It’s just come to our attention that Eventbrite is shutting down Cannabis-related events on their platform and keeping money from the very event organizers that trusted them as the backbone of their event business.
For the past two years, Michael Zaytsev has sold tickets to the New York Cannabis Film Festival on Eventbrite. The yearly event shows off films that span from entertaining comedies to educational documentaries in Brooklyn’s trendy Wythe Hotel. But this year, Eventbrite abruptly pulled the event from its platform and suspended Zaytsev’s account.
This does not surprise me one bit. How about you?
What is surprising to me, though, is that millions of event organizers still trust corporations (like Eventbrite) with their customer data, money, and reputation. This is especially concerning to me because of the advent of WordPress and Event Espresso, both of which allows anyone and everyone the freedom to build and run their own event website, without the threat of being shut down for content that is deemed inappropriate or offensive to others.
Bottom line is that these types of corporations don’t believe in Net Neutrality.
I think this is comparable to a situation in Utah, where a local theater was shut down by the state government for serving beer during a movie. However, in the case of the Cannabis-related events, the organizers were serving popcorn that contains a non-psychoactive compound, called CBD, which is sold in pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide. I’m not an expert on either side of the case but I can see where rights and freedoms of event managers are being trampled by corporations and local governments.
Don’t expect corporations to preserve your rights and freedoms, if you are using their services. Especially since there are so many open source options for websites. The Cannabis industry has access to open source tools that will allow them to bypass these types of companies but it’s up to them to put those tools to use. For instance, WordPress, an open source content management system, believes in the freedoms that free software provides. There are also many extensions for WordPress that put website owners personal rights and freedoms at the forefront of their development processes.
Event organizers that value their freedom and independence are encouraged to build their event website on top of a platform that offers both. Don’t leave the reputation and success of your event business in someone else’s hands. If you are a Cannabis events organizer, please do yourself a favor and take the initiative to build your business on a platform that gives you the most autonomy and value, while keeping your freedom and independence safe.
Take ownership of your customer data and revenue with Event Espresso for WordPress.