Emo Night is throwing a pandemic event

Joining the esteemed company of Chase Rice and Smash Mouth!

Most of my friends make their living by touring. It accounts for the large majority of a musician’s income these days, since services like Spotify have obliterated profit margins for physical releases. Even if they’re not actively in a van or a bus, a lot of my friends rely on touring for income, whether they’re working very hard at operating venues, managing artists, booking shows, or printing merch. Hell, I myself rely on touring for income. When bands come through town, I go to their show, interview them, and write about them in publications for money. 

For six months, though, touring has been put on hold thanks to COVID-19 and the national fumbling of its handling. Everyone is currently grounded. Bank accounts are getting very low and anxiety over the future is getting very high. I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on the phone or video chat, commiserating with people as we wonder when we’ll get our lives and our incomes back.

So you can imagine, then, how extremely annoyed and pissed I was to see that the two little pricks who run Emo Night Brooklyn announced an event at an indoor venue in Oklahoma City this Friday, September 11. (Ah yes, 9/11, the famously good day which conjures absolutely no images of anything going wrong whatsoever!)

“Calling all OKC emos,” Emo Night’s Facebook post began. (OK first off, does anyone actually talk like that? Some real how-do-you-do-fellow-emos shit right there.) “We believe the party can continue, safely. This venue will not exceed 50% capacity, temperatures will be checked at the door, and mask wearing will be required.” 

There are so many layers of hubris behind throwing an emo DJ party right now. For starters, Emo Night is parasitic on a good day. Two frat-boy dumbshits have figured out a way to profit off of artists’ work by monetizing music fans’ early aughts nostalgia through no discernible talent other than a working knowledge of an iPad and tech-bro millennial marketing strategies. (Ah, your shirt says you're sad, very clever!)

Wait, I’m sorry. I take that back. I forgot that they do have one talent. They made a song and it is objectively the worst shit I’ve ever heard:

But now, as the artists whose music they profit off of are grounded at home and struggling to pay their bills and feed their kids—relying heavily on the good will of fans with services like Patreon and livestreams—these Emo Night fucks are further jeopardizing their future touring schedules and likely delaying reopening plans.

Whether this individual event is relatively safe or not misses the point. Indoor gatherings of intoxicated and horny people are going to be spreaders on some level, plain and simple. And the more that happens, the more delays we all have to buckle down for. It’s so irresponsible, in fact, that even the Emo Nite LA clowns are (socially) distancing themselves from it:

I have written before that when live music is finally able to come hobbling back, the music industry needs to do some serious scraping of its leeches. I truly can’t think of anyone who deserves to be bounced from this community more than these dopes. And this crisis has only shined a helpful light on where their priorities are.

Anyway, I usually have some sort of vaguely humorous or at least semi-entertaining point to make in these posts. And while the mental image of people in Oklahoma paying $15 + service fees to risk getting COVID so they can hear Good Charlotte songs in a half-empty venue on 9/11 should give me some base-level chuckles, I’m just too exhausted. Forgive the rant, but I’m thinking about my musician friends who have recently become parents. I’m thinking about those who had to move back home or sell off possessions. I’m thinking about music fans who have watched tour after tour and festival after festival get cancelled. I’m thinking about my own mounting pile of bills. So, apologies, but all I can get out today is: Fuck Emo Night.

If you’d also like to voice your opinion, here are their social media links: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. And here and here are the founders on Instagram.