Honest Ed's backs out of underground charity party

Bad news for Toronto's party scene: that way-fun dudely party in the Honest Ed's underground parking lot has been re-located due to concerns from Ed's general manager Russell Lazar. Lazar caught wind of all the attention the party was getting and was surprised that the promoters expected up to 1,400 dancers.

While Lazer says might let Dudebox come back to Ed's someday (meaning, I'm sure, someday before condos take over), Friday's party has been moved to 99 Sudbury, and the event has been renamed "99 Problems But a Venue Ain't One." Next time they should just have a party under a bridge like the rest of us trolls.

While this seems like another occurrence of why Toronto can't have nice things (look out for our list of the top 50 reasons Toronto can't have nice things), in light of the tragedies at Downsview's VELD Fest, his concerns can be understood.

Matt Powell of Dudebox explained the unique situation: "because we usually have these events in unconventional spaces, we normally deal with people who are not used to throwing parties. Sometimes this works to our benefit, and other times it's detrimental. The only events Lazar had done were some Fringe ones, with maybe 200 people."

"An event space manager that is used to parties would have been able to adapt to the large amount of people (as we did by upping our SOP, getting more security and bar staff, getting the blessing of Mike Layton and the residents associations in the area, etc.). To be fair, even we were unaware it would get so large. But where we adapted, he was unable or unwilling to."

Many will gripe - and rightly so - about the loss of the amazing party venue on the 15th, but don't lose sight of Dudebox's whole thing, either - raising money for charity (cancer, in this case). While the new venue will incur some costs for promoters, 80% of the door is still going to Wellspring. "We're a positive bunch here at Dudebox," Powell says, "and we're just happy that we still have the chance to raise some money."

This isn't the first time 99 Sudbury has stepped in as a last minute. Earlier this year when Foundry couldn't use their dream warehouse space on Sterling due to issues with the city, the entire multi-week series was relocated with barely a day to spare.

The key to a party at 99 Sudbury is to show up early enough to avoid the line - but not too early. I'm going to make an educated guess and say showing up after 11:30 is a mistake. More importantly, can someone please tell Ellen about the venue change?

99 Problems But A Venue Ain't One is Friday August 15 at 99 Sudbury. Doors are at 10pm and cover is $10.

Photo: Dudebox

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