For two nights on Kirkwood Avenue, the notorious college party company, I’m Shmacked, organized a concert promised to be a massive party. But after both nights failed to bring in more than 50 people to the Buskirk-Chumley theater, IU students were more interested in getting a refund than getting “shmacked.”
I’m Shmacked put on a concert at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater on Thursday and Friday night with DJ Madds headlining.
The college party company was started in 2013 by founders Arya Toufanian and Jeffrie Ray. It travels across the country to various universities to put on concerts and videotape fraternity parties on campus. Tickets were sold on their website for $44.99, which included an opportunity to be in the film and a long sleeve T-shirt, according to their website.
“Biggest waste of money in a long time,” freshman Fisher DeWitt said.
By 9:35 p.m. Friday night, I’m Shmacked was having trouble keeping people in the building. Groups left the theater shouting profanities about the lackluster event. At the same time, to get more people to come, the I’m Shmacked Instagram page posted on their story that the next 100 people would get in free.
“I’m most disappointed that I paid $40 for this, and then on Instagram they said that the first 100 people get in free,” freshman Peyton Jeffers said.
Eventually, Madds took the stage despite the small turnout.
By 10:27 p.m., DJ Madds was no longer on stage. A different, not-advertised DJ had taken over the music and only about 10 people were in the theater. At that point, Toufanian was nowhere to be seen and DJ Madds had left. It wasn’t long after that the theater staff announced the music would continue until midnight. But by 11:00 p.m., the doors of the theater were locked and everyone had left.
Amir HeiDari, a student at NYU, flew out to see his girlfriend at IU, and was excited to see I’m Shmacked because he said they don’t come to New York.
“I flew out all the way from New York for this,” HeiDari said. “This was pathetic.”
One email sent by the company in the days leading up to the event said, “We want you to be featured in our next I’m Shmacked video!” It asked recipients to reply with their age, school and link to social media. Videos on the I’m Shmacked Instagram page further indicates that going to I’m Shmacked at the theater would mean a night of partying.
The last time I’m Shmacked came to IU was in 2015. They posted this video of their time on campus. The video opens with cinematic shots of the Sample Gates, Showalter Fountain, Rose Well House and other landmarks around campus set to electronic music. The rest of the video features tailgating at the 2015 Ohio State game, students drunkenly announcing their love for the school, large groups "shotgunning" beers together and parties around campus.
This year, I’m Shmacked came to campus on Ohio State weekend once again. Toufanian said they sold out the Buskirk-Chumley Theater for two nights. According to the theater website, the auditorium has 576 seats without the orchestral pit.
However, hours before the event was set to begin, no information had been emailed to those who had purchased tickets and T-shirts had not arrived.
The only information given by the company on the whereabouts of the event was on their Instagram page the day of the event.
It wasn’t until 8:44 p.m. the night of the Thursday concert that the page included where it was to take place. The post gave the address of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and said that the doors would open at 10:00 p.m.
“I was expecting more of a concert,” Jeffers said. “They made videos back in 2013 going around IU to parties and as a high school student, it looked really fun.”
“100 percent false advertising,” DeWitt said.
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A statement posted by IU Theatre on Instagram was met with criticism.
The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the encounter.