Here’s a good way to piss off the hipster cognoscenti: Host a party for the release of Yeah Yeah Yeah Nick Zinner’s photography book; invite several hundred of his closest friends to Plaid to see hush-hush sets from Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes and Ambulance, and then don’t let them in unless they pay $20—even though they’d been told it was a free event. Watch as the entire promotion staff (six altogether) and the DJs—including Leo Fitzpatrick (of Kids fame) and Jesse Pearson (editor of Vice magazine)—walk out and take their party to Beauty Bar.
Complicating the Friday night fiasco was the abrupt absence of Steven Lewis, the club impresario who recently got out of prison for conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy at the Tunnel and Limelight. Lewis quit his consulting position when Plaid owner David Marvisi refused to honor the guest list. “He cut comps down to 150 people from a 3,000 person list—all of them turned away,” says Lewis. “It was really embarrassing. He didn’t understand what was going on or what it was. Lines were down the block. It was a slap in my face.”
Continues Lewis: “I severed my relationship with them, I am not there to give my advice, I don’t want my name associated with them. I can’t trust them. I am embarrassed and the club sucks.”
The main Friday night promoter, Glynnis McDaris, says Lewis had the ear of owner David Marvisi and was encouraging artistically interesting parties. “Steven Lewis is an upstanding guy and I don’t hold fault with him,” says McDaris. “Everything went to hell the minute David Marvisi entered the picture.”
A club spokesperson denies that there was a walkout and says that McDaris was fired and is just making a mountain out of a molehill. “It’s not really a big deal,” said the spokesperson. “One promoter got fired, that’s what happened here. One promoter that wasn’t doing a good job.” Lewis says otherwise: “She [Glynnis] quit and pulled everyone out. . . . I think she did the right thing.”
McDaris denies that she was fired, and one wonders how bad of a job she was really doing, since there was a “line around the block,” according to all involved, including the book’s graphic designer, Stacy Wakefield, McDaris, and Vice‘s Pearson.
“If there’s a line around the block with people who don’t want to pay to get in, that’s not good promotion,” the club’s spokesperson shot back. “It’s not a crowd that wants to pay money.”
“We didn’t have a bottle crowd,” allows McDaris, a photographer, who moonlights as a promoter at Plaid and Park. “But that’s not what we presented to them. As long as Steven Lewis was there, he wanted the people we brought in. McDaris adds that as soon as Lewis left, Marvisi “saw there was an opportunity to make more money and that was the way to go.”
The club also denies that there was an unlimited guest list for this past Friday night, even though McDaris contends that for the past five months, she has been given 650 comps on a weekly basis to hand out to the clubbers. “It is absolutely normal for a big event like for Vice magazine to comp 1,000 people, concurs Lewis.
Zinner, for whom the party was being held, left for tour after Friday’s debacle, but posted a public message on Friendster, stating in part: “They [the club] announced that there was no guest list and everyone would have to pay. . . . So we walked out. Not that there’s really any reason to go to Plaid, but I would urge anyone to avoid that horrid place for f*cking something that a lot of people worked hard on for months setting up, for f*cking over all the people who came out to support something genuine, only to be humiliated by the door staff.”
“It was a perfect illustration for how retarded Plaid is,” says Pearson, who’s been a resident DJ at the space since August. “Glynnis pulled the plug, Leo pulled the records, and the bouncer put on a scratched up CD of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown.”