On Friday, June 12th the Long Beach Party Project, in association with local after school program Long Beach BLAST (Better Learning After School Today), teamed up with various local clothing retailers including Buffalo Exchange, Francesca’s, Crooks & Castles, No Regrets, Covet, and others to put on the “After School Fashion Charity Benefit” with the aim of raising money for the Long Beach BLAST program. The event took place at the Shore Ultra Lounge (6200 e. 2nd Street – 562.277.4829) in Long Beach. With over 300 people in attendance to support charity, the event was a success in many people’s eyes, except the underprivileged kids the show was to benefit.

Door count run by Shore Ultra Lounge on June 12th, 2009 – oddly shows most people paid to enter after 11:00 which was approaching the end of the actual fashion show.

Upon conclusion of the night, LBPP was handed $210 by general manager, and Long Beach native, Ryan Ransom. While the cover at the door was set at $15, and with over 300 people in attendance, this small amount of compensation could not be correct. LBPP requested to see all numbers and documents from the night the following day. After repeated unsuccessful attempts to contact Ryan the Saturday following the show, a meeting was finally set up for Sunday. Upon meeting with the general manager of the Shore Ultra Lounge, LBPP was handed a copy of the door numbers (included below) along with a copy of the bar numbers as well. Immediately when asked why 188 people (about 2/3’s of overall attendance that night) were let in to the club free or “comped”, Ryan replies that this is “club policy” and that all the people that were let in without paying any cover were guests of the Shore Ultra Lounge and not there for the After School Fashion Charity event. On further investigation LBPP learned that many friends and acquaintances were actually let in free that were expressly there for the charity event. As part of the negotiations of the night the Shore requested a house guest list, which was asked to be kept “moderate, because the show is for charity”. When asked to produce a “house guest list” none could be produced, when asked how the club determines who is a “regular” as they put it, the response was, “we know who are people are”. No real answer was given when asked why the 95 people who did pay were only charged $10 instead of the advertised cover of $15.Doing the math, that turns out to be exactly $950 collected at the door, although according to the verbal agreement between LBPP and the Shore, LBPP was to pay for the clubs entertainment costs that are part of their regular Friday nights as well. This included one DJ at $400 and one circus act at $300. The Shore also stipulated that they take a standard %5 of all monies collected at the door, leaving LBPP with $210 to donate to charity. The small amount was not even enough to cover the cost of one local band that played as part of the After School Fashion show, leaving the kids from the LB BLAST program with no donation and putting LBPP over $1000 in the negative.

Soon following the Sunday meeting, LBPP set up another meeting for June 17th with co-owners of the Shore Ultra Lounge, Brandon Bishop and Allan Heath. When asked why 188 people were let in to the club with out being charged, Brandon made a similar case as their general manager that these were their regulars and they do not charge them. This policy is unpracticed as well as unacceptable in every other venue that LBPP has promoted. After talking with both owners they made no concessions to rectify the gross negligence of their door staff, and general manager. Concluding they stated that they needed to confer with their general manager before proceeding. To date LBPP has received no compensation, nor have they been contacted by any one from Shore Ultra Lounge.

In the end, LBPP’s main goal was to raise as much money as possible for BLAST and to make an improvement in our community. Months of work were put into the event and it would not have been possible without help from the community of artists that participated and volunteered. Despite all complications LBPP is planning on throwing the event again next year.

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of LongBeachIndependent.com and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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