A portion of the 'Daddyland Festival 2024' graphic

Dallas Hotel Abruptly Cancels 'Daddyland Festival 2024' Amid Complaints


This past weekend many of the attendees of the 'Daddyland Festival 2024' in Dallas were abruptly evicted from the event's host hotel, the downtown Crowne Plaza. On Saturday, July 6, the hotel's management canceled all further events planned at the hotel, which was to continue until Monday, and notified participants who were guests they needed to be out of their rooms by 6 p.m., according to the Dallas Voice.

This led, writes The Advocate, to "mass confusion and accusations of homophobia."

"Ersin Winokur, one of the organizers for DaddyLand, announced via social media that the cancellation was due to complaints from "guests not attending the festival." He added that only the events scheduled at the hotel have been canceled, while all other events being held at other venues will continue as planned."

"The eviction was prompted by complaints by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members, who were also in town for their biennial national convention, according to the hotel owner," adds the Advocate. He said the women complained about the attire of some of the Daddyland attendees.

"The hotel's owner, Terry Tognazzini, told The Advocate that the eviction was a response to complaints from AKA members, who were uncomfortable with the attire and behavior of Daddyland attendees. He said that some people associated with the Daddyland event were mostly undressed when in the public areas of the hotel. According to Tognazzini, between 30 and 40 members of the sorority with reservations who were checking into the hotel threatened to cancel their stays, though about 20 returned. An attendee who spoke to The Advocate on the condition of anonymity said that he witnessed AKA members and some of the gay men in the hotel lobby complimenting each other's outfits but that he didn't notice anybody upset. Tognazzini said his decision was driven by a need to protect the hotel's reputation and maintain a comfortable environment for all guests. 'We have rules here of clothes, and they're supposed to wear their clothes, and they didn't wear their clothes,' Tognazzini told The Advocate in a lengthy interview. He emphasized that previous Daddyland events had not caused issues, but this year's gathering differed."

But a Daddyland staff member told the Advocate that "the event had followed all the usual protocols and that the complaints were overblown. They noted that while some attendees might have been scantily clad, such as wearing jockstraps or minimal clothing in the event space, it was no different from typical circuit party attire. He said that guests came to the event fully clothed and may have disrobed in part once in the private area. 'Some guys had maybe an inch of fabric covering them,' the staffer said. 'But that's the norm for these events.'"

In a statement on Facebook, Winokur wrote: "During negotiations to rectify the situation and offering to place extra security and make more accommodation to the guest staying in the hotel ownership became outwardly disrespectful to the team, its party guests and parts of our community. While we stand up for the many for the actions of the few the owner refused to listen to reason and made the decision to evict without notice everyone attending our events. We are committed to making this right for those affected."

The circuit party described itself on its webpage as a "Mega Music Festival For Daddy Lovers!." The fourth annual event, it was scheduled to run from July 3 to July 8 with 12 parties at 6 venues that featured 22 DJs."

The cancellation notice from the Dallas Crowne Plaza hotel sent to guests on Saturday, July 6, 2024

In a report from the Dallas Voice, a former Daddyland employee Jason Martinez said that problems between the event producer and the host hotel started long before Saturday night, July 7, when the owner of the Crowne Plaza cancelled DaddyLand events scheduled at the hotel and demanded that everyone there for DaddyLand leave the hotel, including those who had booked rooms.

Martinez told the Dallas Voice he had "worked on the DaddyLand event up until a month ago when I quit;" but this past weekend "he had been contacted by the sales manager at the hotel who 'told me corporate was receiving several complaints regarding the boom boom room, or dark room, and that Ersin needed to remove all wording regarding that' from advertisements and other promotional materials."

He added that Winokur had "disappeared for about three weeks, not returning any of my calls, and when I finally saw him at the pride event, he acted like nothing was wrong, and that there was no situation with corporate."

Martinez shared with the Voice screen caps of his messages to Winokur, telling the promoter that his phone wasn't working and his failed attempts at reaching him via audio calls using WhatsApp. "Other screen caps show a string of messages from Martinez to Winokur saying the hotel's sales manager had called again about promotional materials including the boom boom room, telling the promoter that 'costume designers are on hold waiting for answers' and that DJs were 'messaging asking questions'." None of the screen caps show any replies from Winokur.

Martinez told the Dallas Voice he had "worked for all of [Winokur's] events for six years," but that he quit last month "after the DaddyLand Pride event when Winokur accused him of stealing money. He shared with Dallas Voice a screenshot of a series of messages between him and Winokur regarding those allegations."

Dallas Voice has contacted management at Crowne Plaza Dallas Downtown for comment.

There's been much discussion about the kerfuffle over on the r/AskGayBros subreddit including knocking down claims of homophobia by the hotel, which has reportedly hosted many LGBTQ events in the past.

Instinct reports that "there's been much discussion about the kerfuffle over on the r/AskGayBros subreddit including knocking down claims of homophobia by the hotel, which has reportedly hosted many LGBTQ events in the past.

"Some folks are throwing out allegations of inappropriate sex and/or possible drug use, but Instinct has no confirmation of any of that. One Redditor in the thread who says he helped organize the event (but quit before the festival began) offered his take in a lengthy comment here.

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