Every week we will share with you where the best "Music-First" dance parties will be held across New York City. This week it's a Pride special, as there is a long standing history here that is not common knowledge.
Anyone who has been reading this newsletter for the past couple of months might be able to tell that we have a bit of a thing for disco. While most people think of Studio 54 and The Bee Gees when they hear the word disco, its history goes a lot deeper. In fact, dance music and queer culture in NYC have always been entwined. As we enter into Pride weekend we thought we’d highlight a couple of legendary parties of the past before talking about our favorite Pride events happening this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Loft - Started by David Mancuso in 1970, he hosted the party in his SoHo loft (aka his own home) every Saturday night. The largely gay crowd, by invitation only, would show up at midnight and not leave until midday, losing themselves in music for hours at a time.
The Paradise Garage - The party that made Larry Levan a household name, it opened in 1977 on King St in SoHo. Also known as the “Gay-rage”, it was a members only club composed primarily of gay people of color that helped launch the career of people like Madonna.
These parties existed in a time when the queer community was underground and going out was the only time that gay people truly felt free. These parties also laid the framework for modern day clubbing. So, when you go out this weekend, thank the disco gods for David, Larry, and all those DJs who have come before us. And, if you need some music to get you into the spirit, check out our Spotify playlist of Loft Classics.
NYC Nightlife 6/23-6/25
An iconic queer, feminist musician, producer, director, and performance artist, Peaches has spent more than two decades pushing the boundaries of mainstream pop culture. Coming up in the electroclash era, her sound combines electronic music, hip-hop, and punk rock while tackling gender politics, sexual identity, ageism, and the patriarchy. Her live shows are a loud, explicit celebration of queerness and sexual pleasure so it’s fitting that Peaches is headlining the LadyLand Festival Under the K Bridge.
A party lasting 26 hours in the name of Pride, yes please. Nowadays has put together a lineup showcasing worldwide queer talent with a little something for everyone: cutting-edge techno, new school house, a ballroom moment, and whatever else these DJs feel like throwing down. Notable standouts include Pittsburgh’s queer nightlife legends Honcho ballroom/vogue-house star Divoli S’vere and local staples Lauren Flax, Kim Anh, Love Letters and Juliana Huxtable. And the best part is, Nowadays allows passouts so you can go home to disco nap between your favorite artists.
When Octo Octa and Eris Drew get behind the decks, they embody everything a Pride party should be. Their sets are a celebration of their love for each other, dance music and the queer community. The trans couple are kindred spirits, playing with an exuberant, infectious energy that radiates from the booth. Expect to hear everything from bubbly house to acid, drum’n’bass to speed garage during their eight hour set at Knockdown Center’s outdoor area, The Ruins, this Sunday.
A celebration of love, life, freedom and disco, GLITTERBOX Pride is a 10-hour uplifting, open air party. The line up includes house legend Danny Tenaglia, remix extraordinaire Dimitri From Paris and live gospel group Dames Brown. GLITTERBOX has been around for decades with the aim of moving mind, body and soul in an atmosphere designed to unite all ages, persuasions and walks of life on the dancefloor. Hot tip, make sure you wear glitter to this one!