Saturday, April 20, 2024

A Boycott for Bardot

I’ve been lucky enough that people have paid me to write about arts and entertainment for the past 10 years, including college. Never in this time have I been denied access to a concert in which tickets were pre-arranged for me. But there is a first time for everything, and for me, that time was last night’s Yuck concert at Miami’s Bardot nightclub in Midtown.

As is standard practice for reviewing media, complementary tickets for the show – which I previewed last week and which I planned to review in this space today – were set up by Steven Bevilaqua, the publicist for Yuck’s record label, Fat Possum. I even double-checked with Steven on Friday that I was

“on the list” with one guest for Saturday’s concert.

After driving from Broward County through a cold, steady torrent of rain and paying for parking, I was told by the Bardot doorman that no such list existed from Fat Possum. The local promoter, who materialized a moment later to diffuse the situation, had no idea who this Steven Bevilaqua person was. The show was “pretty much sold out,” he said – though the venue was sparsely populated at the advertised start time – but as an apparent gift, they would still comp my fiancee in. I, however, who obviously didn’t look the part of a nightclub attendee, would have to pay the $20 entry fee. It was typical club discrimination.

Assuming you’ve never done so, take my word that it’s pretty pathetic to hopelessly grovel just to be able to see a band you love report on them, and even worse to hopelessly grovel to a jerk who treats his own comp list as a sacred document, an unchanging constitution for ingress. It didn’t matter what I said – that I already wrote about, and would be writing about, the show, that I would email links and proof, etc. – entry was hopeless. I could have been writing for Rolling Stone, and it wouldn’t have changed anything. While my fiancée and I were still considering whether to go to an ATM and withdraw $20, the door guy pressured us to step outside and stand in the rain, and he did so with attitude, as if I were a vagrant using the club’s entryway as shelter and not a respected representative of the Fourth Estate.

It should be noted that I’m not the first person to have a problem with Bardot since it opened its doors in fall 2009. Check out the seemingly endless stream of one- and two-star reviews from upset customers on Yelp:http://www.yelp.com/biz/bardot-miami-2. Most of them compared the door guy, who very well may have been the same man who ruled with a velvet rope and an iron fist last night, to a feminine hygiene product.

My conclusion from all of this? A pox on Bardot. This place is dead to me, and dead to this blog. No more will I promote any of their shows, no matter how cool the band, and, with any luck, cool bands will learn to flock toward more hospitable grounds.

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