Having an event in Brooklyn is a gamble. Events seem to have a 50% success rate and even with the 50% chance the event goes well, event holders still seem to experience drama and ignorance at events. I, Nyri Bonaparte decided to analyze Brooklyn’s event scene to shed light on current trends in the community. I am the current owner of TequiLaLa, a bar and lounge located in West Vinewood. I have been holding events there since August of 2021. In this time, I have found several issues in throwing a successful event. Event management has never been an issue as I find that many events, including my own are well planned, staffed, and funded. The issues revolve around patrons of these events.
Community turnout of these events seem to be hit or miss. Most event holders promote on twitter with elaborate fliers, the city email, word of mouth, and even promotional videos made by one of the city’s most prominent videographers, Yash. However, with all the promotions, the number of people attending these events seem to depend on many factors outside of the event holder’s control. Many event holders have to offer elaborate raffles and prizes to get people to come to the events with most people leaving after the raffles have taken place. What can event holders do to expand these numbers and get more people into these events to not just stop by but to stay and participate?
A second, and probably the most prominent issue is patron behavior at the events. This is a problem that has plagued almost every event that I have been in attendance since moving to New York. While some event behavior is mild, other behavior can be quite catastrophic. I took a moment to speak with EmityK Bonaparte, the current event holder for the Vanilla Unicorn. While speaking with her, I asked her about issues that she has seen since she began holding events at the Vanilla Unicorn.
Emity K expressed, “Recent guest behavior at events has been absolutely uncalled for. It is unbelievable the amount of disrespect the businesses have received. The owners work extremely hard to put things together to try to bring the community together. While people come only thinking about themselves, feeling entitled to do as they please, breaking many ‘Rules for Entry’ like disrespecting staff all ending in violence when they get told they are not welcome at the event anymore. It is astonishing the great lengths people will go to tear down things other people do because they are upset over something their own actions got them into. It would be amazing if we could all come together at events and treat each other with respect and actually get to enjoy the time we all spend at them. I think events are a lot more work than people realize, and all the work can be for nothing because of one small thing. So please guests when you attend an event, follow the rules, be respectful to staff and other guests. We are all here to enjoy ourselves and if there is something wrong, or something that would make your night better, please come to the staff at the event so they can assist you with that. That is what they are for. Violence or disrespect does not always need to be your first reaction to everything.”
While working at the Vanilla Unicorn, I have noticed a decent turnout on most occasions. I have also noticed that people have taken advantage of the event by rushing past security with weapons to run into the club to stab someone, arguments, and shooting on the property. This occurs at TequiLaLa as well. During TequiLaLa’s most recent event, I and my security closed our VIP section off to accommodate someone who paid to have his crew in the VIP. We also accommodated by having our own security stand by the entrance to the VIP to prevent others from going in there. Members of his crew took it upon themselves to continually turn the TV on and blast it threw the club while our own DJ was playing music for the rest of the patrons. After continually being asked to stop and having security stand by the TV, I asked several of his friends to leave. One person, who shall remain nameless, became rude and ignorant when asked to stop touching the TV. This same individual caused issues at a previous TequiLaLa event. My security had to cuff said individual and escort him out of the club. Once outside, this individual shot one of the security guards and rushed back into the club. After constant redirection and asking them to leave, I finally decided to involve the police. The person that I initially made the arrangement with asked for his money back for having to leave. I happily gave him his money back and they left out the back door. Once outside, the shooting ensued. Police spent 20-40 minutes combatting gunfire and removing individuals from the property. The party continued and there was a great turnout. However, I feel that the unnecessary drama puts a damper on not only the patrons but the event staff and owner as well.
I spoke to an EMS worker who was working on scene the night of the TequiLaLa incident. Lani Halina explained that she picked up an injured patron from TequiLaLa who was apart of the shooting outside of the club. When she got said patient into a safe area to treat him. He began sexually harassing her stating that he would do sexual things to her, things that will not be mentioned in this article. Leaving her in tears, Lani continued to treat said patient. Incidents such as these should not happen EVER. Behavior such as this is illegal, rude, and uncalled for.
Some would say these incidents were minor hiccups, however I say it’s a hiccup that should never happen. People pay their money as much as everyone else to have a good time. Business owners spend a lot of money marketing, staffing, and in many ways completely funding events for the community. Your 10k entrance fee does not pay our staff, buy our alcohol, or make us a profit in any way. Therefore, we come out of pockets millions of dollars to try to help the community have a good time and do something other than run around with your buddies shooting at PD all day. The thing that pisses me off personally is some of the individuals that cause the drama in the club are prominent members of the community, business owners, event holders, crew leaders, etc. The disrespect that people have for event holders is beyond crazy. Imagine if the script was flipped and I came into, let’s say, your gun store and began playing absurdly loud music and began stabbing your customers and when asked to leave I became rude and ignorant and refused. It’s just amazing to me the lack of respect that people in this community have for those individuals that are actually trying to throw events and have community members engage with each other. Yet these are the same individuals that cry when there is nothing to do in the city. How childish does one have to be to act in such a manner all for a few laughs and what, respect? Let’s grow up! Let’s have a good time and be respectful!
Featured cover image credits: Nyri Bonaparte, Quoted statement: EmityK Bonaparte, Article written and edited by Nyri Bonaparte