The club La Covacha was forced to shutter its doors on Wednesday following the scandal surrounding a dance contest in which several women removed their clothes to win tickets for an upcoming concert by the Cuban reggaeton duo Yomil y el Dany.
Sweetwater issued a temporary suspension of the club’s operating license after a video of the contest went viral on social media on Monday and was reported by various news organizations, including el Nuevo Herald.
In the video, three women are seen dancing and removing their clothes while the crowd and the club’s DJ yelled “Take it all off!” The video was taken down from Facebook on Tuesday.
La Covacha, 10730 NW 25th St, is a popular venue for live acts and dancing on the northernmost edge of Sweetwater.
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Sweetwater police Maj. Aquiles Carmona said the owners of La Covacha can appeal the suspension with the city’s commission to restore its operating license.
According to Carmona, the club violated a county ordinance that prohibits adult entertainment without a proper license. La Covacha is only licensed to operate as a nightclub and restaurant.
Carmona said the Sweetwater Police Department received many complaints, mostly from city commissioners alarmed by the video.
Commissioner Manuel Duasso told el Nuevo Herald on Wednesday that the incident “made the city look bad.”
“I, like another other citizen, think that this is a scandal,” Duasso said.
Rolnier Tito, the Miami events promoter who shared the video on Facabook, told el Nuevo Herald that this kind of dance competition is “something normal” in Miami clubs, a kind of “tradition” that had started in the downtown Miami nightspot Mekka and the former Atarazana Nightclub near the Palmetto Expressway and Northwest 36th Street.
“Show business has its own lifestyle. The people who are outside of it can see it as something that is wrong, but this is something that has been happening in discotheques for a while now,” Tito said.
The video generated hundreds of comments on Facebook. Some people lamented “the lack of dignity” of the participants. Others made sexist remarks and others, according to Tito, said the whole event was fun.
“There are people in the entertainment industry in Miami who have a more open mind for this type of promotion,” Tito said, adding that “30 percent” of commentators considered the video to be entertaining.
Erick Rodríguez, the owner de La Covacha, did not respond to requests to comment by el Nuevo Herald.
Tickets for the Cuban duo’s concert on Aug. 12 at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami range from $89 to $900. The tickets that were up for grabs at the dance contest were supposedly in the higher price bracket.
This is the first time the Cuban reggaeton duo of Yomil (Roberto Hidalgo Puentes) and El Dany (Daniel Muñoz Borrego) will perform in Miami. The concert is part of a promotional tour in support of their album “Ambidiestros” and the single “Lola.” The concert is being produced by P.M.M., a private company based in Cuba.