The Sky Is Absolutely Falling: Nightlife Preservation Community Launches

On June 22, an organization called the Nightlife Preservation Community (NPC) is hosting a huge event over at M2 (formerly Mansion). At stake is preserving nightlife as we know it. The event is a sort of Bartenders Ball kind of thing, open from 9pm to 1am to club owners, club staff, promoters, DJs, and industry-related peeps. The public can come after 1am. Chloë Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne will host the event. DJs including Q-tip, Marky Ramone, Junior Vasquez, Danny Krivit, Peter Rauhoffer, Paul Sevigny, The Misshapes, Louie Vega, Berrie, The Martinez Brothers, Alex English, and more have donated their time and considerable skills for the cause. Admission is by invitation only; there will be an open bar from 9pm to 1am for all, and food for owners in a special section. The purpose of this event is to create a sort of political lobbying front so that politicians take the issues affecting nightlife seriously. With the help of Jon Gabel and Joonbug and the great people of Track Entertainment/ClubPlanet, we are in the process of organizing email and text lists of at least 700,000 people who attend nightclubs regularly. Promoters and marketing entities have millions of names and instantaneous reach to a voting-age clientele. There will be considerable overlap, but we will be able to contact maybe 50,000-plus people in a flash in a district where a friendlier politician is running against a foe. The NPC will be heard, just as other political groups have been suddenly heard in the past.

In the elections held in November, candidates are chosen, and in this town it’s usually a foregone conclusion. Often democrats win by margins of 95 percent; however, in the primaries held in September, turnout is very small. The margin of victory is often less than a couple thousand votes. It is here in these primary elections where the NPC marketing lists will be effective. I, for one, am often not aware of the platform of many candidates when I’m in the booth, and it becomes a sort of guessing game. The NPC will let voters know the names of the good guys and especially the bad guys. This marketing platform will also be made available to police who want to disseminate information about how to protect yourself from pocketbook thieves, date-rape drugs, and various other schemes and predators who see clubs as their hunting grounds. Community groups may also have their agendas broadcast to our lists when they need to promote something. A website is now being set up for the nightclub community, which includes operators, employees, and patrons as well. Bartenders and such will be able to register and post resumes, and management can pick a proven and compatible staff without the massive Craigslist-type open calls.

The NPC is chaired by myself along with Paul Seres and co-founders Matthew Isaacs and Ariel Palitz. We are supported by and answer to the New York Nightlife Association (NYNA) and the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA). Nightlife attracts more patrons than the Yankees, Mets, Rangers, Knicks, Devils, Islanders, Broadway shows, and the opera put together. It generates twice as much revenue as the film industry, yet a Law & Order producer can ask the “film czar” to close down a city street for a week, and the czar will provide cops and give total support; yet if a patron lights up a joint in some club, it can be shut down with little or no due process. Nightlife provides jobs, generates tax revenue, and attracts legions of tourists, but it often finds itself in mindless conflict with groups whose agenda seems to be to sanitize New York — to change it from the city that never sleeps to a bedroom community. Indeed the long-term goal of the NPC is to have a cooperative effort like Las Vegas has with its entertainment community. The “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” campaign is an example of how a city recognizes the revenue potential of its nightlife assets. We propose nothing short of changing the motto of New York from “The Big Apple,” which has little meaning, to “The City That Never Sleeps,” promoting eons of 24-hour culture and the best nightlife in the world.

The NPC website, www.nightlifepreservation.com will be live sometime today and will improve daily. If you are an operator of an New York City club and want you and your staff to attend our event next Monday, go to the site or feel free to email me at {encode=”plannedout@yahoo.com” title=”plannedout@yahoo.com”}.
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