March 20, 2007 08:44am
Spring Shwing Cancelled
by: Company Press Release
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- Perry Mann and his Exotic Erotic Ball team, along with Tiki Tom of Tiki Tom Productions have jointly and regrettably announced the cancellation of Spring Shwing, an April Fool's Celebration originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 31, 2007 (April Fool's Eve), at Area 51 Event Center in Alameda.
The official reason for the cancellation is that Area 51 Productions was denied a use license to host the event. Area 51 Productions, which is operated by John Walker, bore the responsibility to secure all necessary permits and licenses (except only the ABC permit to serve alcohol), as per its agreement with the Producers. In numerous meetings with the Producers, Walker had represented that the securing of the use license was "A mere formality" and had approved the event moving forward. The City Agency who denied the license claims its denial was consistent with a longstanding policy, to which Walker "should have been aware."
"We are both disappointed and incensed," said Perry Mann. "We're disappointed because Spring Shwing was shaping up as a really great event - fabulous content and strong public support. Incensed because this denial of a use license came entirely from left field, and nobody from any City department thought we even deserved a phone call. We spent a large sum of money promoting Spring Shwing, pursuant to an agreement, a deposit, and a dozen meetings with Walker. We have a 30-year reputation. We behaved prudently and professionally, in a manner usual and customary for the events business. Clearly, Walker has been reckless and lacking in proper disclosure to us. Whether there are other culprits - time will tell. But there is no way I am just letting this go."
Area 51 Event Center is located in Alameda, residing on a portion of the decommissioned Alameda Naval Air Station. John Walker/Area 51 Productions hosts events on a Monarch Street site owned by PM Realty. It was learned that Walker has no lease directly with the City of Alameda, and therefore must obtain an individual use license for every event he holds. In a letter Walker received by fax on March 13, the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) said that it would not grant a license for the Spring Shwing event. In an excerpt, Debra Kurita, the Executive Director of the ARRA, stated that: "It is not generally the policy of the ARRA to lease or license buildings or space for large evening events that are open to the general public."
"Something is rotten somewhere in Alameda," added Howard Mauskopf, Mann's partner. "ARRA's memo already contains suspicious language. If we conclude that this event was denied its license by virtue of some prejudicial moral judgment - we would consider that actionable. But it's already actionable, because even if research concluded that ARRA was a model agency behaving in a forthright manner, consistent with policy and steeped in reasonability - then what the heck was Walker thinking? He drafted a contract, shook our hand, took deposit money, approved press releases, met with contractors, and watched us spend all this money, secretly knowing the event was not only unlicensed, but would not even meet the general policy criteria for a license."
Upon receipt of a copy of the ARRA letter, the producers spoke with Assistant City Manager David Brandt. Says Mauskopf: "Brandt was forthcoming, but it was a very guarded conversation. Brandt denied that our event's content played a part in the decision, nor was paperwork (submitted by Walker), incorrect or incomplete. He admitted the City's policy toward granting licenses for events is unpublished, and he said that the City would be responsible for handling consumers who venture on site March 31, unaware of the late cancellation."
The Producers tried to obtain an alternative site for Spring Shwing, contacting numerous potential locations in San Francisco and the East Bay. However, the shortness of lead-time along with the inability to move the date (because of the April Fool's tie-in) rendered the search fruitless, and cancellation became the only alternative.
"I've been doing this for over 20 years," says Michael Robelo, an independent contractor hired to oversee all logistics for Spring Shwing, including site dealings, "And this is a strange one. I personally met with Walker half a dozen times, our dialogue kept advancing, and every significant contractor - lights, sound, stage - had been engaged. I think one of two things will occur after Perry and Howard fire their legal salvo. Either Walker owns up, this resolves, and everybody moves forward. Or - Walker tries to cast aspersions on Spring Shwing, in which case we'll know he used us, guessed wrong, and is left trying to protect a relationship with the City."
Perry Mann has issued the following additional statement to the public: "We apologize to those individuals who were looking forward to Spring Shwing. To those that had already purchased tickets, full refunds will be forthcoming, and all free DVD's will be sent as promised. We look forward to seeing everybody in the Bay at the next Exotic Erotic Ball, our 28th Annual show, which will be held on October 27, 2007, at the Cow Palace."
Those who believe they may have information relevant to the investigation about the cancellation of Spring Shwing are encouraged to please contact Christopher Buttner at 415-381-8647 or email: chris@prthatroXXX.com for more information on the shows, please visit www.exoticeroticball.com or www.springshwing.com respectively.