Exotic Erotic Ball Cancelled: Hard Times or Limp Management?
So this weekend the long standing Halloween event of the Bay Area, the Exotic Erotic Ball, was suppose to be held right outside my window. It was going to give me new fodder and perspective for my blog and it has but in a sad and unexpected way.
This past Friday, the day it was to open in it’s new location on the water at the Craneway Pavilion, at the Marina Bay/Point Richmond waterfront, it was cancelled. The Ball has always been open the Friday before the blow out event for an adult expo and then opens on Saturday for the expo in the afternoon and then the Ball in the evening.
There has been no satisfactory explanation coming from Perry Mann or any of the other organizers of this 30 year annual event as to the cancellation. Possible explanations that have been bandied about were lack of ticket sales, security costs and the location.
I don’t know about the ticket sales. I do know this event has been at that moldering relic of Daly City, the Cow Palace, for years on end. Attendance for the Ball has always been high. Then it was moved to Treasure Island and now moved here to Richmond to cut location cost. It sounded like a brilliant move to me. Treasure Island had to cost a pretty penny not to mention the lack of parking and the shuttle service to ferry scantily clad party goers across the Bay Bridge to the venue. Granted, when you move an event, you will always see a dip in attendance the first year while people figure out where it is. I saw plenty of signage on this side of the Bay but have no idea if they advertised as heavily in the City where their core audience seems to be.
The cost of security has always been a fixed line item. I worked for a private security team for the Ball for three years when it was at the Cow Palace. I know the organizers had the Cow Palace team, a private company (that I worked for) as well as Daly City PD. The Ball has always had safety as a number one concern and I really don’t think the costs on this side of the bay would be that much higher.
I have heard people talk about the location. They cite Richmond as a hot bed of gang warfare and voice safety concerns. UNSAFE?! Have you SEEN the Cow Palace lately?! The last year I worked security the promoters decided it would be a good idea to bring in more rap/hip hop acts which changed the make up of the audience. I can’t even tell you how many weapons were confiscated from attendees as well as the shooting that happened across the street from the venue. The Cow Palace is right in the middle of a demilitarized zone. The venue for the Ball this year is as tony as it comes.
That is the Craneway Pavilion right across from those nice boats. Sure, Richmond is kinda gross but that is on the OTHER SIDE of the 580 freeway. As a cop friend of mine said “the 580 acts like the Great Wall of China keeping all the gang bangers on their side of the street”. Point Richmond or “Nantucket By The Bay” as I like to call it was where Richmond started. It is a charming, low crime city that hearkens back to a simpler time. As the refineries and the ship yards grew, the city grew out and to the other side of the freeway. The Craneway Pavillion lies to the east of Point Richmond in a suburb called Marina Bay. This is where the old Kaiser shipyards use to be. It is now a marina and home to many condo developments, most of them gated. This is in NO WAY an unsafe area at all. If the Cow Palace was Beirut, Marina Bay would be Solvang.
Now I have no idea why the promoters decided to pull this event on the very day it was set to start. Sure the venue was smaller but they hired a yacht for the VIP partiers which would hold an additional 2,000 people. A YACHT!! What could be cooler than that? Ummm, hot naked chicks on a yacht|? Well, that is what you missed out on. I don’t get it. If ticket sales were so soft that they had to cancel the event, why not pull it earlier to give the vendors an opportunity to find other shows to book? Why wait until the final hour? Perhaps we will never know as the organizers aren’t talking however if location really did play a part and people were too scared to come to big, bad “Solvang” I weep for the weenies the Bay Area has turned into.