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Monday November 1st, 2010
THE CROOKED PROMOTER



A decade ago, Montreal was plagued by a mean spirited party promoter who had ties to the underworld. His buddies were bikers, and he himself was allegedly engaged in a slew of illegal activities.

This promoter was so utterly jealous of his role in the rave scene, that he would routinely find ways to shut down parties organized by the competition. Our devious event organizer wanted a monopoly on the Montreal party scene, and there was no trick too low, no lie too large, and no deed too evil that he wouldn't stoop to in order to get his way.

He did what he could to ruin other people's fun. If you were going to enjoy yourself on a Friday night, it better be at one of his parties -- or else.

This promoter often didn't have to resort to anything too drastic though, because his brother was high up the ladder at city hall. All the promoter had to do was tell his brother about a party that a competitor was throwing, and the city of Montreal would swoop in to shut it down. There would always be some kind of rational, some justification for closing down a party, but at the end of the day, the real reason the parties got hit was that a shady promoter was manipulating the city of Montreal into doing his bidding.

Given the extremes the man went to in order to knock down the competition, rumors of his involvement in the drug trade might not be unfounded. This would be ironic since he was also a big supporter of an anti-drug organization that used to have a large presence in the Montreal party scene. Members of this long defunct group would hand out leaflets on responsible drug use to ravers, and also ran a drug crisis hot-line that people could call. Their ultimate mission was to turn kids away from the evils of intoxication, so this promoter's support of the group was something of a bitter joke.

It's been years since he's thrown a party, and that might have something to do with the biker gangs having pretty much abandoned the rave scene for more profitable pastures. That's good for the party kids though. Raves are safer now then they were ten years ago, and promoters no longer have to worry about getting shut down by greedy gangsters.
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