certain time.
Then the bribes start. The doormen are accepting money from people to bypass the lineup we have all paid $30 to $40 each for the "privilege" of waiting in. Even those without tickets are buying their way in.
We wait for more than an hour before finally being allowed in after 11:30. Inside, we have to fight our way through what feels suspiciously like a a vastly oversold venue; there is barely standing room. Isn't there a fire code in this city?
Minutes after our first drink, the new year arrives. Others complain there aren't enough glasses to go around for the complimentary champagne.
Eager to unload some of my bad feelings, I get up the next day and e-mail the address given me by the bouncer. Mark Holmes, the promoter, replies: "We are very disturbed to hear of your ordeal on New Year's Eve. As promoters we have certain responsibilities to our patrons. The door staff is strictly the responsibility of Revival. The Mod Club provides the entertainment. Having said this... , you are more than welcome to receive your money back. You came to The Mod Club for that special night and regardless of our lack of power over Revival's operations, we will assume the responsibility. We are truly sorry."
The management of Revival tries at first to blame the promoter for the fact the club was oversold. Owner Domenic Tedesco then says he's received "lots of e-mails from irate patrons.' And that two doorman who were taking money from clubgoers have since been sacked. Tedesco's explanation may come off as a little curious to those who have noticed a sign posted in the window informing patrons that the club's liquor licence has been suspended until January 23 for -- among other things -- overcrowding.