America's Backyard, Revolution, Green Room, Fort Lauderdale
Friday, November 26, 2010
If there is one thing that South Floridians love, it is dance music. Post-Thanksgiving day, many found themselves giving extra thanks for Fort Lauderdale's inaugural Dancegiving Music Festival -- the perfect way to burn off those calories gained from eating unnecessarily large portions of turkey and mashed potatoes the day before. Forty DJs packed into three interconnecting downtown clubs/venues created a two-story winding maze of smoke, glow sticks, neon clothing, almost nonexistent clothing, and masses of people unquestionably possibly under the influence of a blend of psychoactive drugs.
Within the three venues, Dancegiving participants had the opportunity to see both national DJs such as Steve Aoki, Wolfgang Gartner, Robbie Rivera, Cedric Gervais, LA Riots, Marcus Ramirez, and RioTGeaR, as well as many other local acts. At any given second, there were loud, heavy electronic bass lines to be heard -- continuously from 12:30 p.m. straight through to the wee hours of the morning -- as well as a constant flux of different styles of music among the three venues, ranging from dubstep to electro house. At no point during the day or night did the dancing cease; if anything, both the crowd and music became more intense as the night progressed. As with any electronic music festival, swarms of people dancing were surrounded on the outskirts of the dance floor by those who instead chose to sit in silence mesmerized by a personal hand-held light show -- a sight equally entertaining to watch as an outsider not under the influence of foreign chemicals.
I spent a decent amount of the night in the Green Room, mostly due to the dark smoky ambience and also because of the electro/progressive house music the venue's DJs were producing. Deafening, yes, but easily escapable by proceeding to one of the three buildings' many outside balconies to regain hearing for a few minutes. America's Backyard, the one outdoor venue, lucked out with good weather, not that rain would have hindered anybody from dancing. The lighting and backdrops, especially in America's Backyard and Revolution, were very impressive -- matching the bright and diverse clothing worn by many of those partaking in the music festival. Here are a few examples of the typical "rave" attire seen throughout the night:
Given the recent unsuccessful attempt of several local music festivals, overall, the first Dancegiving Music Festival was decidedly organized and a proper precursor for those attending the three-day Ultra Music Festival in March 2011. Hopefully Dancegiving can establish itself as an annual event in Fort Lauderdale -- if anything to encourage the use of other already established venues for similar musical functions in the future. For those who lasted the entirety of the 16-hour event, you've earned the right to eat as many Thanksgiving leftovers as you please.
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The crowd: Lots of inappropriately dressed girls who looked like jailbait, people wearing sunglasses both inside and at night, clad in lights -- from glow sticks to neon lights threaded through their clothing.
Personal bias: I don't know the difference between hard house, progressive house, electro house, and tech house, but supposedly there is one.
Random detail: Tap water was for sale at one dollar per glass. Judging by the amount of people who probably needed water, this must have been the biggest portion of the event's revenue for the night.