East Dallas resident Gavin Mulloy was the marketing and promotions manager of Granada Theater, the historic Greenville Avenue venue where he has worked since 2009. Earlier today, the following email was sent out regarding Mulloy’s employment, in a message titled simply “Announcing changes at Granada Theater & Sundown at Granada”:
Gavin Mulloy is no longer employed at the Granada Theater and Sundown at Granada as the marketing/promotions manager as of Jan 13, 2014. For immediate concerns please contact me directly so I may accommodate you.
We will be hiring a new marketing/promotions manager, refer your music and food loving friend if you see a fit.
Julia and I appreciate you and look forward to the best year ever, for sure will be a rockin’ 2014!
Mike Schoder and Julia Garton
Those will likely be hard shoes to fill. Having dealt with the Granada on behalf of two organizations for various reasons since about 2006 or so, I certainly noticed when it was Mulloy’s turn to deal with the press. Whether or not your definition includes writers, editors, bloggers, or photographers, Mulloy was at least fair to them all, and usually very helpful. Before Mulloy’s time, I had to explain my writing, even when praising a band. I was once asked how participating in ticket giveaways “correlates with our mission here at the Granada.” Ahem.
Under Mulloy’s tenure, they became the friendliest venue in town. And that’s not a small place, or a small feat. There are many moving parts. Though the Granada had no comment, I spoke with Mulloy by phone earlier today, to get an idea of where he’s at.
“I have plenty of opportunities,” says Mulloy after confirming he is no longer an employee at the Granada. “I can’t wait to work with other people. It’s been hard to work with other people when I’ve been under a thumb.”
Earlier in the day, Mulloy had suggested via his Facebook page that the reason for his termination was because he was also working for Red Bull. I asked if that were the case. “That was the official reason I was given,” Mulloy said. “He doesn’t like me to double dip.”
Mulloy is a contract worker for Red Bull. “I’m an employee of Red Bull,” he clarified.
I then rhetorically ask Mulloy if everybody in town worked for Red Bull. That seems to be the case at times, with their nonstop involvement in putting on concerts and special events. Even the Granada itself has benefitted from Red Bull’s ubiquitous sponsorship activity.
“Red Bull paid for the boxing ring on Friday night,” says Mulloy. He is referring to the Dallas Observer’s North Texas Hip Hop Showcase, an event that took place at the Granada, on a large boxing ring, and which seemed successful by any standard. Attendance was around 900, give or take for the guestlist, which is an enormous number for an all-local concert. The fact that the event seemed so well-received—judging by not only the crowd but the warm press—made the firing somewhat shocking.
Mulloy also had a mischievous ability to get people talking about a show, as in having a genuine and organic conversation about an upcoming event. That’s a rare and nearly unteachable art in the world of local concert promoting. Take for example, the poster art for the North Texas Hip Hop showcase. Inexplicably, another Dallas Observer music editor from two hires ago, was featured (bottom right) on the promotional art for the event. It appeared that current editor, Kiernan Maletksy was cuckolded by the promotional machinery that was supposed to have his best interests in mind. And those interests didn’t even include money; The Observer did not directly profit from the event, according to Maletsky.
When I brought up the poster to Mulloy at Sundown at Granada last week, he practically played dumb. He says that he suggested to the artist that D Magazine contributors be included on the poster as well, which I told him did not matter to me. But when I told him that everybody in town was talking about the poster all week, he fist-pumped. He then implied that the event would have had less coverage from a rival outlet of the Observer had the poster not come out as it did. I am inclined to believe him.
But it wasn’t just playing the egos of the local press against one another where Mulloy excelled. He has also used his talents for charitable reasons, be they raising money for an ill relative, a local artist, or for last year’s tragedy in West, Texas.
The outpouring of goodwill seems to be overwhelming Gavin Mulloy in light of his firing today. “I can’t even answer all the text messages that are coming into my phone right now,” said Mulloy. “It’s really cool.”
Image: Gavin Mulloy (center) with Bevin Maloney and Drew Yeargan. At the Libertine Bar, Nov. 22, 2013. Photo by Laura Callas.