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?