After, Vegas’ Late-Night Underground Party, Searches for New Home

Well, that was fun for a minute. Social media (and my text messages) were going berserk over the weekend as After made the decision to pull out of it’s physical home located at 3765 S. Las Vegas Blvd. So what really went down at the venue that received praise and support for it’s viral DJ Rules? Managing Partner Thom Svast talks exclusively with DJOYbeat about the details.

“We’ve been owed thousands of thousands of thousands of dollars now and that total just keeps growing and growing and growing,” Svast says. “There’s not been one show that we’ve been in the red. We’ve been operating in the black per hour since the moment we’ve been there from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. So there’s been no reason for it.”

Svast explains that the building’s leaseholder, Tommy Riccardo (along with his son, magician Tommy Wind), first reneged on his agreement to pay for half of the talent fees. “After he was given the receipts to request the deposits that he promised he would pay, he pulled out and said he’s not paying for any of them—which created a bigger issue now because I have all these DJs booked and all these deposits due.” He adds, “[Ricardo has] bounced several checks to us that he has written, so I know he’s bouncing checks all over the place.”

But wait, there’s more. “He promised that the building would have more renovations, more booths, more sound, etc. to bring it up to par because the building is not up to Vegas club par.” Everything experienced at After, from the sound, the DJ booth (courtesy of DJOYbeat), and the video components were all added for the party. The proper club sound system has now been ripped out because Ricardo has not paid PS Audio as well.

You think that’d be the end of the story, but nope! “[Riccardo’s] trying to do his own afterhours,” Svast says. “But he sat there and dogged our people! One time he called everyone ‘sheep’ and ‘Burning Man rejects.’ You’re bringing in 700 people and over $10,000 to the bar in a few hours and you’re going to call the people sheep and things like that? Now you’re gonna try and open your own afterhours?” According to one inside source, Ricardo had been planning all along to launch his own club (hence that random “Equilibrium” sign out front), but didn’t have the wherewithal so his previous attempt failed miserably.

The saga continues: “Now [Riccardo’s] online trying to tell people that he gave us $10,000 and that we’re not paying the people because I’m keeping the money? No. We’re not paying our people because we haven’t been paid. And I don’t have the ability to pay anybody; my life’s savings went into launching After. And we had a great launch! But we stopped getting paid.”

What about Krave, the LGBT club that also uses the space sometimes known as the Tommy Wind Theater during prime-time clubbing hours? “I don’t know. That’s up to Sia [Amiri]. For the record I want to say that Sia is my business partner… and he’s a great business partner and a great friend. He and I have no problems with each other. Some of the people online thought I might have had a beef with Sia. This has nothing to do with him. He and I are working on our next project together.”

So now what? Was After just a fleeting moment in Vegas underground music history? Hopefully not. “We’re working with some great people right now. I’ll tell you this, there’s no less than five nightclubs on the table right now with offers for After to come to it,” Svast says. “It’s just figuring out what the best fit is and what is the most comfortable because when we had Max Graham, I spoke of longevity. That’s still my goal. My goal is not the short term versus money. My goal is consistency and I’m looking to find someone who will do a long term contract, someone who understands afterhours and understands the business. … So After is going to reopen. Absolutely 100 percent it’s going to reopen. I just can’t announce where yet.”

Our request for comment from Riccardo was not returned at press time. We’ll get our DJ booth back, even if it takes a mob of glowstick-wielding house music fans staging a dance-in.* Yeah, we’ll make that a thing. Ah, the politics of dancing. P.L.U.R., people. P.L.U.R.

(*This is meant in jest. We have since been in contact with Mr. Riccardo. You can read his side of the story here and our DJ booth has been arranged to come home.*)

Join the discussion

comments powered by Disqus