Since its inception in 2011, Black Fridays has been the go-to bash for the "dark electronic and classic new wave"-lovin' crowd.
And in the past three years, the popular party has seen it all -- from suspension acts to zombie walks to cosplay nights. It even outlasted multiple moves, from its home in the 954 at Green Room to the 305's Vagabond and back to its original spot in Fort Laudy's revamped spot, now known as Stache.
Tonight, Black Fridays will be celebrating its anniversary at Revolution Live along with Astari Nite. The band also premieres its "I.O. 1987" music video.
But before you black-wearing masses crowd the Fort Lauderdale venue, here are some of Black Fridays' most memorable moments according to the man who started it all, Mike Linder, AKA DJ Lindersmash.
The Birth of Black Fridays at Green Room
"Green Room was lighting in a bottle," Linder fesses up. "It wasn't even my choice. It just happened."
"I was a rotating DJ and had the idea to do something of a darker night. They asked me if I wanted to take over the night. I only had five days to prepare."
And three years later, here we are.
"I don't think I'll find another instance where a club lets me come in and take over every Friday night for so long."
Black Fridays' First Party
"Um, wow," the DJ recalls. "From the first night, it was insane. We had a skin mechanics suspension show. It was really cool and played a big role in the beginning in helping us get the word out.
"At the time, I wasn't as well-known in the scene. It took a lot of hard work, promoting and making deals and friends at first. The themed parties helped a lot."
Linder proudly admits, "I don't hide the fact that I'm an incredibly huge geek. My wife as well; she's a burlesque dancer. We have a network of performers who've helped us from the beginning. I would come up with different ideas, and they would jump on it."
First Zombie Walk
"The first zombie walk took everybody by surprise. That was our first event that went viral... pun intended," he jokes.
"That really put us on the map. We started promoting it in July, and that was in October. It was our first really big event. I was telling them [the people at Green Room] to be prepared. I thought we were gonna have hundreds of people, but we ended up having over 1,200 show up. It stopped traffic. There were zombies swarming cars. It was controlled chaos."
First Star Wars Party at Green Room
"That's another pretty famous party," Linder claims. "It was my co-resident DJ Lorenzo's idea. It was a May the Fourth Star Wars party. I'm not a big fan of flashy club lights, but it was great to see the dance floor lit up with light sabers."
Moving to the Vagabond
"I miss that place," the DJ laments. "I miss everyone there. I was really sad when it closed. It was heartbreaking. When Green Room closed out and changed into Stache, we had seen it coming. When Vagabond closed, I woke up early to get music ready for Thursday night and found out the news. It was a surprise. But we all grew a ton down there.
"It was kinda like a rebranding for the night. We had some great performances. We had really big names. Outside, it was a great setup for everything. It kinda felt like old times. It was a bit rough because of the drive, so I knew it wasn't gonna last like that 'cause not everybody was gonna make the drive. It was great to see the support. We eventually captained for the Miami scene."
Joker's Halloween Party at the Vagabond
"The Joker's Halloween party there was great. We had a wheel of consequences; it was a wheel I made with the Joker's face on it. The Joker would spin it, Matt Havok, and depending on where the needle landed, he would give you a clown-face makeover, a pie in the face, you would get a poisonous kiss from Poison Ivy, prizes, concert tickets, and giveaways. It was fun."
"That was the thing. It was the last Friday of every month. We started that before we moved down there. We really started to get branched by the cosplay crowd down there. It's cool because you know your friends are gonna be there dressed the same way.
"My favorite things are, I like picking a theme that people can get really involved with. My favorite parties are when I see a crowd filled with people that come every week dressed up in theme."
The Closing of the Vagabond and Move Back to Fort Lauderdale
Shortly after the Vagabond had closed, Linder announced that Black Fridays would be returning home to Fort Lauderdale.
"[Stache was], believe it or not, the first to call me. As soon as the news hit, their manager was calling myself and Jonny Veo. He helped me keep my sanity. I did have some things with some other clubs, and we moved bigger nights to Grand Central right away, but the thing about doing a weekly as opposed to a monthly party is that I wanted stability, and they were offering me the stability I needed right off the bat.
"And the first night there was really good. Everybody showed up and had a great time. It was kind of like the old times. It's like they were waiting for it."
Black Fridays' Three Year Anniversary Party. With Astari Nite, the Craven, burlesque and fire by Eva Patron, drag show by Nicole Halliwell, live art by Jon Rice, a coffin, and vendors. Friday, July 18. Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The party starts at 10 p.m., and there is no cover. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.
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