Thursday, June 23, 2011
Gays Don't Pay! (But maybe they should).
It's the cover charge.
For those of you who don't go gay clubbing, or those of you who go to clubs in small towns, you may not be used to the concept. Basically it's an admission price for people to gain entry to a nightclub. You pay money, and we let you in. Simple, right? Sure. Except New Yorkers do NOT like to do it.
I have to admit. Before I worked in nightlife, I hated cover. I did everything I could to avoid it like the many-pennied plague it was. But since then I've caught wise, and understand why it exists.
"Wait a hot sec, I have to PAY to go into a place where I will then have to PAY to check my things and PAY to get my drinks? Really?"
Yes, Seth Myers impersonator - really!
And it's REALLY not ALL that bad, most of the time. Typically cover charges in New York are aggressively low. Because New Yorkers don't like cover charges, and they will register this opinion with their feet - as they hoof it to another gay bar or club that will be happy to let them in without charging them. There is a wide variety of bars where cover simply doesn't exist. You walk in, and begin doing embarrassing things.
But, I will quote a friend of mine, Playgirl marketing guru and nightlife smutmaster Daniel Nardicio: "Sometimes you have to pay to have a good time."
And Daniel should know. He doesn't throw free parties. And his parties are awesome for that reason. Slutty underwear soirees. Sex parties in expensive apartment lofts. The dirtiest events you'll find on the island of fire.
And we at BoiParty.com are the same. All of our parties have cover charges. Because they happen at multi-floored mega clubs with at least two DJs on staff, as well as a bakers dozen go-go dancers, two performers, three drag hosts, the list goes on.
But we're not unfair in our dealings. We are willing to make concessions. If you show up early enough to our events and say the code word, you get in free or cheap. If you are 21-28 or in a jockstrap, Daniel will give you discounted entry to his Buck underwear party.
I'm sorry, you just can't have it both ways. You can't show up when the party's at its hoppingest AND expect no line and free entry. It just doesn't work that way. You can have your cake and eat it too, but you better bet that cake ain't being donated.
Sometimes, my friends, you must pay the cover. Because there are entertainers who expect money. Hosts who helped fill the club. Promoters who invested money in flier design and eblasts and text messages and all that stuff that got all the cuties to the club you're about to enter in the first place. And shouldn't they be paid? Yes. Yes they should.
And then there's the matter of rent. How much does your small 1 Bedroom cost? And the licenses! Liquor licenses. Managerial licenses. Bartender training licenses. Licenses that let us LET YOU DANCE (it's called a Cabaret License. Google it. I'm not kidding.) The money to pay for all of this must come from somewhere.
And cover is rarely more than $10. Which is the cost of one drink. Or one and three quarters Starbucks drink. Your pants you are wearing that show off your bubble butt just so probably cost about 15 party covers. Don't even get me STARTED on your man bag.
And you have to pay for everything else in this city, right? Few museums throw open their doors and say "come on in! check out our expensive art!" No movie theater escorts you to your seat so you can enjoy The Hangover 5 and brings you free popcorn. (Speaking of which, a large popcorn at the movies is the same cost as a cover charge). So why shouldn't large dance clubs with scores of employees, lights, sound systems, and security charge you a small fee?
Think of what cover gets you: a chance to see and be seen. A night full of loud music and dancing. A show or performance or expensive giveaway. A shot at finding the love of your life or the love until you meet the next cutie at that brunch hosted by a drag queen. Contests where you can win sweet stuff. The ability to show your friends in other states how cool, popular, and busy you are when they head to their tiny podunk bars to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon with roadies on tour with Kool and The Gang.
Allow me to say this: gays under 21 should NEVER complain about a cover charge. This is something I deal with every week. I'll allow someone of drinking age to complain, but if you can't buy liquor and plan on just being there - how are we ever supposed to keep our doors open and our go-gos fed (assuming they eat, which they shouldn't be). We need some money, pal. Especially if you don't plan on spending any more of it until you stop by McDonalds on your way home.
Oh, and GIRLS who are under 21 need to never complain about anything again. You're not even eye candy. You're that crappy dusty minty candy that sits in metal bowls next to the cash register at diners. Pay up and enjoy the gays. This ain't gonna be free.
And listen: I pay cover too. I'm not going to a club and making a scene. If it's $5, here's my $5. If it's $10, here's my $10. If it's more than $10, I will go to the place that charges $10 instead. We all have our limits.
Of course, this rule only changes this week and Thanksgiving week. During Gay Pride, every club charges exorbitant covers. Why? Because it allows them to make enough money to keep cover down the rest of the year. Because tourists will fund our alcoholism until Christmas time. But these parties are hot, friends. Acts are flown in from around the world. Celebrities and Celebrity DJs are going to put on their best and do their best on beaches and rooftops and piers. And because of that, cover charge will reflect the extra effort.
Because we all gotta pay the bills somehow. It's how we keep our jobs and the toilets working.
I know it's not the sexiest thing to pay cover. And if you know a manager, promoter, DJ, or dancer who can get you in, it's always fair game to exploit the opportunity and look cool in front of your friends.
But at least understand why we do it: because if we didn't do it, we wouldn't be here. There'd be no clubs for you to stand outside of, fighting with the cashier about the cover. I promise you we're not getting fat on your money. We're just staying in business.
No one likes spending money... but at least you're spending it on having fun, right? Go bitch to your dentist and ask him why you have to spend hundreds of dollars on a root canal, just to be in pain for five weeks.
Frankly, HE should be paying YOU, if you ask me.
<3 Justin Luke