Diddy tested my patience, and I failed.
Or, maybe I should leave Diddy out of this and direct some frustration toward promoter Scottsdale Nights. The Old Town Scottsdale Block Party (and Scottsdale Nights'
one-year anniversary party) was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., though doors opened at 6 p.m. Admission was $100, or $250 for a VIP pass, and cabana seating could be reserved for about $10,000. With prices like that, you'd think there'd be a scene, or at least actual cabanas.
I'm here to say there really wasn't. The "block," tucked between Diego Pops and The Montauk, never reached capacity. It was fullest when a few dozen beautiful women in 24-inch dresses shuffled into and out of the block to board a bus bound for the Maxim party around 8:30 and 9 p.m. Lucky them.
This whole thing seemed a unrealistic from the start. With all the glamorous parties going down on Saturday, Diddy was going to show up at an outdoor block party where no one else was booked to perform and at the bequest of a promoter I had barely heard of before the Super Bowl?
Even the stage was set awkwardly, with three patio-style sofas and a table offering juice, champagne flutes, and an ice bucket that would go unused. What was supposed to happen here? There was a microphone, too, but if Diddy would have moved even three feet upstage from the mic stand he would have hit his shins on the table. That should have been my first clue.
The block party was a one-pony show. And that show didn't actually start until Diddy and his crew rolled in at 1:15 a.m. and were received by an eager, deprived crowd. It's important to note that between 8 p.m. and 1:15 a.m., there literally was nothing to do at this party except drink $7 beers and dance to the impressively consistent and conscientious DJ Chris Villa. Even after everyone had waited five-plus hours, Diddy didn't take the stage. Instead, he filed into a cabana section where security guards and his posse blocked him from view. There may have been a 10- or 15-minute span when he talked to some fans and posed for photos, but it was hard to tell.
Diddy is the wealthiest man in hip-hop. He's worth $700 million, according to Forbes last year. That means each minute of Diddy's day, sleeping or awake, is worth about $1,335.47. There were rumors that he was paid about $100,000 for the Scottsdale Nights appearance, too. If that's true, Diddy really only had to stay about 74 minutes at fair market rate.
After about 45 minutes of everyone holding phones over their heads, trying to get a glimpse of Diddy, they started to give up. There was no promise of stage time as he was technically just "hosting," according to the event flyer. And all he did in the circle was have a drink and bob along to the music. It started to feel voyeuristic.
The number of people in attendance thinned out around 2 a.m., The Notorious B.I.G. and Diddy songs were getting spun by Villa and I had had enough of the diminishing returns for my own time (which, admittedly is worth less than Diddy's). On my way out, I asked someone working security at the event what the plan was, whether I should expect to see Diddy since the stage was still set up for a concert, and he responded: "Puffy does what he wants."
Last Night: Old Town Scottsdale Block Party hosted by P. Diddy
The Crowd: People with money, but not quite enough disposable income to go to the Drake show. Average age was probably 35.
Personal Bias: I like Biggie Smalls and I respect what P. Diddy has done as an entrepreneur.
Overheard: "When does Snoop Dogg get here?"
Correction: This story previously referred to the party as Scottsdale Nights' one-year anniversary party. It was in fact the company's sixth anniversary.
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