Burning down the House
CROWDED HOUSE: From nightclub to burnt pile of rubble
THE recent burning down of Pietermaritzburg nightclub Crowded House has, for many jollers, been considered as a welcomed “act of God”.
Speaking as a 20 something from a small town, I know what it is like to only have a handful of options on a Friday night, not to mention the loss felt when one of those options closes down, or (in this case) gets scorched beyond recognition.
However, whether the incident in mention was an act of arson or a faulty electrical board, my interest has been sparked by Crowded House’s mobile marketing technique.
I was one of the unfortunate people to have my cell number jotted down while standing in the queue on one of the few nights I’ve been to the club. Although I no longer go there, I am still plagued by constant SMS’s from Crowded letting me know what I’m (not) missing out on.
Although I’m not roped in by these SMS’s, the fact is that Crowded House has proven the power and reach of mobile advertising. While I might be lying on the couch nursing a fantastic hangover from the night before and watching a movie on a Saturday night (and perhaps feeling a little sorry for myself), I am first to know what is happening at the nightclub down the road – where the majority of the other young folk probably are.
The thought that I may still be getting SMS’s from Crowded House when I’m 80 and in a wheelchair no longer bothers me; what does grate my balls is how the corporate bastard that is Crowded House spun the whole fire incident into a marketing scheme. After first receiving the news from them via SMS (before the papers) they followed that with this:
“Two days of national mourning has been declared for the burnt building known as CROWDED HOUSE. Join us at the old phat planet premises on thurs, 21/8 for a burning down the house party then join in the mourning by not going to varsity, vc [varsity college] and work on fri 22/8”
Two days of NATIONAL mourning. How popular do they think they are? Please. And trying to encourage people to bunk varsity and skip work in their honour? That’s just disgusting. You can give Crowded House credit for being persistent, but not appreciated.
I’m personally glad the place is gone. The fire has cleansed the cesspool where I’m sure many ‘sins’ have been committed. The only loss I feel is one more option scratched off the list of things to do in a small town…
Crowded House: Burn baby!