Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

New York City is a sanctuary for many people for many reasons. For us, the dancefloor is one of them. From the 1970s, parties and clubs like The Loft, The Gallery, and the Paradise Garage gave people a safe place to express themselves where race and sexual orientation didn’t matter. The Shelter followed in that NYC tradition in the `90s and 2000s. As Shelter celebrates its 33rd Anniversary this weekend, we wanted to look back at the party that pioneered the soulful house sound.

The Shelter, also known as Club Shelter, was opened in 1991 by resident DJs Timmy Regisford, Merlin Bobb, and Freddy Sanon. They hoped to fill the void that the Paradise Garage left for dancers when it closed in 1987. To let people know they were serious, they had an incredibly loud 37,000 watt soundsystem designed by Dave Soto installed where the speakers stood taller than the dancers.

Early flyers claimed The Shelter was ‘New York City's only Non-prejudicial Progressive Underground Dance Club.’ At a time when Club Kids ruled the city at venues like Limelight and the Tunnel and the scene was about being seen and getting fucked up, The Shelter couldn’t have been more different. NASA, or Nocturnal Audio Sensory Awakening, were one of the earliest residents.

The Friday night parties would go to 8am or 9am where breakfast and snacks were included in the price of admission. Ice water was served in the place of alcohol. 

The Shelter has moved locations across Manhattan and more recently, Brooklyn in 2023, but the vibe has always remained the same. Over the years they have hosted guest DJs like Moby, Orbital, Adam X, and DJ Bone. 157 Shelter Records was started by the crew in 1992 and has released records by house heroes like Kerri Chandler, Blaze, Glenn Underground, and cofounder Regisford. 

We also have The Shelter to thank for launching Regisford’s DJ career. The number of genre defining projects he has been intricately involved with in nothing short of astounding, transcending house and R&B norms. He has released more than 150 records throughout his career on legendary labels like King Street, Nervous Records, and West End. He’s also remixed the greats, from Diana Ross to Stevie Wonder. Regisford will be bringing all that history to the booth at Friday’s Shelter Anniversary and his set is one you don’t want to miss.

3.15 - Shelter 33rd Anniversary at 3 Dollar Bill

If you want to get a feel for the old New York then Shelter’s 33rd Anniversary is where you want to be this Friday night. It’s the city’s longest running house music party and to celebrate this milestone they’ve invited some of the genre’s best selectors to 3 Dollar Bill. Original party residents Timmy Regisford and Merlin Bobb will be joined by guests Francois K, Mark Francis, Dave Dsol Rivera, and DJ Cheez. In true Shelter style, the party doesn’t end until the sun comes up.

3.15 - Honcho at Nowadays

Honcho is responsible for one of the country’s most unhinged parties. The trio of Aaron Clark, Clark Price, and d’Adhemar got their start at Pittsburgh’s Hot Mass, a sleazy after hours club inside a gay sauna where anything goes until 7am. After many late nights in the Steel City, they expanded to start the queer festival, Honcho Campout, and an internationally renowned podcast series. They’re also residents at Nowadays where the trio returns this Friday for an all-night set. Expect the Midwest sound, seamlessly whipping between dub, house, techno, and electro, until the sun comes up.

3.16 - Cosmo at Black Flamingo

Cosmo was born and raised in Ohio and then raised again by New York’s club circuit. While Cosmo’s style captures the spirit of New York’s late-90s house scene, she refreshes the genre with her own energetic groove. Her mix of swinging drums, funky basslines, and soulful vocals across her ultrasmooth sets have caught the ears of dancers all over Brooklyn, where she’s played at every club worth dancing at. This Saturday she’ll be taking dancers on a musical journey at Black Flamingo where she’ll be playing all night long.


Follow the links for mixes and playlists from the DJs and Musical Hosts who will be playing at these venues.

Stay Mellow and High friends - don't forget to have fun.

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