There is an intriguing ethical and financial battle brewing in Miami.
As you may know, the Winter Party is one of the biggest annual gay charity events. It is organized by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, benefiting a number of organizations that serve the local LGBT community and that rely on the funding it generates.
It seems that prominent DJ, Peter Rauhofer, has scheduled a rival dance event concurrent with one of the Winter Party events. This is not the first time he has done this, according to the Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus.
Last fall, a Rauhofer event cut into a White Party event's revenues significantly. It has been reported that he intended to donate some of the proceeds of that event. There is dispute as to whether that ever happened, and if it did, to what extent. One would think that a donation is an easy thing to verify, but I don't have enough facts to make a judgment about this.
Yesterday, someone anonymously put up a "Boycott Peter Rauhofer" site, www.boycottdjpeterrauhofer.com, that was brought down soon after it appeared.
In the field of economic development, there is a theory called the Industry Cluster Theory. It builds on the premise that it is good for similar industries to co-locate. Witness Silicon Valley, or the biotech cluster along Rt 128 near Boston. The various industries are strengthened by a sharing of resources, and the group becomes stronger because of its parts. States try to create industry clusters but have little success at it despite financial incentives, job training assistance and tax breaks. If the Winter Party were to be considered an industry cluster, Peter Rauhofer's event would be a welcomed addition, adding to the strength of the entire event, but the theory doesn't work for not-for-profits who end up losing a significant slice of the pie because of competition.
Although Peter Rauhofer has the right to compete, one would hope that he would see how detrimental his event is to the generous goals of the Task Force.
This unfortunate circumstance begs some questions.
Why would Peter Rauhofer's event draw attendees away from the one offered by the Winter Party? If his event is more attractive to ticket buyers who must decide which party will be the right one to attend, the Winter Party will have to work harder to produce a more desirable alternative.
Or, if Peter Rauhofer wanted to behave ethically, he could donate exactly the same percentage as does the Task Force, and to exactly the same organizations. Something tells me that won't happen, because if it did, there would be no reason why he could not simply be the DJ for the already scheduled Winter Party event into which he is cutting.
I think it would be good for Winter Party attendees to become familiar with this feud and to make an ethically sound decision about which event to attend. It's not like the Winter Party events I attended last year were dowdy. There was great music and a huge crowd of incredibly hot shirtless men and semi-shirtless women. I'll be there again this year, live-blogging it for Bilerico and for you.