Matt Dowgwillo, Thrifty Hipster, botches 'Shanghaied': Comment of the day

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for MattUptownthumb.jpg
Thrifty Hipster Matthew Dowgwillo: Forgive him?
New Year's Eve revelers told us they got screwed by Thrifty Hipster owner Matthew Dowgwillo.

He sold them on party at downtown's OM restaurant called "Shanghaied," complete with contortionists, gambling and geisha girls. But at the last minute, the party shifted to the Graves Hotel, and the guests got the shaft.

Dowgwillo has been very communicative with City Pages since we splashed the story yesterday. Here's a verbatim e-mail we received from him this morning:

I feel this article will make you look extemely foolish when we post what the true events that occurred were.

Its actually a complete misrepresentation of us to the extreme. You make it look like none of the performers were there. In fact, all performers were there. We had everything with the exception of the casino, which the Graves cancelled during friday's setup, not us.

But we'll post the true story with the star tribune.

And here's Dowgwillo waxing on at greater length in the comments section below our original post:

This is Matt from ThriftyHipster. I can assure you we're working on this issue. As far as the negative press on this, we've already offered all guests that were unhappy a full refund of the money we recieved from their ticket. If guests want to wait a couple of days in order for us to meet with all parties, we will hopefully be able to do better. We are fighting for them. IT would be easier, and I feel better for ThriftyHipster to just release all details of what happened and issue our refund part, however, we feel doing this would compromise our ability to issue larger refunds, and is the reason we are not doing that until we've had a chance to meet with all involved parties.

We accept blame where the blame is due, however to suggest we moved the event to make money is completely false. To suggest we were responsible for anything, other than continuing to host the event after a mandatory venue switch is preposterous. Just by switching venues we lost money, a loss we accepted so we didn't have to tell 1000 guests and fans that they had no where to party on NYE.

We will be releasing a statement on our blog soon, as well as all the details to those that are interested as we feel this will make City Pages look completely uniformed and slanderous in this post. They are just trying to vilify a competitor because they know ThriftyHipster

I can also assure you we'll be hosting a make up event, leveraging what little money we have left in our coffers and all our contacts to make sure guests at least get some kind of good time. Although we know we cannot make up a lost New Years Eve, we only ask, once all information is known, that we get blamed for our faults, and other parties for theirs, now including City Pages.

Again, to any guests that did not have a good time, we are very sorry about this. This is not indicative of a ThriftyHipster event as I'm sure you'll agree. We'll be publishing a response, but only after we've started to issue refunds. The best thing you can do right now is send an email with an explanation of why you were upset to info@nyeminneapolis.com If you do this, we'll be contacting you by the end of the week.

Sorry,

Matt

Do you forgive Matt? Let us know in the comments.

Additional coverage

* Thrifty Hipster botches Shanghaied New Year's Eve party

* More complaints from unsatisfied "Shanghaied" attendees

* Thrifty Hipster responds to complaints

* OM out of business, owner Vik Uppal mum on "Shanghaied"


My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
PISSED!!!
PISSED!!!

Matt Dowgwillo is a lying piece of SHIT!!!

BCPH
BCPH

I sent emails starting January 3rd to Matt at Thrifty Hipster, the OM website, the Thrifty Hipster website and more, but received no response (let alone a refund). So these comments in the media about how people are getting refunds and are being contacted is (at best) highly exaggerated.

Angie Arner
Angie Arner

I've made enough comments about this travesty, but I will make one more. They didn't offer full refunds, they offered partial refunds. Matt, lie. They DID NOT have all performers there. Case in point, Wants VS. Needs was advertised the entire time and did not play. Matt, lie. I have no doubt that the owner of OM was mostly at fault, but Thrifty Hipster rep Matt Dowgwillo has made it so much worse by not keeping his messages to ticket holders and the media consistent. Stop with the lies!

Jacktrash
Jacktrash

People should post their real names when they desire to be volatile and trash talk. Opinions should be more valued if they are not anonymous. If you are not comfortable posting your name, then send an email instead of publicly posting on a blog.

City Pages reported the news, which was that a number of people were clearly disappointed about their experience. 'Nuff said. As a promoter in town, I have had to answer to situations as well, and always do so to the best of my ability. This is not always easy, as the public does not always understand what can happen behind the scenes on the business end of things. I am not necessarily defending the accused parties here, but hope that people look at the truths in this situation.

JT Jack Trashwww.simshows.com (we do not compete with City Pages or Thrifty Hipster, at least not that I am aware of)

Marathongirl
Marathongirl

Huh, just reading down this, and having read both articles, City Pages did no slandering. They quoted people there. I paid $95 for the VIP. I was supposed to have private gambling room, which they did say wasn't going to happen with the moved venue. I was also promised 2 dance floors, VIP karaoke rooms and multi-level club and VIP bar areas. The karaoke had 2 rooms, one was open to anyone and with how loud it was from the dance floor, no way you could've done karaoke. There was only 1 VIP bar (with 2 bartenders), and it had a long, long line to it...and people were getting drinks from it and handing it over the rope that separated VIP from the rest and giving non-VIP people drinks ahead of those waiting. We were promised Grey Goose vodka as one of the sponsors, their sign said Smirnoff was the top shelf although they did have others, but half the time they were out of it and required a wait while they ran to get more. There were a few champagne bottles after midnight and it wasn't handed out really to many people...that wasn't even the bottle service area where the champagne was. The DJ didn't do a new years actual countdown or even acknowledge that it was new years. There were no contortionists, there was one kind of acrobat but I wouldn't have called them that and the one geisha girl walking around wasn't even Japanese and she was walking around with a guy. The go go dancers were good. The DJ (other than lack of countdown) actually was quite good, but there was no getting away from the music or chance to check out other music. I also talked to someone at the party that knew someone in charge of the event who told me that someone failed to get a permit for the number of people there which is why last minute they weren't able to have it at OM...I am doubting that was OMs fault and was on the fault of the ThriftyHipster...Now I made the best of the night even with all the crap, although I do feel I should get at least part of my money back since I didn't get what was promised and wish I had paid less since VIP didn't matter anyway, but I really don't like reading the lies that were given by Matt in the above messages. That just makes me want all my money back and tell my friends to never bother with an event of theirs. It's too bad because apparently Solera was a lot of fun last year.

anonymous
anonymous

City Pages didn't need to make anything up to make the people responsible for this event look bad. It was bad, I was there.There was nothing that I was expecting. It was executed worse than a high school reunion. It doesn't matter who is 'at fault' as the person responsible for the event the blame sits squarely on the shoulders of Thrifty Hipster.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I was also there. Quite frankly, non of these pseudo-intellectual dickless wonder children who are arguing on here about biased journalism or subjective writing have any right to make the statements they are making. This party was worse than a high school prom. In fact, it was easier to get booze at my prom. I fully suuport city pages here, regardless of any ill-will aimed at thrifty hipster as a competitor. They simply paraphrased the numerous lengthy emails that I have sent to info@nyeminneapolis.com as well as matt@thriftyhipster.com to no avail. And as for Matt D and Vik Uppal, DO NOT think that by somewhow trying to pull the wool over our eyes by saying that you are both victims in this scenario will in ANY WAY release either of you from responsibility. I am not an easily riled person, but let me say this: I am livid at the amount of time and effort I have now put into this pathetic excuse for a party. I will be getting my money back, and I will also be getting the truth about what is going on here.

Omgurdenss
Omgurdenss

I think the issue is City Pages form of tabloid journalism, reporting a story before they have all of the facts because the facts make stories less sensational. I also think it's no secret that all of the ex-raver/ 80s punk rock kids at City Pages hate Thrifty Hipster, and it definitely shows with how this is being handled.

Jen Boyles - Webmaster
Jen Boyles - Webmaster

When you say ex-raver, clearly you mean me, and i have nothing against them whatsoever. City Pages is just reporting on a relevant incident to entertainment news in our city, and we received many letters and tweets asking us to report on it.

unknown
unknown

yup. very fucking true. thrifty hipster did all that they could. do people understand the situation thrifty hipster was put into when OM completely screwed them over? cut them some slack jesus christ

vitajex
vitajex

1.) The Blotter is not 'the news'. It is a blog about the news. There's a world of difference there.

2.) In the original post, CP did next to NO editorializing- merely quoting people who were there.

3.) When you make an accusation of bias by implying that history supports your assertion, it is customary to include some sort of reference. Note that I am not disputing your statement that CP staffers have a 'vendetta' against ThriftyHipster (though I do question it)- the point is: Examples, please.

Omgurdenss
Omgurdenss

Oh ok, so the stories on the home page that run under the "Top News Stories" header aren't news? I guess there is no responsibility to be accurate or unbiased in the reporting then. There was plenty of editorializing in the original story, the overall structure and tone clearly highlighted thriftyhipster as the party to blame while barely mentioning OM, also claiming that no performers showed up except a "wonky karaoke machine."

With concern to bias, this is a small town, and as I said I don't think it's any secret that the music/culture snobs at city pages think that thriftyhipster is a douche, and that his little website is an annoyance to theirs. The way you and jen are corresponding it looks as though you must be one of them.

vitajex
vitajex

Wow, talk about missing points...

Since you chose to ignore every fact I presented in my post, and instead chose to act like a petulant child and hurl insults, it's not too hard to see the stitching on this sock puppet.

Omgurdenss
Omgurdenss

no vitajex, oh great blogger one, I'm not what you would call a comment section "heavy user" as I prefer to spend more of my time in the real world. omit the s on the end of my name and you'll see my vast commenting repertoire. now that you see i have in fact commented on an internet site before, i must have gained vast credibility in your cyber-blogger-mother's basement-sweatpant world, and for that I am grateful. now if i could just reach your amazing feat of 500 comments i could love myself again, maybe we could fall in love? btw I'm pretty sure thrifty hipster doesn't have any employees.

The story speaks for itself. It's just too bad that "alternative journalism" now seems to mean ill-researched stories with chosen narratives and misleading headlines.

vitajex
vitajex

-"Oh ok, so the stories on the home page that run under the "Top News Stories" header aren't news?"Oh. you mean all the hard-hitting exposes like "20 Kisses at First Avenue"?

-You've yet to offer one, single piece of evidence supporting your claim that CP is "out to get" ThriftyHipster. Since you've ignored facts, allow me to introduce one to counter your argument-ThriftyHipster is included on the HotDish blogroll. If CP hates TH, why do they link to it?As a side note, I still can't see a valid reason for CP to "hate" ThriftyHipster. The two sites BARELY overlap and the areas in which they do (events listing, happy hours, etc.) are NOT unique to EITHER site. Your entire complaint is based on the title (just give me one example of a falsehood in the post- I'm waiting), which, I hate to break it to you, is how blogs get clicks: catchy, potentially inflammatory titles.

-If you like conspiracy theories, try this one on for size:Your name has never appeared on a single comment on this website (nor any other, according to Google)- EVER. One is forced to wonder what about this particular story made you decide to start posting comments on this site? Is it possible that you work for ThriftyHipster?(See? Baseless accusations work both way. And to answer your question about the rapport between Jen and myself? After posting more than 500 comments over the last few years, Jen should be ashamed to call herself a Webmaster and not be on friendly terms with one of her most active readers.)

Omgurdenss
Omgurdenss

And maybe he is, but that doesn't absolve City Pages from the responsibility to write accurate stories and not make shit up.

Anonymous
Anonymous

People outside of City Pages also think Matt is a douche. For the record, it's not exclusive to City Pages. If it talks like a douche and makes excuses like a douche....

Jen Boyles - Webmaster
Jen Boyles - Webmaster

I heart you, Vitajex

vitajex
vitajex

Sure... you say that now, Jen. But the next time I send out a mass e-mail asking for volunteer kitten wranglers to help with my all-cat production of "Valley of the Dolls", my calls go unreturned...

vitajex
vitajex

Forgive my ignorance, but in what way does ThriftyHipster compete with CityPages?

For ad revenue? Cause, yeah, if there's one thing the Internet has a shortage of, it's ads...

He also needs some help understanding the concept of slander. The original post merely relayed the opinions and perceptions of participants.

What I find interesting is his reference in the first paragraph:

"IT would be easier, and I feel better for ThriftyHipster to just release all details of what happened and issue our refund part, however, we feel doing this would compromise our ability to issue larger refunds..."

Now, I'm no contract lawyer, but I struggle to see how pointing out someone's fault publicly would hamper your ability to collect repayment from them.

And if that IS the case, then how can he proceed to make the statement that, in the future, details will be released that will somehow serve to vindicate ThriftyHipster?

No doubt, this is an unenviable position to be in. However, standard and vague "business-speak" does seem to be the de rigeur approach...

Kevin S.
Kevin S.

"Now, I'm no contract lawyer, but I struggle to see how pointing out someone's fault publicly would hamper your ability to collect repayment from them. "

Really? You receive funds in exchange for keeping quiet. Happens pretty frequently.

I don't have a horse in this race, but that part seems pretty obvious.

vitajex
vitajex

I'm not ignorant of the concept of 'hush money'. But, if it really is the fault of some other group, he would have legal recourse REGARDLESS of what he had said. Usually, the clause is in the contract you sign WHEN you get the 'hush money'- but then that negates his other claim that the details will somehow prove them to be less blameless (or somesuch).

By saying that he can't talk about UNTIL he has the money, it's not a great leap of logic to say that he is, in essence, extorting some other party, seeing as how their payment is somehow contingent on him NOT publicly blaming them.

So, as I read it:either he's gonna get paid off and accept the blame OR he's not gonna get a high enough offer and he'll start blasting whomever.

Kevin S.
Kevin S.

It's only extortion of what he is threatening is illegal. It's possible that he's keeping his mouth shut for the purpose of not pissing off the other parties, but is also confident that the facts will vindicate him.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...