The pullout of a financial partner “due to competitive concerns” means there’ll be no Rapture for Pride this year.
“I regret to inform you that the Rapture events for this year’s Pride are officially cancelled,” says DJ Lampitt, the new owner of Toy Box Boys (TBB) Productions, which hosts the annual Rapture parties.
“After a lot of hard work by many people, the events are unable to carry forward for a few reasons,” Lampitt writes in a web posting on Rapture Pride.
In the posting, Lampitt says he holds himself “fully responsible for the cancellation of the events,” which include Rapture Black, Rapture Mardi Gras, Rapture Carnivale and Rapture Rehab, but also refers to “a few bumps in the road of production” that prevented the events from going forward.
“One obviously centering around the financial aspect of the production… lost due to the financial partner pulling out of the production at the last minute due to competitive concerns,” he claims.
Lampitt does not name the partner who pulled out in his cancellation notice.
While the search for a last-minute fill-in partner was successful, Lampitt claims the management of one Rapture venue “was not willing” to allow the new partner, a local sound and light company called Masterplan Productions Inc, to take over the contract for the rental of the space. The Commodore Ballroom’s refusal left “the partner without any option to carry forward,” Lampitt continues.
But Geoff Robins, vice-president of marketing for Live Nation which is the exclusive event booker for the Ballroom, says Lampitt failed to meet the original and the extended deadlines for submission of the deposit required to book the Ballroom.
“We issued the contract approximately Jun 21, and then we put a deadline on him for the signed contract and deposit by Jul 30, and then we extended it to Jul 31.”
Robins says that second deadline expired and still the contract and deposit were not submitted.
“I do know there were conversations happening [with Lampitt] up to the point of the deadline, but in all actuality there was no signed contract or deposit,” Robins reveals, adding that “we can have a lot of conversations but if we don’t have those legal documents, we can’t do much to open the room to a renter.”
“You probably want to speak to Lampitt about all this,” says Masterplan president Daniel Sabina, who refused to confirm if his company was approached as a financial partner for the Rapture parties.
“[Lampitt] has all the information, and that’s a direct source. He’ll be the best person to speak to,” Sabina says.
Despite repeated calls, Xtra West could not reach Lampitt for comment.
Robins says Live Nation is in discussions with a new promoter to host the Rapture events next year, but declined to reveal the name of that promoter.
“We hosted the event over the last number of years and we’re disappointed we couldn’t have the event this year because it’s great for the room.”
Former TBB owner Michel Nadeau says that, to the best of his knowledge, competition from other Pride circuit parties is what led Rapture’s original backers to withdraw.
Nadeau believes competition from the Boys Nite Out (BNO) events in particular probably derailed the Rapture events.
“I guess that’s what the backer thought,” speculates Nadeau, who reveals he himself will attend at least one of the BNO parties “for sure.”
A pool party that will use the services of a TBB DJ will go on as scheduled at Pacific Palisades Hotel, Nadeau notes.
“The pool party was in association with TBB because we are using his DJ, but that was the only association,” says Nadeau.
In his online cancellation notice, Lampitt promises that ticket holders will “all be refunded immediately.”
“If you purchased tickets online, your refunds should begin to be processed shortly,” he says, adding that those who bought tickets from Little Sister’s and Priape can return their tickets to those outlets for a “full refund.”
People have already started coming in for refunds “and this is without us being called or told anything about the event being cancelled by the organizer,” says Janine Fuller of Little Sister’s bookstore, one of the official Rapture ticket vendors.
“We are encouraging people to use credit cards because we don’t have that kind of cash in the store,” adds Fuller.
“I wish to thank everyone that was supportive and again apologize for the disappointment I have caused to those who have had their weekend planned,” Lampitt concludes in his web posting. “This is obviously not a way that anyone would like to leave the industry but this is the case for me at this time.”