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Monday, April 20, 2009

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al

I couldn't agree more about the VIP lounge.

There is an interesting conversation about KK going on at thedigitel.com/kk4.

e

I kept wondering why I wasn't seeing the regular crowd of artists and media people I have worked with. I guess it was because they were in VIP and I wasn't cool enough. Why hide in the corner of this awesome gathering?

Dan

For what it's worth, e, I didn't see the artists I know from previous KKs either, and they weren't hanging around the VIP lounge on my beer runs, either.

I have to qualify this statement, because I don't know everybody, and I certainly can't state this with any certainty, and maybe it's a function of this rumored glitch that allowed riff-raff like me into the VIP area, BUT: The people in the VIP lounge sure didn't strike me as being all that important.

I understand that if you've got some celebrity who needs a little privacy in order to attend your event, offering a VIP area might be a logistical requirement. But if I don''t have a clue who the people lounging around are, there's a decent likelihood that other people wouldn't know, either. Hence my belief that the security of celebrities had nothing to do with the designation.

Ambergre

Here are some thoughts.
Scott, Gustavo and I (Ambergre) are the coordinators of KK. The lounge was my idea. Scott hated the idea, but thought I did a great job. We have never had so many sponsors, we have never had a PRESENTING sponsor and wanted to say thank you. When we first looked at the space, the little rooms in corner seemed like a cool little chill spot that had real bathrooms. We obviously could not overload 2 little bathrooms by letting thousands of people use them. Hm. What to do? Well, let's make a little lounge so that our sponsors have their own bar and bathroom since they gave us security and support that helped us put this together. They deserve to be rewarded. And holy smokes, it seems really convenient that Celadon has a warehouse down the street and we could give them some good marketing by having them design a beautiful space. They are local and their furniture is gorgeous and it wouldn't cost them anything to do it.. And gosh, wouldn't it be nice if the employees could make a quick trip to the loo instead of waiting in line for the potty? And wow, wouldn't it be nice if the artists that had been here night and day for 2 weeks (like Carl Janes) to have a cushy seat and a glass of bubbly so they can enjoy and feel our gratitude for their hard work?
I don't think we should need to justify our decisions. We just wanted to say thank you to some people and if everyone else takes it personally, there is really nothing I can say... I'm glad you got to experience it as a result of the door glitch. Our (my) intentions for the "VIP" (which perhaps should have been named the Sponsor Lounge) were all positive and gratitude driven. To here complaints just hurts my heart. I don't understand what the big deal is.
It's not about anyone feeling like a "celebrity", it's about saying thank you.

Dan

Thank you for commenting, Ambergre, and I hope you'll accept my apology for hurting you in any way.

If it helps to clarify, the particular thing I objected to was the notion of arbitrary distinctions. In the same way that I don't object to a VIP room if it's a logistical requirement for people who attract absurd amounts of attention and need extra privacy, I don't object to a room that's set aside for staff and volunteers and sponsors. I don't think most people would have ANY objection to a "Thank-You" room for sponsors and staff and volunteers.

I'm completely satisfied with your explanation and I hope the others who felt like I did Saturday night agree.

Thank you for the work you did to put on this spring's KK.

A.C.

I completely agree with Ambergre. Dan, your whining about a V.I.P. room at Kulture Klash is childish. You sound like the kid who didn't get invited to the cool kid's birthday party.

Having a separate room for sponsors, staff, artists and those who invested time and money into KK is completely legitimate and well deserved.

If you can't enjoy the art, atmosphere, and all that is Kulture Klash because there is a V.I.P. room present, you have quite a bit of douchebaggery in yourself.

Dan

Due to an upcoming move, this was my last Kulture Klash, and I have to say that I won't miss it. It's become the victim of it's own success, now big enough to attract cooperate sponsors (betcha didn't know how big Mellow Mushroom really is: http://www.mellowmushroom.com/store/store_list.php ) and require security staff lager than the President's. I did like the new space, but being frisked by angry looking security guards, paying $5 for a pint of beer while seeing my local bartenter working in the VIP lounge and having the food offerings narrowed down to only that offered by the flagship sponsor killed it for me. Goodbye Kulture Klash, it was fun while it lasted and I'll always have the memories, but it's time for us to go our separate ways.

Dan who's moving

I should note, that I'm not the "Dan" who posted the earlier back and forth with Ambergre. I am now "Dan who's moving"

Ambergre

I totally understand. We had never planned on this being a huge success. We just wanted to throw a kick ass party that wasn't the typical event in town. Something that involved our friends, art, music and a collaborative community. We NEVER thought we would have such an overwhelming response and we have never claimed to be doing anything that hasn't been done before. So we are just riding the wave, doing the best we can and trying to please our party-goers. Learning along the way, what works, what doesn't.. and I appreciate constructive criticism. All 3 of us encourage our staff and attendees to give suggestions on how things could work better next time. We WANT to make everyone happy, but that is completely impossible. So we have to be true to ourselves and our decisions. Having big sponsors is something that we never planned on, but is just how thing have unfolded. I am not going to apologize for our success.. we are happy, we think we throw a damn good party and we will continue to improve on what we can with what resources we acquire. If you want to join us, we would love to have you. If not, that is ok too.

Dan

A.C.: Um... did you actually read the post and the thread? Or are you just lovin' the drama?

xarkGirl

Wow. Thanks. A.C. for bringing down the level of what was civil discourse. Ambergre's willingness to engage in a conversation is admirable and classy.

You, on the other hand, are proof of the point that some people DO think they are superior to others and are entitled to insult people personally and rudely simply because of differing opinions.

How nice. If you are the ilk in a VIP lounge, I'll stand in line at the Port-O-Potty.

Dan who's moving

You may not have planned on having a presenting sponsor, but you did CHOOSE to have one, and you chose a fairly large corporation. What support did they give that was so wonderful? I mean, I don't know how much port-a-potties cost but I'm sure a local business or even a few local businesses could have provided the needed support without (I'm making an assumption here) demanding a monopoly on food sales. Furthermore, why did we need security? Were people packing heat at the last show, or did Mellow Mushroom’s lawyers attach a few stings to their “support”. Having a bunch of scary looking dudes walking around with quasi official security polo shirts really killed the “who knows what could happen next?” vibe present at your previous events. Next time I’d suggest hiring two (or maybe four) North Charleston cops to hang out by the front just out side the fence; they’re there if needed, but they’re not interfering with anything – and you get free flashing lights and a DUI deterrent. My last issue is with the alcohol prices. I’m sure you didn’t make any money on the previous $10 all you can drink deals, but $4 for a pint of crappy beer is steep; perhaps try to bring that down to $2 or $3 next time. I didn’t drink a whole lot of wine, but I heard it was pretty awful wine, so maybe try to bring that price down a little bit as well. Maybe even take it in another direction – BYOB. Anyway, all just thoughts, take from it what you will and good luck with your future events.

One more small thing….. glow sticks in the port-a-potties. It’s hard to see in those things.

stin who's not moving

Dan who's moving:

Do you think that events grow on trees?

Got make that money dog, or else what event would you have to complain about.

Dan

For the record, we're helping to put on a conference in Myrtle Beach this weekend. It's called CREATE South, it's a really nice day, and we raise the money to cover everyone's costs without having to compromise the spirit of the thing. You can go register for free. We've got program tracks on media and community and art and writing, plus keynote speakers. We'll even feed you. None of that will cost you a penny, and none of the sponsors require anything beyond logo recognition on the site and on the products you can buy.

So no, "stin who's not moving," events don't grow on trees. But don't assume there's only one way to approach event organizing.

ConvergeSouth was a successful free conference for four years and it relied on big corporate sponsors, "Dan who's moving," so being big isn't so much of an issue so long as the missions are aligned. ConvergeSouth's organizers brought in innovators and leaders of the digital cultural revolution, booked musical acts who refused to compromise their integrity for big record deals, threw great parties and even a film festival. No VIP lounge at ConvergeSouth -- although they did whatever they could to make things nice for presenters, etc. And everybody understood why and that was cool.

There's a comment over at TheDigitel from a guy who may or may not be real, and if he is, he utterly, completely doesn't get it. Which is fine by me. If he wants a world where he's a VIP and he can convince people to treat him that way, he can have it. Like I said in the post: Do whatever you want.

It's just I don't want to be part of that culture, and I don't have be. The culture that interests me is growing every day.

Dan who's moving

Dan brings up good points, it is possible to have a good event with corporate sponsors, you just have to be true to yourself and your event. And that's my beef with KK4. It seemed to be more about making money than about throwing a "kick ass party".

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