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Headlining DJ Fails To Show Up At Arkham, Promoters Throw 8,000rmb Into The Audience

By Jul 8, 2014 Nightlife
Last Friday night at warehouse club Arkham, a French "trap" DJ named Phazz failed to get to Shanghai and make his headline appearance.

The promoters, Boogatti Records, realized this on the night of the show, after showing up at the airport and not finding their guest. But they didn't tell anyone, including the other DJs and the club itself. Nothing on the Facebook event page, nothing on the promoters' Instagram, nothing on WeChat.

That night, the promoters still took everyone's 80rmb cover charge, despite knowing there was no headliner. Then around 2am the promoters got on the mic and said something to the effect of "sorry, our guest isn't coming - do you want your money back?", then proceeded to throw around 8,000rmb cash into the audience. Some got no money and others grabbed several hundred. Someone I spoke with at Arkham said they didn't even know the guest wasn't coming until the promoters threw the money out. They were not pleased.

We contacted the organizers, who said the whole DJ booking was a nightmare, and that they got the runaround from the DJ's agent and have yet to get their deposit and flight money back. This was also their first time doing a big party with an international booking, and when they realized at 6pm that the guest bailed, they "wanted to find a way to make it up to the crowd but still leave a long-lasting impression and an unforgettable night."

While the Boogatti crew admit that perhaps they should have asked someone more experienced in running parties, they don't regret their decision and look forward to making it rain at future Boogatti parties. They may do a free party sometime in the near future as well.

Was this the right way to handle the situation? Does it even matter if there's an "international" headliner if it's still a fun, memorable party? Is this the end of trap?


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  • dteeban

    It was certainly an attention-grabbing way to handle the situation, which I'm sure was their aim, but for the attendees who paid 80RMB to watch other people pick up their money, it may have soiled Boogatti's reputation in their eyes. Same goes for leaving the club's management out of the loop.

  • dteeban

    And seeing as though they knew by 6pm that the headliner would not be appearing, there would still have been time to alert the venue, and more importantly, the partygoers, of the lineup change. Instead, the promoters put their interests above those of their customers by simultaneously robbing partygoers of the ability to choose for themselves whether or not to attend while ensuring their party would still be full. Maybe I'm taking an overly cynical stance here, but it just seems a bit on the shady side.

  • TheRealShanghai

    I have been in Shanghai for about 2 years, and regularly visit Arkham. I actually attended the show, and had absolutely no idea who Phazz was when CHOOSING to pay. I just wanted to have a good time and I know that regardless if Arkham has an artist or not, it's generally a fun crowd. For me, it was the most interesting thing that's happened at that venue yet. I thought people only made it rain in music videos and on MTV haha, but apparently these guys knew how to make my night. I did notice 2 girls that seemed pretty upset, but after seeing the way they were acting I quickly lost all empathy for them. Plus I'm pretty sure they were the only people who knew who the DJ was at all haha. I myself got 55rmb back which was enough to cover my next drink at the bar, which is why I don't see why the bar would be upset. Those guys practically bought a round of drinks for everyone in there. The bottom line is, the majority of people who go out in this city (myself included) are just looking for a good time, and that's exactly what I had on Friday night. The music was good, they seemed like they actually paid for some production, and lastly they gave all of us something we have never seen before, which I wish more people would do in this city. Keep it up guys, and don't let these haters get to you. I'll be looking forward to what you crazy kids have up your sleeves at your following parties!

  • BoogattiRecords

    Dear all partygoers and music lovers,

    We at Boogatti would like to first apologize for our artist not showing up. We ourselves were very disappointed and we were sure you would be. So this was our solution and what we thought was the best decision. We still do with the exception of a few details such as notifying the bar and management. We thought as a partygoer, what would be the best way for the bad news to be broken to us and this is what we came up with. Whilst thinking of a solution, we wanted to think of the best way to give the crowd an unforgettable and long-lasting experience without the DJ. And that's exactly what we did. With the exception of 2 people, the rest of the party were more turned up after we threw out the money than they were all night. At Boogatti, we do this for the party people, we don't want your money, we want to give you a good show and good music, so we did what we came to do. And although we will never handle this situation like this again, (hopefully this situation never happens again) you can expect Boogatti to make it rain at future events as well so be sure to get a front row seat.


  • anusuyamitra

    Throwing cash as a way of reimbursing the paying party goers sounds more on the lines of a frat party gone bust or a school prom night getting canned. sad way to handle it, not to mention very seedy.

  • dteeban

    @TheRealShanghai, there is a vast gulf of meaning between "hating" and "constructively criticizing and/or questioning." The "haters gon' hate" defense is an easy one to wield when trying to deflect criticism, and I have to respect Boogatti for not resorting to it in their comment here. Being able to handle criticism well and admit one's mistakes is an asset anyone in the public eye needs to cultivate. Good job Boogatti for explaining your rationale while also owning up to your mistake and NOT hiding behind the "haters" rhetoric.

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