For a little over a year, Mike Linder filled Green Room with dark dance tunes and a crowd that loves the nighttime with Black Fridays. The weekly Fort Lauderdale party featured everything from suspension piercing and girls using power tools on their crotches, to folks dressed up like dead celebs and comic book characters. But after the news came that Green Room is shifting to become Stache, Linder announced that Black Fridays are moving from Green Room to Vagabond in Miami.
The split was amicable though. Linder says, "I actually had a really good experience there. I have no ill will toward them." But after some miscommunication, it became clear he would start looking for another venue. He found Black Fridays' new home very far from his own Boca home, in Miami.
Back in July of 2012, after a stint helping out Fort Laudy DJ staples Andie Sweetswirl and Mig with their Saturday night fete, the venue offered him Friday on a platter. He had free reign. "The night was pretty much mine," he admits. His connections with "the darker crowd" as he calls them at Fetish Factory were drawn to the music and vibe.
"The night has grown such community," he says, "that I didn't want it to die." So Linder started to look around at clubs. "I tried really hard to keep it in Fort Lauderdale," but the right venue wasn't there. He got word from Rodney Mayo, Respectable Street and Vagabond owner, who offered him a Friday spot at his Miami club.
"It either would have been at a bar or a place where it ran the risk of me not feeling as welcome as I would at Vagabond. Monthly parties can get away with it better, but for a weekly event, if you start hopping around from club to club, it really diminishes the night. I needed another home to go to."
Linder points out that Black Friday is "good at playing at the crowd that walks through the door." Like at Green Room, if a group of people came through from America's Backyard, they'd play some songs to keep them there, keep them moving, then get back to the typical sounds. So, walk-in traffic is important to Linder and the night, and Vagabond has plenty of that.
The first week Black Fridays celebrate at Vagabond actually coincides with both the club's five year anniversary and Friday the 13th. Also, he's back working with Andie Sweetswirl. While Black Fridays will take over the big room in the back with the stage, Andie will helm up the front with indie-electro sounds and some other DJs from West Palm Beach. With his spot in the club, Linder plans to continue all the theme nights, burlesque, and live shows they had at Green Room. The success and revitalization of the Church -- a classic Miami Goth night, at Vagabond, one which includes a huge crowd overlap with Linder's -- made him certain this is the right place to be.
Linder says the best thing about move to Miami is "having a club owner who is backing me up 100 percent and is continuing to let me do my night how I was doing it without interruption." The worst thing, he notes, is that "a lot of the people who would come down from West Palm and the Northern Broward areas might not come as often or at all." He also has to trek 55 miles each way to downtown Miami himself. "I hear people complaining about driving who live much closer than I do," he laments.
"I really wish I could stay here," he says of Fort Lauderdale, "but really I couldn't find the right fit."
Black Fridays debut in Miami at Vagabond's 5 Year Anniversary with Ketchy Shuby, Astari Nite, and the Goddamn Hustle, 9 p.m., on Friday, September 13, at Vagabond, 30 NE 14 St., Miami. Visit thevagabondmiami.com.