Following on from our previous news flash
A new team has taken over running freestyles and club nights at Bowden’s Cinnamon Club in dramatic fashion.
Blitz has run its club night at the venue for over ten years, recently on Tuesday and Thursday nights, with the occasional freestyle. Blitz is the dominant MJ organisation in the north of England, running nights at around 12 venues.
On Saturday April 29, about 10 minutes before its midnight finish, two ex-Blitz employees, Claire and Rak Kapur and their son, flanked by the venue’s security staff, entered the freestyle and handed out fliers to the 80+ dancers attending.
The fliers promoted “Cinnamon Jive’, taking over Blitz’s established Tuesday and Thursday nights at the venue. Fliers also had been placed dancers’ car windscreens in the car park.
About the same time, Blitz venue manager, Suzzanne, was called to the office of Cinnamon Club’s manager. She was told that Blitz’s agreement was cancelled with immediate effect and that the Cinnamon Club would be taking over the nights.
Within days, an email was sent to many Blitz customers, informing them of the changes and promoting Cinnamon Jive.
Dancers attending the freestyle criticised the way the changes were announced. "In all the years I've been coming here I've hardly ever seen the security guards. Tonight they came in like the Gestapo … it was very intimidating. I've no doubt they were there for the benefit of the team handing out the flyers, not for the benefit of the customers,” one dancer said.
The attitude of the new team handing out flyers was also criticised. A Blitz crew member said: "I was most disgusted and shocked on how this takeover has been done. I was there on Saturday when it all happened and felt that (Blitz Franchisees) Rob and Suzanne handled it with professionalism and grace. Which was most different from Claire and Rak attitude which was to me over the top and like "up yours".’
Cinnamon Club Director Neil Hughes explained the reasons behind its takeover of the club. In his eyes, Blitz had brought the problems on itself. It hadn't entered into a formal contract with the Cinnamon Club and, in his opinion, had not managed the venue well. This was evidenced by the numerous changes of franchisee managers in 2006 and customer complaints.
Mr Hughes said he was totally legitimate in protecting 'his' customers by taking the club over and putting his staff in to the run the nights. When asked about why he was putting in staff that Blitz had allegedly sacked for poor performance and customer complaints, he said that that was Blitz's opinion, not his.
Blitz declined to comment on this story.
On8 will be publishing an editorial about this incident and the current competitive state of the Modern Jive Buisness in the coming week