Publishes “pay-to-play” article on BackBooth and ignores the fact that a top promoter stole from a local band and owner Aaron Wright allowed it.
By Jacob Engels
Bao Le-Huu of the Orlando Weekly published an article on April 2nd titled “Backbooth’s Comeback” under the Little Underground column gushing over BackBooth’s supposed “comeback.” BackBooth has been under fire for months after it was revealed that owner Aaron Wright and promoter Danny Alvarez had stolen pre-sale money from a local band. In the article, we also revealed how BackBooth has a history of overbooking and treating Central Florida’s local talent like shit.
Since that article was published – over 15 bands have testified to the East Orlando Post that they have been stolen from by promoters at BackBooth and that owner Aaron Wright willingly let it happen – electing to do NOTHING when bands informed him of the shady behavior and flat out robbery occurring under his roof.
Aaron Wright claimed that it was not his fault and he feels no remorse over letting promoters that he hired stiff local talent. He threatened to sue us if the story was published. Once the article went live, Mr. Wright enlisted his employees and friends to post comments on social media sites attacking the bands, the East Orlando Post, and me personally.
One BackBooth supporter said he wanted to burn down our offices. Another made fun of special needs children and then threatened to assault us. BackBooth supporters said local bands should be lucky that they got booked at BackBooth and to stop bitching about not getting paid. The article was viewed by tens of thousands all across the country and industry hot-spots like Nashville, Omaha, NYC and LA had hundreds of new readers per minute learning about the poorly managed and owned venue.
So, one has to ask……why did the Orlando Weekly refuse to include these concerns raised by prominent members of the Central Florida music and arts community? Is it because BackBooth and Kyle Raker of Norse Korea agreed to purchase advertising or up their current rates in return for a “puff piece” ?
Remember this Central Florida musicians, the Orlando Weekly thinks your concerns about BackBooth are “bullshit scene drama.” They decided that propping up BackBooth was more important than asking tough questions. In the past two days since Weekly published the article – it’s own readers have pushed back and called BackBooth out for the crap establishment that they are.
Comments from Orlando Weekly readers –
“Backbooth and it’s promoters steal from bands, their staff is rude. Been downhill for Backbooth since they moved from UCF area.” – JaySFLA
“Backbooth is disgusting and they hire promoters who rip off bands!” – Joey
“That place is total garbage, I get sick there too. A couple of the bartenders are nice but the place is dirty and their PA system sucks. I can’t even count the number of times the mic has gone out during a show.” – Foo
My issue is that it is literally unsanitary and disgusting. Someone needs to call Jon Taffer for a bar rescue on that place so it can get cleaned up. There are some great shows coming through there in the next few months. Shows I want to go to. But no – not stepping one foot into that infested craphole. That’s what needs to be cleaned up! 🙂 ” – El Guapo
“Back booth stopped being back booth when the original guys left. Sad really. The now owner should’ve came up with his own name and concept. Proves that you can’t ride coat tails. I miss those guys. Long live Andy’s Beer School!” – Bob
Orlando Weekly needs to rethink their promotion of a fading and potentially criminal venue like BackBooth. My question is……how much does it cost to get some positive PR in Orlando Weekly? We will be publishing our follow up article on BackBooth within the next few weeks – detailing new allegations of corruption, criminal activity, and the personal struggles of owner Aaron Wright that might be fueling his acceptance of this illegal behavior inside his club.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org