400 Dates

Confessions of a club promoter

Meddock looks at his ringing phone, slips it back into his pocket and shakes his head.

"In business class, I learned that first impression is everything," he says. "When people find out you're a club promoter, they go, 'Oh, you party for a living.' But I want to say that I woke up at 8 a.m. this morning so that you could have a good time tonight."

Meddock joins Doyle out front. Seeing that the crowd has grown considerably, a pained look comes over him.

He walks in front of the line and turns his back to the people pressing against each other, vying for his attention from behind the velvet rope. "Right now," he says, "I could turn around and have 400 pairs of eyes on me." He deals with it by looking away. "This is the worst part."

But keeping the people outside the club is what needs to happen. This is what Doyle refers to as "building a line."

"At certain points, you need to stop letting people in," says Doyle. If lots of people are outside a nightclub, he explains, lots of other people will think it's the place to be. This strategy to attract people often leaves those in line irritated and edgy.

And there's a problem tonight. Apparently, the nightclub's management is sharing the guest list with the Social Group. This means that the Social Group will not be able to let in as many people as they initially thought, and, as it turns out, they are not going to be able to let in people when they want to. As the details of this new arrangement are settled, it becomes clear that the Social Group no longer has control over the line. It's no longer their party.

For the first time the men look like angry punk kids and not the savvy entrepreneurs they define themselves to be.

At 11:30 a group of Meddock's friends have waited for nearly an hour in line. "This is crazy!" he says, "They definitely should not be waiting like this." He is visibly pained. Taking a moment, he adds, "The worst part is the calls you have to make the next day, to apologize to all of your friends who don't get into the club."

Doyle and Braizele run back and forth between the bouncer, the nightclub management and the VIP parties they have scheduled for the night. Just by walking in front of the line, the two ignite a series of yells from people desperate to get their attention. Doyle handles this by ignoring everyone calling his name. The people he does approach are promised to "be next" but wait for up to an hour before they are actually allowed inside.

"I need more ladies," the door guy whispers to Doyle. Doyle promises that a "load of girls" are on their way. There are "loads" of girls waiting in line, but the girls Doyle knows are apparently special.

After pleading with his "load of girls" on the phone to come sooner rather than later, he gets in several minor verbal disputes with people in line, a couple of heated conversations with the management, and finally escapes. He needs a drink. Taking wide strides past the bouncer, and clubbers who linger casually inside, he moves to the bar and orders a rum and Coke. "Are you watching me be an asshole?" he asks.

Editor's note:Since this story was first reported, Dave McMillan has left the company.

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