No one does clubbing better than the LGBTQ community. And that’s not an opinion. Excitement, love and acceptance permeated beyond New York City’s Pride Week and culminated into fabulous EDM events thrown by Whitney Day at some of our city’s hottest venues including Verboten, Cielo and Marquee.
As of June 26th, New York was not just celebrating Pride out loud and proud, but the timely legalization of LGBTQ marriage at a nationwide level. To be blunt (and to sound like an old-timer), I’ve witnessed some pretty outrageous shit in my clubbing experience, but nothing quite prepared me for the contagious celebratory spirit and antics seen during Pride, manifesting in full force at the club.
For its 3rd consecutive year, DJ Whitney Day has made “The Party,” held at Marquee, the ultimate post-Pride Parade celebration within her series of events (giving an entirely new connotation to the phrase “Sunday Funday”). Regardless of your sexual orientation, she has fostered an irresistible club atmosphere and culture, going until the early hours of 2:00AM. Regardless of impending Monday-morning blues (and exhaustion), I can personally vouch that this club experience is worth it!
After the conclusion of the Pride Parade, people headed straight to Marquee, because why not keep up the high-energy momentum? Marquee’s floor, mezzanine and VIP sections were packed to ultimate capacity with people getting down to the groovy beats flowing from the speaker system. Starting at 5:00PM, the party kicked off with a set from DJ M.O, followed by Whitney Day, DJ Du Jour and Rocstasy – all talented DJs, and yes, all female (just to shut down the EDM stereotype that only “male DJs” are represented in this industry).
Marquee was decked out for this special occasion with the iconic rainbow flag hanging proudly from the mezzanine balcony, and people came dressed to impress for the occasion with parade giveaways and LGBTQ friendly paraphernalia (including rainbow light sabers)! The floor was adorned with platforms, which staged go-go dancers who engaged with the crowd.
As if that wasn’t enough to make the night special, Batala New York City made an appearance! For those who don’t know, Batala is an international music group hailing form the great 212 where they bring samba style drums to live events, giving our great island a little Brazilian culture. With each strike of the drum, not even the shyest person in the room could resist the tempting desire to shake their hips (Most of us imitating our best Shakira impression).
Like an octopus juggling, Whitney Day multi-tasked like a true champion. Not only did she spin contagious beats from the CDJ, but simultaneously acted as the event’s commissioner, organizer and overall badass. She was accompanied Dai Burger, who’s vocals and stage performance spawned contagious female empowerment! Whitney’s love for the music and crowd was not just a performance façade; at the end of the night I even caught her mingling with all people on the floor! I love artists who don’t pretend that there’s a superiority divide between themselves and their fans, and Whitney truly made all club goers feel welcome and a part of the “party family.”
Just to go above and beyond, Whitney recruited international talent, DJ Du Jour from Australia, who played an electric house set that was amplified by a performance from Aerial Chains By Phoenix. And let me tell you, seeing fabulous ladies contort their bodies through dangling chains while suspended in the air gives an entirely new meaning to Rihanna’s “Chains and whips excite me.”
Du Jour’s set included EDM classics like Bingo Player’s “Rattle” mixed with 90s favorites like C&C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now.” She struck a nostalgia chord in the hearts of everyone when she played a remix of Jakaranda’s “Never Let You Go” (or as you 90s kids may remember as the addictive song from the wedding dress photo-shoot scene from The Parent Trap).
Just like Hallie Parker, the crowd was lost in the feel-good beat bumping through the speakers! From 90s throwbacks with a modern EDM twist by Du Jour, to the trap-booty-bouncing crowd favorites played by Rocstasy, it was no wonder why Marquee was still bumping until the wee hours of Monday morning! And if the music didn’t keep you hyped, then the incredible emcee, Ryley Rubin Pogensky, who did the trick.
Not only did he bounce around the stage all night, but he lead unanimous cheers and even gave a special shout out to Whitney for throwing the best “Party” seen within the past 3 years; there’s no doubt in my mind it will set a new precedent for upcoming Pride events.
What I find so beautiful about EDM culture is its inherent ability to energize listeners across all demographics, while simultaneously fostering a community of love and acceptance (and good thing, otherwise I would have some very judgmental glares when fellow floor members see my crazy dance moves). Along that vein, the LGBTQ community shares those fundamental principles, and seeing these two cultures merge together on the dance floor is truly an incredible experience. I know I’m already counting down the days until next year’s “Party!”