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June 29, 2010

Insubordination Fest pits promoter, fans against Sonar

poland spring waterInsubordination Fest was at Sonar this weekend, and oh my did it stir up some drama. 

The promoter and several patrons of the two-day festival, which featured about 50 bands, are claiming the club denied them free cups of water on Saturday, and would only sell bottles instead -- a charge the owner denies. Bottles of water also varied in price Saturday.

Some of the festival-goers say the bartenders gave them a bottle and told them to refill it in the bathroom. And re-entry was not allowed on Saturday, even though the festival lasted more than 12 hours, according to co-founder Mark Enoch.

"It was hellish," Enoch said.

"I don't think I'll ever get some of the customers back because of the venue, and I don't blame them." ...

I've spoken and e-mailed with both sides of this one, and I'm not taking sides here -- I'm just presenting what I'm hearing. First, let's talk about the water situation.

Sonar owner Dan McIntosh said though the club wanted to sell bottles of water, no one was denying people cups of tap water.

"This is our policy on water: When someone asks you for water, you hand them a bottle of water," McIntosh said. "We are there to sell people things. ... But I know for a fact that none of our bartenders would not give someone a glass of water if they asked for it."

When Jacob Bruce, who lives in Missouri, asked for free water from a bartender, he was denied. He said the bartender told him a manager had instructed all the bartenders not to hand out free waters.

"I asked him what I was supposed to do and he said he could sell me a bottle for three dollars," Bruce wrote in an e-mail. "I said "three dollars!?" and he suggested that I buy a bottle and refill it in the bathroom, which I did all night right up until the of the show. The only time that I couldn't was when the men's room was closed because all the toilets were backing up."

At some bars, bottles of water were $2 on Saturday, and then they went up to $3, according to patrons. This was due to price structuring, McIntosh said.

As for the re-entry? On Friday night, Baltimore police busted a half dozen Insubordination Fest patrons drinking in the parking lot, McIntosh said. He said he pleaded with police not to arrest them, and was told he'd have to shut down the festival if he didn't impose a strict no re-entry policy on Saturday.

So there you have it, folks. Enoch is eying new locations for next year's festival. Meanwhile, McIntosh seemed to be soured on the festival and its clientele.

"Honestly, it's a situation where, if you can't even buy a bottle of water, maybe you shouldn't book an event at a major concert venue where there's bills to pay," McIntosh said.

(AP photo)

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 3:12 PM | | Comments (156)
Categories: Local music


Too bad Matthew Pugh wasn't on scene to provide a review. I'd love to know what brand of water was being sold.

I was there. The prices for the bottled water started at $1 (which only lasted for about an hour or so), then went up to $3, and towards the end of the night they were $4 for a small bottle of water.

Also, there are a few clubs in the area, how do we know that the people drinking in the public parking lot went to Insubordination Fest? If they were doing something illegal, let the police arrest them. Don't trap 1000 people inside and take away their water.

See I think it all goes back to the name.
Insubordination Fest = Trouble.
You will Comply Fest = No problem.

Black Cat offers free water, all the time - they have water coolers set up at the bar. While I think it's totally crazy to be looking into legal action because free water was not provided, I also think it's completely crazy that "in order to pay bills" you rely on $3 water bottle sales.

"This is our policy on water: When someone asks you for water, you hand them a bottle of water," McIntosh said. "We are there to sell people things. ...

Yeah, right. you ask for to get water and your first handed a bottle to buy. what kinda of understanding is the average guy going to come away with.

"Honestly, it's a situation where, if you can't even buy a bottle of water, maybe you shouldn't book an event at a major concert venue where there's bills to pay," McIntosh said.

is his take from the fest and his profit margin slow low they HAVE to sell water to make money?

sounds totally immoral and indefensable.

Oh, and corrupt.

The owner is lying. I was there. At first they had jugs of water out on the bars as they have in previous years but they were removed. The club tried to jack up beer prices and it backfired on them. ($5 for a can of Boh or PBR was the cheapest option). When bar sales fell flat the club doubled down by locking everybody in and removing the free water.

I asked for a glass of tap water and was denied. Several of my friends had the same experience. I was told I had to buy a bottle of water. Eventually the bartender relented and gave me a glass of ice, but would not fill it with water.

They had coolers set up at the bars for the Friday night show full of free water. They had those same coolers set up at the bars for the start of the Saturday show. They were removed, and the bartenders started to ask for money for bottled water.

The bartenders told many people that they were instructed by their boss not to give out any free water. In previous years, and earlier on this year, there were a few coolers out and about filled with tap water, but those were taken away once the 'no free water, no in's and outs' rules were in place.

I think it's also worth mentioning the price increase for on beer. The promoters had a blue ribbon sponsorship and signs for $3 cans, which the club undermined by charging $5 per can instead.

Mr. McIntosh,

Maybe you should not run or be in charge of a major concert venue if you need to rely on water sales to pay your bills.

Dan McIntosh is full of [crap]. What a lying piece of crap.

First they jacked up the price of beers from the advertised $3 to $5, tearing down all the signs that advertised the beer specials.

Disappointed with poor sales on Day1, they refused free water, didn't let people out of the club and raised the price of water throughout the day. All bartenders said "they were instructed by their boss" not to give out free water and to only sell bottles.

The guy is a piece of [crap].

The owner was upset because they were selling cans of pabst for $5 and no one was buying. A promo deal was set up with the pabst distributor, there were signs all over the club during sound check saying $3 for pabst, so kids went to the outside where they didn't have to pay outlandish prices for beer. In years past, we had drank them out of all their beer because of realistic ($3) prices. This year, no one was buying, so they decided to treat us worse than jail. I won't come back to this festival that I love if it's at this club. I don't even want to get started on the overflowing toilets. I had to buy a new pair of shoes from walking into the bathroom only to find myself standing in human waste. The city should keep an eye on this place.

The owner is absolutely a liar. Two seperate bartenders told me that they were under strict orders to refuse free water to customers, and that they could be fired for doing so. Based on the events of the weekend, Dan McIntosh is by far the most greedy, dishonest and awful club owners I've ever come across in 15 years of being involved with music. He should be ashamed of himself for what he did this weekend, and for blatantly lying about it afterwards.

"Honestly, it's a situation where, if you can't even buy a bottle of water, maybe you shouldn't book an event at a major concert venue where there's bills to pay."

This quote is pretty telling for a couple of reasons, isn't it?

1. Sounds pretty clear that Sonar was absolutely trying to boost water sales by denying tap water to customers who also had to deal with a restrictive "no reentry" policy on what was a 13-hour day of music at the venue.

2. Can we infer that Sonar is having some financial difficulties? Sure sounds like it.

maybe people wouldnt have to dirnk in the parking lot if the beer prices werent so high. also, there was supposed to be a pabst promotion of $3 tall boys i believe which the club totally revoked and charged us $5.

the water situation was an utter joke. some people have already said it in their comments above. the owner is a big fat liar and a corrupt baffoon! also, several people saw him kick the dog he had in the club. im glad we wont have to go back to that dump ever again.

There was a Baltimore Sun photographer at the venue. (see,0,6712562.photogallery) maybe he can tell his experience.

I love that last line! Implying that the whole issue was that Enoch didn't want to buy ONE bottle of water in 12 hours. It appears that the owner doesn't understand even the basic issue at hand.

I went to get water. The bartender said she would have to charge me. I handed her my money. She gave me a cup of ice and water from the soda gun. I didn't even get a bottle! What a scam!

The owner is lying.

Due to poor bar sales on Friday they took away free water and re-entry on Saturday (both of which were available all day on Friday).

The promoters also had a special deal with the beer companies to sell $3 cans of beer. The owner made them remove all the signs and jacked up the price to $5 a can.

The Baltimore Sun had a photographer at the event on Saturday, so the paper has at its disposal a fairly unbiased witness if they care to approach one.

I was also there this weekend and was disappointed by the club's behavior on Saturday. I will not be going back any time soon. There are plenty of other places in town to see bands that don't rely on holding people captive to drain their wallets, or rather "pay the bills." I can't believe this sounded like a good idea to the owner.

Speaking of paying the bills, perhaps the club should look at the receipts from this event last year, when bar sales where enough to cause the venue to run out of several types of beer by the end of the 2nd day. Then again maybe they did look at those sales and were blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes.

"Honestly, it's a situation where, if you can't even buy a bottle of water, maybe you shouldn't book an event at a major concert venue where there's bills to pay," McIntosh said.

Major concert venue?? He's joking right? The only thing "major" about this place is it being a major piece of S***T!

I was denied free water several times through the day Saturday, and the bartenders from both the main stage and second stage areas told me that the owner told them not to give out water.

Between the water issue, the contract breach between the event and PBR which had Sonar raising beer prices from $3 to $5, the rediculous conditions of the restrooms, and the lack of re-entry for a thirteen hour concert made the day pretty unbearable. I love Insubordination Fest, and I attend it every year, and this is the first time there were any problems like this between the venue and the event. I know I will never again visit Sonar after the way I was treated.

We did a review of Sonar on our website a few months back, and expressed similar sentiments.

Long story short is that we had a gig there where we didn't get paid because they said we lost them money that night. Our response was that you can't charge a $10 cover on a Tuesday night, not have any drink specials (quite the opposite - their drinks were actually very expensive), and expect anyone to show up. I mean, how is a band supposed to convince fans to trek out on a weeknight for that? People aren't stupid, even Dirty Marmaduke Flute Squad fans!

Their business model is flawed, and it's a shame they have to resort to this sort of nonsense to stay afloat.

None of this is important. Did you hear that one of the guys from Be My Doppelganger threw a bottle at Teenage Bottlerocket?

I was told several times that bartenders were told to not give out free water under threat of termination.

And here is the owner publicly saying that it was freely available.

So, would make more sense to believe that the bartenders as a whole formed a cabal with the intent of denying a group of concertgoers normally free water for no reason or reward, or that it was the decision of a business owner with a history of bad decision making skills who is now continuing the bad decision trend by blatantly lying while simultaneously throwing his staff under the bus? I will have to think about that one....

In addition to denying the water- $10 for "any mixed drink" the bartender told me. Ok, I'll have a shot instead. $10. So is it $10 for a mixed drink or $10 for a shot? Oh, it's the same! Silly me. Eff that.

Interestingly, Dan McIntosh, when he approached the third party food vendor at the Insubordination Fest and was asked to pay money for his food, explained to the cashier that, since he was the owner of the club, he did not have to pay.

You know, if you can't afford to pay for a burger, Dan, maybe you should not be operating a rock club.

This guy is such a shyster. He is flat-out lying in the quotes he provided for this blog. That's nothing new for him, though -- see the City Paper article on him from a couple years back. But the thing is, he's not even a good shyster! The good ones use shady business practices to make extra money. Dan appears to be in it for the pure, um, evil. It's really odd. Fascinating guy...

and we wonder why so many concert schedules jump straight from philadelphia to dc...

if i were a band or a promoter, i wouldn't touch sonar with a 10 foot pole.

This guy has no clue on what a "major concert venue" is. You don't get to charge top dollar for drinks and have a dirty club with duct tape all over everything and no working bathrooms and still rape your customers on the drink prices. Hopefully someone will take over this place or it will shut down soon. $10 for a shot, $4 water? Give me a break!

Why did the owner care if they got arrested? There not his friends or buddies? Hell even Enoch the co founder probably would have told them tough shit if they got arrested for drinking underage. Those kids did what they did under their own volition, sure the clubs awful drink prices caused this, but nonetheless, the owner didn't need to defend these kids.
Also, Enoch offered to hire security for the parking lot the next day out of his own pocket. The owner denied it. The only reason for no re-entry was to increase bar sales, along with the denial of selling water. Mr. McIntosh people will buy beer, people book shows at your venue, that's how you make money. We shouldn't be forced to buy your water it's not a "One drink minimum" kind of show.
Good riddance. Sucks for Baltimore, because I have a feeling your venue will not last long with these practices. Good riddance.

I played this fest. I was given a free cup of water then one hour later my band mate was denied one. The bathroom conditions were a flat out health/safety hazard. Sonar has never had much of a reputation, and I've had my share of bad experiences, but this was horrendous. Scale the fest down and take it back to the Ottobar.

I am the in house talent buyer at Sonar, have been booking here for 3 years, booked the old Talking Head, and have been working for Dan for about 6 years at this point.

It's unfortunate that this event has upset so many people, but I must address some of these comments from my point of view as there are gross inaccuracies here.

I do feel as though a lot of these issues stem from the way our rental deal was structured with the promoters. In order to get the festival confirmed, after much negotiation, we agreed on a price that was far below our operating expenses for this event. We did this because we believed in the fest and wanted it to be here again, a three room punk show under one roof, there is nowhere else where this can happen! Because we were losing money on our expenses, we are then forced to capitalize on ALL of our revenue streams, which includes making an effort to upsell bottled water. However Dan did tell bartenders that if they were asked for just a cup of water that they could provide one, he also instructed them to have a water cooler set up in the Talking Head lounge. What the bartenders did with this information, I cannot account for, although when I talked to them they didn't tell me they thought they would be terminated for giving out water, or being rude and telling people to refill their bottles in the bathroom etc. Yes we had big venue, festival drink prices, because that's what this is. Shots are not $10, but top shelf shots are.

$5 for a 16 oz can of PBR or bottle of Boh, not can, at a Festival or major club is not unreasonable.

The promoters had a deal with PBR to have $3 beer. That was never ok'ed by me or the owner. It was a deal that they got paid for, we never got a penny or any free product, which is how these things work.

I accept the criticisms that are laid out here but hope that some people can look past what they perceive from this and understand from my perspective. I'm a professional, I've dedicated the last few years of my life to bring good shows to Baltimore and hope to do so for a long time.

In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have made a deal that put so much financial stress on the venue, of course if I did that, the show probably wouldn't have happened.

I'm NOT trying to badmouth the promoters of this event, I believe in what they do, and I think Insub Fest is a very important thing for the scene and I'd like to see it go on successfully, but I needed to express the situation from my point of view.

Get 'em PPMB.

Tar & feather that jagoff.

OK, well that sucks and hurts a ... ton.
i guess none of you know me or what I've done for music and my city at all. I ask anyone that knows me to comment on my behalf.
Please try understand that i have always done what I believed best for Bmore and music alike. Although I feel today like the last 12 years of my life (owner and/or operator of Sonar and The Talking Head Club) where for nothing, I know that I am and have been a good force for music, arts and freedom. I've done battle on the front lines of this thing for a very long time and given up everything for it. In the last few years have gone up against the biggest companies and largest money in the business to fight for the purity of music and art. To fight for having a place in town to do thing like insubordination Fest that aren't a F%#king shopping mail.
It really sucks that this is being said about me but I guess that what I get for not conforming.

"... But I know for a fact that none of our bartenders would not give someone a glass of water if they asked for it."

This is not true. I was denied a cup of water twice on Saturday by two different bartenders. Both said that they weren't allowed to give out water and that I would have to pay $3 for a bottle of water (which I normally wouldn't mind paying at all, mind you, I just didn't want to pay it to support this dump).

Come on. The reason the Talking Head agreed to a price below operating expenses is because they stood to make a killing on bar sales. After all, they had done just that in the past when they had much lower beer prices. Why were they doing things that would actually serve to decrease their bar sales? It makes no sense. Someone send these guys to a community college business class.

Dan, you always play innocent when criticism comes your way. I respect the shows you've been able to make possible over the years through running the Talking Head, and I've enjoyed playing there over a dozen times through the years, not to mention attending shows there, but you colossally blew it with this event.

It's time to man up. Assuming you weren't being intentionally evil, just admit you did something incredibly stupid (raised the beer prices beyond what a very heavy-drinking crowd would want to pay), then did incredibly stupid things on top of that (cutting off free water, price gouging on bottled water prices, no ins and outs) in an effort to make up for it. And stop the lying.

Also, I would like to know what your response is to the over 300 bottles of water that were smuggled into your club Saturday night, then given out FREE to attendees.

I would also like to know what the management of Sonar expected when the following circumstance happened (and it did):

1. Cash-only bar
2. High prices on beer
3. No free water
4. ATMS that ran out of money (seriously)
5. No re-entry

That seriously happened, Sonar. I'm not sure you grasp how incredibly badly you handled this event.

Dan and Adam,

Supporting the Insub Fest was awesome on your parts. Thank you for that.

Locking the attendees in your club for 12+ hours and denying them water or access to basic needs (food, money [how screwed was everyone who didn't have cash on them to buy water and couldn't even get any while trapped inside because the ATMs were out of money?], any other personal or medical items that were kept in a car or at a hotel) was very uncool.

It's a shame what the bar did and it's sad to see the in house buyer telling flat out lies.

It's nice to see a manager throwing his staff under the bus, essentially saying the bartenders were not providing free water on their own.

Not sure why, if providing free water was not an issue, the giant gatorade coolers were removed on Saturday 30 minutes into the show.

It's funny to see two managers from the venue giving conflicting reports about what happened. Only seems to validate what these fest-goers are saying about their experiences at the club on Saturday.

I'd also like to note that nobody from the fest was "busted" for public drinking and the police drove by the club throughout the night without stopping or getting out of their cars.

Additionally, since the promoters volunteered to pay for extra security out of pocket (which was declined by the owner), one can only conclude that the no reentry policy was enacted to trap people in the club to force them to buy drinks.

The worst part about this, and what felt the most flat-out malicious, was the removal of free water jugs. They've been present in past years at Insub Fest, and were there for most of the night Friday. Even the first couple of hours on Saturday. Once they were gone the bartenders still gave out cups of ice water, but that stopped very soon after. Had there not been a 3rd party food vendor, everyone would've been stuck in the club for 12 hours with absolutely no access to food.

I'd imagine that lowering the beer prices to the advertised $3 would've led to many more cans sold (as it has in years past). It seemed like the venue was dead set on standing by its high prices, whether it hurt sales or not. Everything combined made me, as an attendee, feel like the club wanted to do whatever possible to ruin my enjoyment of the day.

If Mr. MacIntosh had no problem giving out water why were the water jugs taken away in the 1st place? Also have you been "agreeing on a price that was far below your operating expenses for this event" for the two years before? I have been attending this event for years, and I don't recall this ever being a problem in the past.

I suppose it is what you get for not conforming, mr. Macintosh. As far as ethical and moral practices go, you're definitely a real non-conformist.

Dan, not permitting re-entry hurt merchandise sales, since fest-goers were not able to drop off their purchases in their cars and/or hotel rooms. Your decision most certainly was not in the best interest of the artists.

One more thing, and this is directed more to Adam Savage.

I'm curious why Sonar staff hung up the posters advertising the 3.00 PBR deal throughout the club. And, yes, it was indeed Sonar staff (including the production manager) who did that.

So, through soundcheck, the club was fully behind the PBR deal. Soonafter, the posters advertising the deal were torn down.


What happened?

I'd also like to point out that the $3 bottles of water weren't even particularly cold.

Perhaps the headline should be edited to include the bands as well? I saw plenty of bands brutally criticizing the way the club handled the event onstage. Some also went out of their way to make sure people DID get access to water.

Just want to echo the sentiment that not only did the owner of this club seriously mishandle the Saturday of this event, but he's really destroying any credibility he might have by flat out lying about the Saturday water situation. It was a stupid mistake to literally inform your bartenders that giving out free water was not allowed and might be grounds for termination, but, hey, sometimes people make really idiotic mistakes. Lying about it after the fact is so weasely and pathetic, I have trouble even understanding it. It's pretty sad that one guy's misguided attitude can do so much to sour the experience that hundreds of people had in an otherwise awesome city. Dan MacIntosh, you messed up big time, and I hope that even if you continue to tell lies about the specifics of this event, you at least learned that this is the type of thing you can't try and pull in the future.

The way the Sonar handled Saturday was completely disgraceful. This was the second year I attended the event and was completely disgusted by the end of the night at the state of the venue. To lock people in that tiny club for nearly 12 hours felt like a prison. Even with the alley to retreat to, once someone pointed out to me the water flowing through it was sewage, I felt suffocated and trapped all night.

In addition, why was there a dog running around the main room? I couldn't see if it was leashed or not, but that poor animal was left to roam around the venue surrounded by loud music that could potentially have harmed it, not to mention the shock collar it was wearing. On the other hand, what if an attendee was seriously allergic to dogs? It's not like they would have been allowed to leave the venue to access their medicine and come back to see the show they paid for.

Most of the employees however were awesome. Some security guards were totally forgiving and a few of the bartenders understood showgoers' plights and risked their jobs to give people the free water they were entitled to (because, aren't people supposed to get free water in places food is served? that's what I thought.) I commend every employee of Sonar who tried to make the best out of an awful situation.

I'm from New Jersey. I've seen a fair share of disgusting venues between here and New York City. By the end of Saturday night, the Sonar managed to take the title of the most disgusting place I've ever set foot in, both in its physical state as well as the atmosphere. The treatment of paying fest-goers was completely ridiculous and unfair and I'm glad that bands like the Dopamines spoke out against it loudly on stage. I wouldn't let it ruin my weekend, but I will never attend anything at that club, or any related one, again.

In my experience (as a show goer) Sonar has been a notoriously crappy place. Over priced drinks, and bad up keep. I've made the 'I'll never go back there' comment a few times in the past but this was pretty horrid. Luckily as a community everyone attending was able to still make it a fun time but that seemed to be against the will of the club.
As already been stated the beer was insanely overpriced, and as mad as that makes me that is the least of the problems. Friday there was coolers of water out, but Saturday they were gone and replaced by $3 and $4 water. I found out first hand paying for water was the only choice at that point, I guess you could have gone and filled tap water from the bathroom if you were lucky enough to get a cup but god knows what kind of dieses were lurking around in that foul place. The bathroom on Saturday may have been the most disgusting place I've ever been, I trashed the shoes I was wearing after it was so bad. And that's just because of the human waste on the floor; the smell was not pleasant either. The only thing I can say that's positive about the venue is that 99% of the staff seemed to be decent and friendly people.

Yikes! How many people does it take to incompetently run a venue? It's a good thing there were so many people involved in mismanaging this past weekend's festival so that the buck can be continually passed. As a paying customer, the financials of your club do not concern me. If you thought booking this event would be too big of a risk - don't book the event. To play the role of the martyr and say you took the risk as a service to your city and your scene is a laughable, paper thin excuse for gross mismanagement from someone who got in wayyyyyyy over their head. What concerns me as a paying customer who was denied access to water, sanitary facilities, advertised drink specials, adequate air conditioning, and the option to get to my car parked a mere ten feet away from the entrance is that someone is severely reprimanded for the utter incompetence displayed this past weekend. Please stop hiding behind your bar and security staff who were nothing but professional all weekend despite being under insane orders and admit you screwed up royally. That would be a small step towards making things right.

I heard no less than 4 different bartenders say that they would lose their job if they were caught giving water away. I asked for a coke and two waters at one point (not expecting a) bottled water or b) to be charged $9). After paying, somewhat flabbergastedly, I drank the coke, put the waters in my pocket and chewed on the ice for 45 minutes or so until it was gone. At that point I went to a bartender, still holding the empty cup from my coke, and requested that the cup be filled with ice. The bartender looked around furtively and said "I really shouldn't do this, I could get fired." I replied, "I bought a coke, I just want some more ice to cool down the waters I bought." Finally, after hemming, hawing, repeatedly looking around and asking me not to tell anyone else, my cup was (extremely furtively) filled with ice.

Additionally, I've been to an awful lot of dive bars, and I've never in my life seen a bathroom in the condition that the men's room was Saturday evening. The whole weekend, Saturday in particular, was handled by the management of Sonar as though they were determined to make the absolute worst, most evil decisions at every juncture. I'll never, ever return to their club under any circumstances.

I tried multiple times to engage the owner in a man kiss but the synergistic effect of both pills and alcohol left me in a stupor that I could not properly function in. I reached for the owner and pointed to my lips in my effort but he thought I was asking for water and just said, "Three bucks, wasteoid."

The drink prices went up almost a year ago for many reasons and no other events seem to be hurt by it.
Their was a break down in communication if some of these other things happened.
Needing to try to get people to the bartender is what was intended by making people ask for water, in hope of the up sale. That is far different then what you guys are suggesting. The bartenders i spoke to i told to try to sell but we are not assholes if they cant or wont buy then give them a water. This is something I've done before in order to make up for the lack of sale or people spending very little money. Like when people bring tons for beer to the parking lot the first day. Bring heat on the event and the venue for no good reason and still b... about prices. The venue is there all year long not just for one event. We live there and we don't do that or allow that. The police said no reentry because of the drinking outside. At the same time i was trying to sell more to a crowed that really was not spending that much considering the deal we gave to get it done for everyone involved to make this happen.
This thing is about the music, correct? We can't just lose our asses ever show just to be cool or how cool are we really being?

It seems to me this is a pile on session and i should just stop. Fine, i wont book any more shows for or with you all. If people don't come when we do I guess I'll find out. I don't know who Matt Dorsey is but if any of you want to talk to me hit me through Sonar.

As a person who doesn't drink alcohol I was really upset that they were charging for water, and yes, they were denying free water after 3 p.m. on Saturday. I was lucky enough to get a couple of cups before that but when I went back I was told it would cost $3 for a bottle, I told them that I didn't want that, that I wanted a cup. They denied me that and said that they couldn't give free water out. I went to every bar and inquired about it, and every bar told me the same thing. Something needs to be done about this.

Guys, guys:

We should really just let all the parties involved handle this internally. It's really none of our business and at this point all the Insub complainers are just fanning the fans. Cool.

It's really, really easy to keep your story straight when you are telling the truth. How many people have posted here, on Yelp, on Google reviews, on the PPMB, who live in all corners of the country (and world?) and told the same story, point for point?

1) Beer prices were not as advertised
2) Water was taken away
3) Bartenders stated that the official position was that they were to not serve free water, under threat of termination
4) Only water offered was bottled, which increased in price as the day went on
5) All patrons, despite the agreement they implicitly came to with the club by purchasing a ticket through the official channels, were denied reentry (and therefore exit)
6) The bathrooms became progressively inhumane over the course of the day

And these two guys aren't telling the same story when their desks are likely two ripped vinyl chairs apart from each other (smoke-filled room, anyone?)

And I have a hunch that the two previous years activities, which were what gave all of the attendees, promoters, bands, etc. the idea that there would be $3 beer, free water, and reentry- might, just might, have given Sonar a hint that these might be things they should expect. If you are going to lie, at least tell a plausible lie.

Oh, and think long and hard about the absolute KILLING you would have made on all of those $3 beers. Man, you would be struttin' it to the bank (bookie, dealer...wherever your revenue streams go). Instead, you're facing health code violations and breach of contract.

Mr. MacIntosh acting hurt is wonderful theatrics, but I personally experienced virtually everything expressed in these comments, and have no doubt in my mind that he knows that he is completely full of it.

This was my 3rd year travelling from Canada for this fest. I guess my question for Dan would be: What worked about last year that couldn't have worked this year? Last year beer prices were fair, the club was packed, people came and went as they pleased, water was served with pleasure, the bathrooms weren't INCHES DEEP IN URINE..... If last year's model didn't work why would you even have considered doing it this year? No bar owner in their right mind would.

Given that I (and many others who travel with a budget for this thing) was pretty sure I knew what I was in for coming to the Sonar, I was pretty confident that the weekend was gonna be great. I considered Sonar to be nothing short of the perfect venue for this event, and now I will never go back to that club again.

All anyone was asking for was the same respect that we were offered previously. You'd have caught a lot more flies with sugar than whatever it is that the bathroom was covered in...

I was at the fest, and I've been to events at Sonar in the past. I will never return to the club no matter what for the reasons detailed in the article.

I asked for an empty cup (which I was obviously going to refill in the bathroom) and got some guff from one of the bartenders.

They had bottled of Natty Boh on sale for $4 at one point on Saturday. Last year they sold cans of Boh for $3 which were sold out by Saturday night.

I'm 23 and went with my little sister and her friend, who are both under 21. I had to smuggle in food for them on Friday since they weren't letting underage kids re-enter the club, which I kind of understand because of the underage drinking issue (still, it's f... up). I don't really mind walking around with burgers in my fanny pack, but seriously Sonar get your shit together. Sonar is a wonderful space perfect for Insub, but is in dire need of new management.

Yes the prices sucked, and yes the only option we had for food was the 3rd party vendor Sick Sick Burgers which, although I found delicious and SUPER polite and fairly priced, not everyone is a fan of boca, burgers, or hot dogs and it's unfair to assume that everyone is.

What I find the most striking is the fact that the ENTIRE mens room was completely flooded by the middle of the day Saturday and the men at the venue had no option to use a restroom elsewhere. Am I wrong to believe that this is a blatant health code violation? Not only was the bathroom itself flooded with human waste, it was bleeding out into the hallways where everyone had to walk through. Not once did I see anyone from the venue attempt to clean it up.

As to the venue managers attempting to defend their high prices, why is it that this is the first year that free water was not available 100% of the time and that alcohol was so expensive? Sure, we're in a recession, but we were in the same recession the past 3 years during which Insub was held at the same venue but with better prices and under much better conditions.

Dan either needs to get off or start taking drugs, because whatever the case is right now, he's clearly deluded. That rant on how much he's done for Baltimore is priceless. If you really cared about this musicians and fans (who are the source of your revenue), you wouldn't have treated us literally like garbage on Saturday.

About the only thing you did right was not instruct the bouncers to attack the crowd. Congratulations on getting that right. You should include that in your next self-congratulatory ramble.

PS: Your talent buyer throwing the bar tenders under the bus was VERY classy. You should have him apologize to each of the bar staff who were place in the unenviable position of having to tell us the dumb rules you imposed. Then you should apologize for putting them in that position. Because of your brilliant business sense, you cost them boatloads of tip money this weekend. I bet they could use that cash at the end of the month to pay rent. (ADDED BONUS! once you apologize to the bar staff, you can include contrite actions in your aforementioned upcoming self-congratulatory ramble).

I was at this show. Pleasant all day Friday, horrible Saturday. Although the water thing was a stupid ordeal, the strict 'no re-entry' policy on Saturday is being exaggerated. I walked in and out for cigarettes at least 8 times throughout the day and not one person said anything to me.

"None of this is important. Did you hear that one of the guys from Be My Doppelganger threw a bottle at Teenage Bottlerocket?" Haha, i was wondering who did that. That's pretty funny, they were pissed when that happened.

I'm so completely unhappy with this venue. I along with countless others traveled from places very far away (from California to London) to see all these bands play and to have to suffer through something like this really makes me incredibly angry.

I didn't drink as much this year as last year, but whatever, 5 bucks is the going rate for beer in Boston so it wasn't that bad. What got me is the lack of water and re-entry. Not really a problem if it was a 3 hour gig, but I showed up at 2p on Saturday to see a band with full intentions of coming and going all day so I could return to my hotel to eat and cool off, ending with my favorite band at midnight. I tried to leave after that first band, but no dice. The rest of the story has been repeated above, but I wanted to throw my voice in as well about being denied cups of water or ice, and the bartenders at all 3 rooms in this venue telling me in various ways that management specifically told them not to give out water.

I'm incredibly happy I brought my narcolepsy medication with me, however since I would not have been able to retrieve it otherwise. I work as an EMT, and with the conditions as they were in the club, I was incredibly surprised there wasn't an ambulance called at some point that night, not for roughhousing, but for heat exhaustion or diabetic shock. Even the bathrooms were disgusting by mid-afternoon and I wasn't comfortable using them at all, and I'm impressed with the brave souls getting water from the tap. I do, however know who I want to take a dump on.

I'm sorry. Mr. MacIntosh, if memory serves, last year we made your bars run out of two kinds of beer, and I along with my friends were tipping wildly and as far as I recall nobody at Insubordination last year stirred up any trouble, so I have absolutely no idea why you decided to treat your customers so badly this year. I grudgingly bought bottles of water for myself and my friends but I didn't buy a single beer all day because of how I was treated. I'm curious to know how exactly you came to the conclusions you did about the economics of the situation.

All I know is I'm going to be incredibly happy to not patronize your venue come this time next year.

Lying to the press won't change facts Mr. McIntosh. We were all there.

I've been playing music in this city for fifteen or so years. I will never play Sonar again. I will also never attend a show at Sonar, regardless of who is playing. I will actively persuade my friends and peers to avoid your club.

I hope your water sales were worth the backlash you're getting over this.

I was at the show all day on Saturday. The first time I tried to get a cup of water wasn't until 7 PM or so. I went to the bar in the room with the "Second Stage" and was told that the staff wasn't allowed to give free cups of water, but that I could buy a bottle. I tried at the bar in the main room and was told the same thing.

It's the new 'watergate'!!
...or 'PBRgate'. 
...or 'miserable show gate'. 
...or 'stinky shoe gate'. :\

A coverup nonetheless.
Didn't Nixon also say 'i am not a crook'?
...Whatever you say, buddy.

"Their was a break down in communication if some of these other things happened."

Well speaking of communication breakdowns, check out the syntax immidiately after that statement....

"Needing to try to get people to the bartender is what was intended by making people ask for water, in hope of the up sale. That is far different then what you guys are suggesting. The bartenders i spoke to i told to try to sell but we are not assholes if they cant or wont buy then give them a water."

Grammatical nightmare aside, you're lying again. You realize that lying is the #1 cause of communication breakdowns, perhaps that's why you have so many of them. It makes one wonder if you've had "communication breakdowns" with others, such as the IRS.


Josh McIntosh has gotten more chances than my ex-wife!

Someone get that guy outta here.

The only thing Ear Weaver knew about Dan McIntosh is that he could hit him. He doesn't even know his first name!

This whole thing about the police saying no in/out on Saturday is pretty interesting. If that's true, why did the promoter hear a completely different story?

I meant Dan McIntosh. This guy has my feathers all ruffled and I couldn't even get his name right.

Dan McIntosh has had more chances than my ex-wife! And more chances then Jim Palmer and Mike Cuellar combined!

Earl, it's a good thing Sonar is the one bar in Baltimore that you never frequented, otherwise you'd be even broker than you are today. Your chain smoking outside was making Terry Crowley (who was sitting on a bench until LTJ played) sick. How's he supposed to bust one open in the bottom of the 9th if he gagging and his eyes are irritated from your unfiltereds?

It's a shame that Sonar has put a black eye on the Baltimore music scene.

Making bad decisions is one thing, compounding them with poorly thought out last minute efforts is sophomoric.

Truly shameful.

I am still curious why Sonar staff hung the signs advertising the PBR drink special if the deal was, indeed, never approved by the club.

As someone else stated, the easiest way to get your story straight is to tell the truth.

Just tell the truth and apologize for badly mismanaging this event, Dan.

Also, Dan, I have no interest in speaking with you privately about these issues. In my opinion, this is much better served as a public discourse. If it's important to you that you know who I am, Ill tell you: I'm just a guy that has been playing in bands in Baltimore since the old TH location on Davis St. was called the Ottobar.

Speaking of that location, why did you tear out the beautiful, historic bar from there and replace it with plywood? It's my understanding that Abraham Lincoln drank at that bar...

I guess that's beside the point, but in light of less than stellar management decisions, I suppose it establishes a history.

Feel free to honestly answer the many legitimate questions posed in comments by myself and others.

Wow, this thread really took off! Everyone's welcome to swing by my house to drink from the hose.

Let's all get hosed at JTK's!

ok, i really wont bring you all down anymore. But this is an unfair assessment of what happened and yes i learned a lesson, cool. You all can step in and do it better? Come on get up off your asses and open a venue, you'll see. You will all get what you want at some point. I've booked and brought huge/ cool stuff for many years.
This is your call to action boys and girls please take the ball and run with it. I'm 35 years old i welcome anyone of you stepping up and doing something other then talking [smack] about what others do.
Maybe it is time for me to be what you all say i am because i sure as hell haven't made money and will never do this event again. But anyway, you all have fun with the hating. I bet none of you do anything to help Baltimore or Music after Sonar stops. hope I'm wrong. it is needed and i hope you all are pissed enough to do something. This is a witch hunt for sure and i guess Sonar will burn if everyone really feels that way. That being said I'll try to make this up to folks by doing something not just by talking. I will not be responding to this anymore i feel that what i have done with my life speaks far more than my this blog will ever.
To anyone constructive i am sorry for the way this looks but i assure you that this is a ball of crap hat got rolling because people pushed it to this point. Not because it is or was our intention

The flat-out lying is unbelievable. There were a thousand people in attendance at this event. They all saw what was happening. How can you expect to convince them otherwise? Perhaps by subtly implying that if there was a water issue, it was the fault of the bartenders? Classy move.

Looks like this is just a bunch of dorks from a message board that are pissed off because they had to spend a weekend out in public. Case in point, they can only kick up a fuss over the internet. Maybe they should have expressed some outrage while they were at the fucking show.

Tow-sun, the problem is that there was no one to direct outrage at. The bartenders and staff were all excellent and sympathetic of the attendees. Most of us are adults who know better than to misdirect our anger at people who were just doing their jobs.

I'm not completely on board with Tow-sun's post, but after reading how horribly wrong this event was handled, I'm am surprised that there wasn't an uprising of some sort. Maybe there wasn't enough beer bought to get people drunk (and stupid) enough, but my mental image of that scene had me ready to tear that place up. Reading Dan's attempt to excuse himself of any culpability makes me wonder why someone hasn't gone and torched Sonar today. He ought to have plenty of water on hand to put out the flames though.

In our business I've always thought that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

Dan Macintosh and Sonar win.

Doc -

People were upset, but nobody wanted to do anything drastic or illegal or violent...this in regards to your "uprising" comment.

Doing something crazy like destroying club property and/or getting the show shut down would have benefited nobody, especially the bands that traveled hundreds of miles to play.

That is why instead people have raised their voices now to bring attention to what happened on Saturday.


Rich--don't get me wrong--I'm not advocating violence or destruction of property. I'm just saying that it makes me angry to see how a club would treat it's patrons and then somehow attempt to defend those actions later. Hopefully there is more going on than just a lot of complaining about it on the internet so that some meaningful change actually happens. I can think of a few government agencies that might be interested in how things played out.

There was plenty of outrage expressed at the show. Unless you're suggesting we should have started breaking or stealing things?

If something was going to get broken or stolen ... seems like Insubordination Fest would be the proper place to do it?

We are the third party vendor that sold food in the alley outside Sonar during the Fest. For the past four years, we have operated a grill at Insub Fest day and night in sweltering heat, serving 1,000 patrons, to raise money to help pay for recording costs for our band. It is hard work, but we generally enjoy it, and it makes it possible for us to continue recording and releasing records. In past years (at Ottobar, and the first year at Sonar), we sold sodas and bottled water at our tent. In 2009, we were told at the event that we were not permitted to sell drinks, though the manager eventually allowed us to give away water with the purchase of a meal. Over the three months prior to Insub 2010, we asked Adam Savage if we were permitted to sell drinks at the tent. He finally replied on June 24 (day before the event), telling us that we were not permitted to sell or even give away any drinks.

I understand Sonar’s decision to not allow us to sell sodas. Since they make most of their revenue on alcohol, and I can understand that they don’t want us selling sodas. However, I did not agree with their decision that we would not be permitted to provide free water to customers who purchased a meal from us. It is doubtful that a free bottle of water is going to stifle their beer sales, and it seemed silly to prohibit us from doing this, since those customers could easily go inside and get free water provided by the bar at the coolers at the end of the bar. It is a matter of simple convenience for the customer to be able to come out to the alley for a burger and have a drink to wash it down with. It seemed like a needless (and ill-advised) attempt at a money grab. Little did I know, Dan was already in the process of removing all of the free water from the inside!!! It all makes sense now.

As has been noted in many of the comments above, Sonar would have been much better off financially by providing water at the bar, allowing us to serve water outside, and selling beer at reasonable prices. The attendees of Insub Fest are perfectly willing to spend a lot of money and drink a lot of beer! Pissing them off and driving them away, then locking them in and price gouging them were not the most well-thought-out and prudent strategies.

I’d like to thank everyone who bought food from us, Chris Thacker and Mark Enoch and the rest of the Insub Fest team, as well as the vast majority of staff and security at Sonar for being cool.
Sick Sick Burgers

Dan, your ceaseless attempts to portray yourself as a martyr of the Baltimore music scene sure are impressive.

You can't just say things and, by sheer force of will, force them to become true. At this point, I'm not even sure if you are actually aware that you are lying.

I hope you sell Sonar to someone else in the very near future, which I imagine must be something on your mind, given the unethical lengths you went to to boost earnings at this year's Insubordination Fest. I'm sure the financial trouble you're in is extremely stressful. If you've learned a lesson, I'm glad, although I'm dubious you even know what the lesson to be learned is.

"Honestly, it's a situation where, if you can't even buy a bottle of water, maybe you shouldn't book an event at a major concert venue where there's bills to pay,"

Maybe major concert venues shouldn't be stingy douchebags. Im sure what we were paying for beer can pay 3 months of their water bill.

As far as I know the bathrooms were in that condition due to vandalism so I guess someone was protesting.


You are notorious in Baltimore for doing all you can to ruin the music scene. I don't know a local soul who doesn't hate you and your bullcrap club. You are not the victim. Treating bands and music-lovers like balls and ripping them off greedily does not make you a supporter of the local music scene. It makes you a douche bag. And I can promise that no one in Baltimore would be suprised to hear that you and your club suck. We all know that first-hand.

I'm curious why Insubordination Fest promoters did not pull the plug on the event being that they seem to think their patrons were unsafe and being treated unfairly. Just a thought.

Though this post and the comments following are entertaining, and truthful as to what did in fact happen at the club on Saturday, complaining about it on here is not going to change anything.

If you really want to make a change, express your complaints to groups that might actually be able to bring an awareness and change to the way this awful venue is operated.

Call the health dept, call the Better Business Bureau, call Baltimore City Paper, the local news channels, etc. Let's band together to let Dan know that this is not right! That he can not treat people this way! Let's do it with actions rather than words on a blog posting!!

The conditions were changing by the hour and Insub patrons were helping to take care of anyone in need (from giving staff in-and-out bracelets to people w/medical conditions to smuggling in free water). People came to this Fest from all over the country (and around the world). It wouldn't be fair to cancel it at the last minute and the promoters AREN'T a-holes like Dan and wouldn't go to lengths to ruin a good time.

This is how things like werewolves vs. vampires wars start. I mean historically speaking, water access played a critical role. It's kind of ironic if you think about it. I mean really think about it. Which I would advise you do, Dan, unless you want to end up like Bella.

I gotta say, I mostly agree with what this Dan guy is saying. He seems really, really smart. And ethical. He seems ethical as [curse word]. And his moustache is NOT EVEN SLIGHTLY stupid ...

Oh wait

Yes it is

Story at 11

sonar is one of the easiest venues to just walk into. therefore i see bands i like alot for free while the venue loses money which is what they deserve. there are plenty of better venues in baltimore. this scene would still thrive and be fine without sonar.

I understand everyone is unhappy about the venue. But it does seem like Insubordination Fest promoters did have a hand in this. Everyone is complaining now through the safety of their computers but did any promoters speak to the venue owner or promoter about their issues with what was going on? If I feel unsafe somewhere - I leave. This thread makes it sound like patrons were chained in the club and not allowed to leave. So although you may think your promoters were not A-holes like you say the venue owner was - I truly feel that they should have acted on behalf of their patrons . If they didn't stop the festival because they didn't want to "ruin a good time" - doesn't that kind of make them A-holes since it seems like everyone is saying they had a terrible time?

I heard Insubordination Fest looked something like this:

Curious, the promoters were trying very hard to work everything out with Sonar management all day long, to no avail. It was probably the most stressful day of their lives, due in no small part to how horrible conditions were for the people there to experience the event they'd planned. I don't see what else they could have done. If you think they should have, in the middle of the day, told all the bands not to play or something, I don't think you understand how life works.


You guys are making it sound like it was a war zone in there with no water and people were "trapped" (as many of you put it) inside. So I guess I don't understand how life works if it is more important to you guys that the bands play than the safety of your guests.

"Looks like this is just a bunch of dorks from a message board that are pissed off because they had to spend a weekend out in public. Case in point, they can only kick up a fuss over the internet. Maybe they should have expressed some outrage while they were at the ... show."

People talk about anarchy
And taking up a fight
Well I'm afraid of things like that
I lock my doors at night
I don't rape, and I don't pillage
Other peoples' lives
I don't practice what you preach
And I won't see through your eyes

You want to change the world
By breaking rules and laws
People don't do things like that
In the real world at all
You're not a cop, or a politician
You're a person too
You can sing any song you want
But you're still the same

I can't think of anything
That makes me more upset
People talk all this rhetoric
Forgive but not forget
I don't rape, and I don't pillage
Other peoples' lives
I don't practice what you preach
And I won't see through your eyes

I have known Dan McIntosh for years. While he is a pretty nice guy away from his business he would cut his best friends throat for a dollar when it comes to running his "business" Sonar. If you think this is the first time he has run this scheme think again. I just wish Dan would have the ability to realize what he is doing to "his city" and to the "bands and scene he does all of this for".

Curious, ChaddDerkins wanted me to tell you that he doesn't know how to respond to you without calling you an idiot. That guy is like as big of a jerk as you are an idiot.

Just so people are aware: many of us have already written to the mayor's office, governor's office, maryland district attorney and the liquor license board and commissioners and contacted the Baltimore 311 service.

This thread is merely an expression of public outrage, but that doesn't mean nothing else is going on.

Has anyone written to the Moustache Police Office?


You + Vasectomy = Doing the world a huge favor.

nice mustache you lying sack of ...

To the people who say that no complains were raised:

a) There was a lot of yelling between the promoters and the owner of the club.

b) If you look at this video around the one minute mark you can see the band expressing their feelings:

c) or you could look at this video around the 27:15 mark to see a similar expression:

d) the reason why nobody stopped right away was that the bands and the people still enjoyed the music and the coming together. ending a festival after 2/3 would have destroyed the small amount of fun people had. not to mention the fact that people traveled from around the globe to this event and would be bummed out.

So basically saying: Oh if you don't like it why don't you just leave is missing the point. People don't want to miss the event, they want it run in a proper way.


You know, I probably would have gotten one years ago, but your mom seems to REALLY get off the element of surprise.

Next venue for Insubordination Fest?

Next venue for Insub Fest?


You're too late. Fritz already spawned.

But seriously, how about that bar at the old Davis St. location? I wonder what ever happened to it.

7 of us drove down from New Hampshire just to see these bands (some of which reunited just for this show, or are from England or the West Coast). At 50 dollars a ticket, that's 350 dollars. We spent probably about 150-200 in gas, tolls, and food, and not to mention taking off three consecutive days of work. I don't think "just leaving" was an option. The event planners did indeed talk to the club owner about the inhumane treatment of the patrons but he remained stubborn. And yes, there's more being done than just outrage on the internet so don't try to make the club owner seem any less of a villain.

Did anyone mention that this monopoly man looking douche was walking his small dog around the crowded venue while bands were playing? im sure your dogs hearing is ruined now. have fun with those vet bills, you might have to make water 10 bucks now!

I've been to better run shows in NJ basements than at Sonar, and the bathrooms actually worked and were way more sanitary! Go figure! There are definitely people that could run Sonar better than you, Mr. Macintosh, and most of them were in attendance and they don't lie to people either.


yes, a couple people mentioned the dog being in the club. some people i talked to said he was also being kicked and shocked by a shock collar. maybe animal cruelty charges need to be dropped on that idiot.

Yo, my man Dan McIntosh does not run things at Sonar like I would. You should see the fests I put on at other venues in B-more City. Even my main man Zac from Strong Intention tells me how my shows crush his when he propmotes his favorite heavy metal band EYEHATEGOD. Those guys at least are in on the joke. Dan McIntosh IS the joke if he denies children water on really hot days. I bet he leaves his dog in the car when he goes grocery shopping and does not roll down the windows. From witnessing the Insubordination fest this weekend he abuses animals by walking them through crowds of Juggalos and people who dont have the sweet gangsta lean that I do. Peace.

You guy are good at displacing blame too!!

Hey it could have been worse, start learning how to be real punks at 4:19

And can we really get to what we all really wanna know:

"None of this is important. Did you hear that one of the guys from Be My Doppelganger threw a bottle at Teenage Bottlerocket?"

Please have pictures. Please.

By the way the picture posted above by "Curious" was not posted by the same person who has been posting under that name in this thread.

Dan McIntosh is the Human Centipede of club owners. I love that guy!

This was by far and away my worst experience at Insub Fest thanks to club Sonar and owner Dick Macintosh!

The club had today's best bands, awesome people, friendly staff, and excellent A/C but then Dan ruined the event with poor management decisions.

Jacking the beer up to $5 hurt bar sales and in response Dan turned Sonar into his personal Russian Gulag. No re-entry, terrible bathroom maintenance, and taking away the water jugs was unbelievable. Surreal in its evil.

How could this new Curious sully the good name of the original Curious? That is just straight up wrong, man.

At any point, does this become more than a blog post? If the BBB, mayor, and other orgs are being contacted, does it ever get ramped up to an actual story? Seems that Dan Macintosh, or someone purporting to be him, has made attempts at responses.

And if the Sun had a photographer there ... seems like some real information could get out rather than he said/she said turning into personal attacks.


I would like to apologize to everybody for letting Daniel stay up so late on Friday night to watch Gremlins with his mother.

Now I know how you all feel about mustaches....

But how do you feel about neck beards and crotch shots?

Fritz - I know this picture might excite you a bit too much. It's ok to have "those" feelings. Just drink some water and you will feel better.

ok, i really wont bring you all down anymore. But this is an unfair assessment of what happened and yes i learned a lesson, cool. You all can step in and do it better? Come on get up off your asses and open a venue, you'll see. You will all get what you want at some point. I've booked and brought huge/ cool stuff for many years.
This is your call to action boys and girls please take the ball and run with it. I'm "35 years old i welcome anyone of you stepping up and doing something other then talking [smack] about what others do.
Maybe it is time for me to be what you all say i am because i sure as hell haven't made money and will never do this event again. But anyway, you all have fun with the hating. I bet none of you do anything to help Baltimore or Music after Sonar stops. hope I'm wrong. it is needed and i hope you all are pissed enough to do something. This is a witch hunt for sure and i guess Sonar will burn if everyone really feels that way. That being said I'll try to make this up to folks by doing something not just by talking. I will not be responding to this anymore i feel that what i have done with my life speaks far more than my this blog will ever.
To anyone constructive i am sorry for the way this looks but i assure you that this is a ball of crap hat got rolling because people pushed it to this point. Not because it is or was our intention"

This guy is such a [edited for content] ... ...

According to Dan: There have been a few astronauts who claim to have seen lots of evidence of alien beings but the government is covering them up. This wouldn't be hard to do. I think another part of the problem is that they are inderdimensional, and are only seen by us when they choose to be. I also don't think they are really aliens, but that's an entirely different blog.

I'm sure every venue in town is going to jump at the chance to host Insub Fest now that they know how much water you like to drink!!!

You guys should get sponsored by Poland Spring!! That would be so PUNK!!

Now someone tell me about that bottle throwin!!!

I think we can confirm that at least one astronaut has:

"Cooper’s mention of a “UFO on the ground” apparently was a reference to his own experience at Edwards Air Force Base on May 2, 1957. In 1993, Cooper gave this account of the incident, “...I had a crew that was filming an installation of a precision landing system we were installing out on the dry lake bed, and they were there with stills and movies and filmed the whole installation and they came running in to tell me that this UFO, a little saucer, had come down right over them, put down three gear, and landed about 50 yards from them, and as they proceeded to go on over to get a closer shot of it, it lifted up, put the gear in, and disappeared in a rapid rate of speed. And so I had to follow my directions as a military...I had to look up the regulations on who I was to call to report this, which I did, and they ordered me to immediately have the film developed, put it in a pouch, and send them by the commanding general’s plane to Washington, which I did. And that was the last I’ve ever heard of the film.”

It is interesting to note that, despite the continued protests that there is no government secrecy regarding UFOs, there is no public report on this incident. Although the event was listed in the Project Blue Book index, a full report and clear photos are suspiciously absent."

The government obviously didn't think he was crazy or out of line because, lo and behold:

"Yet Cooper, who reported the UFO landing, was selected as a Mercury astronaut only two years later. In a 1996 interview, Cooper said he discounts any conventional explanation for his experience. Asked his thoughts on UFOs, the astronaut said, “Well, I figured it was somebody coming from some distant place to visit us.”"

am not a physicist, so I can't really elaborate much on the other dimensions very much, but it's fairly recognized that there are more than four dimensions by scientists. The way so-called spacecraft move could only really be explained by them being interdimensional. It's just not possible to make right-angle turns and come to complete, sudden stops in our dimension (or so I've read). I'm sure a little simple googling would elaborate much more on this.

I mentioned in a thread a while back what I think "aliens" are. I believe they are demonic beings. There are instances of alien abductions being stopped by invoking the name of Jesus. There is a scripture that says: "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]." Ephesians 6:12. These are levels of demonic forces in our world. If you don't believe in the Bible, it sounds pretty loony. But, it is what I believe and have personally experienced.

altho i think the sonar sitch was f'd up, i do think it's sad n funny that for all this talk about an uprising and fighting the staff the only violence on display was someone in the crowd tossing bottles at one of the bands. we r like r own worst enemy.

What I want to know is, how did this go off without a hitch last year, and then this year was such a monumental ... up?

Did this really devolve into a discussion on aliens? I am speechless.

Everyone (aliens included) to my house for a drink from the hose!

I was there and Sonar refused to serve me tap water. I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know the legality of a venue refusing to serve patrons tap water, but I do know it’s unethical and well immoral.

For what it's worth, whenever I asked the guy at the bigger bar in the main room for free water he would give me a cup full of ice and tell me to fill it in the bathroom. I didn't have a problem with this at all.

Water and beer prices were absolutely insane though, yuck sonar.

Yep, it was a totally screwed up situation. They definitely were denying people free water on Saturday. And the ATMs weren't working. So even if you did wanna get cash to buy water you couldn't. And if you left to get cash out of an atm elsewhere, the club wouldn't let you back in because of the no re-entry they were enforcing on Saturday. You can't leave the venue during a 12 hour festival?? That's just insane!!

I think Tobias Jeg is to blame for everything. The re-entry, the water bottle price gouging, the bottle throwing, and perhaps the BP oil spill.

I agree that it was pretty bad inside there saturday, but it could still have been way worse.
I asked one bartender early afternoon for water cup, and they said I needed to get a bottle. I was a bit dissappointed, but was able to get a cup from another bar and filled it up from the tap for a bit. However, after losing that cup, I tried to go back to the same bar, and was forced to get a bottle around 9-10pm. I felt that $3 was ridiculous, especially when you have venue of hundreds of sweaty dehydrated fans locked in there all day. And the beer was just as bad too. I really hope that next year the manager gets some sense into him instead of being a greedy fool, or insub moves to a better venue that understands it's patrons are human.

Also, as for the bottle throwing, I was right behind the person that threw the bottle, and I know for certain it was not a member of Be My Doppelganger.

"...get up off your asses and open a venue, you'll see. You will all get what you want at some point. I've booked and brought huge/ cool stuff for many years.
This is your call to action boys and girls please take the ball and run with it. I'm 35 years old i welcome anyone of you stepping up and doing something other then talking [smack] about what others do... I bet none of you do anything to help Baltimore or Music after Sonar stops," SAYS DAN!

Wow, REALLY?! I'd like to point out that there were, and are still, several other bars in Baltimore that have been throwing shows long before Dan jumped on the bandwagon! And none of us, (as I've been employed by one for almost a decade), have ever tried to pull this kind of blatantly greedy, thoughtless bull... and yet we have still lived to see another day. We've had plenty of festivals at my bar, and never had these sorts of issues, nor gone bankrupt from not raping or endangering our patrons. What you did was inexcusable, but meshes completely with the reputation that you've already had going since the inception of Talking Head. Let me remind you, you arrogant jackass, you did not start the Baltimore music scene, and the demise of you and/or your bar will certainly not affect it. You are unbelievable!!!

One could argue that the "no reentry fiasco" at sonar this past weekend was more of a POLICY and less of a PRACTICE. I was granted reentrance into the event numerous times throughout Saturday. "Can I run this fresh merch I’ve purchased out to my car?"; "May I bum a cigarette as an excuse to talk to that hottie?"; "Is there a place to grab a slice of pizza within walking distance?". YES. "Will you hold the door for me so I can make my way to the parking lot and shotgun a warm beer in the driver's seat of my bumper-sticker clad car while passing around a fifth with some kids I met at the mall?” NO.

Works for me.

Looking forward to Nas in August!

More Sonar nickel & dime-in' - I just walked over to the box office to buy 2 tickets for a show next week & got charged an extra $3 in convenience & service fees. $1 to use a credit card, $1/ticket fee. Since when do you pay convenience & service fees at the box office?

Also, in case Sonar is adding box office convenience fees to generate additional revenue - Raise the ticket prices instead, fools! I'd rather buy a $13 then a $10 with $1.50 in bogus fees. It's the principle. And don't tell me that it's "tax" either, I know better!

Box Office convenience fees are outlined on our webpage.

$1 per ticket

Additional $1 for orders paid with credit card.

Ive been to a lot of shows at sonar and the talking head over the years, including the in sub fests in 2008 and 2009, and it's always been ok. This year, they made a lot of bad decisions. Bad decisions that hurt the audience, their employees, the performers, the promoters and ultimately themselves. The expensive beer and no reentry were irritating but denying free water was infuriating, unethical and very probably illegal. I'd hope that mr. Macintosh would learn from his mistakes, but given that he is still flatly lying about them, that doesn't seem to likely. I'll never find out though, since I'm never going to sonar again.

Also, for the guy who wondered how we expressed our outrage, we bought cases of water from 7-11, snuck them into the club in guitar cases and gave them out for free. Hooray!

sorry Mandy ,you were misinformed.the water flowing down the ally is air conditioner condensate water, condensed water vapor from the talking Head. . A/C condensate water is not to be discharged into the sanitary sewer system by code, it is to be discharged outdoors.

Regarding the water backup in the club men's room:, after removing the urnal , opening the wall and cutting the drain pipe and using a motorized wire "snake" I retrieved a white crew sock that some Insubordinate male, who had mistaken the unral for his mommys clothes hamper, tossed in then flushed. these kind of things happen every year at this fest, breaking toilet s, paper holdeers ,etc. It is unfortunate a few ruin things for the majority well behaved crowd that attends. video to follow on youtube "Insubordinate Sock Blocks Sonar System"

out of curiousity, can you get FREE water at an Orioles or Ravens game? I do not know the answer to this, just wondering.

Plastic cups do cost money and the last time I checked, everybody gets a water bill in the city.

PS Ice machines are expensive!

$5 for a 16oz. can of beer is a little high but it's not out of this world.

I am sure ticketmaster has a lot worse fees than Sonar.

Just saying, there are two sides to every story. Insubord Fest, sounds like a great clientele is going to go to that show. Can't we all just get along????

The above point may be true, but Orioles and Ravens games do not last for 12 hours. It is not just the price gouging for water, but it was a perfect storm of incompetence and idiocy by the management of Sonar. If they allowed for people to leave I would have had no problem with the $5 beer or the $3 water. I will never go back to the toxic dump that is Sonar. This really won't be that difficult because good shows in Baltimore are at Floristree, Wind Up space, Metro Gallery and the Ottobar.

Do they have water fountains at sporting events?

Regarding the water backup in the club men's room:, after removing the urnal , opening the wall and cutting the drain pipe and using a motorized wire "snake" I retrieved a white crew sock that some Insubordinate male, who had mistaken the unral for his mommys clothes hamper, tossed in then flushed. these kind of things happen every year at this fest, breaking toilet s, paper holdeers ,etc. It is unfortunate a few ruin things for the majority well behaved crowd that attends. video to follow on youtube "Insubordinate Sock Blocks Sonar System"

Posted by: jayz | July 3, 2010 1:38 PM

No wonder they need to price-gouge, they booked Jay-Z to do plumbing!

Hey Baltimore Sun, try this for your next headline: “Fans claim Club Sonar held tap-water monopoly over captive patrons for 13 hour concert.”


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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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