After Saturday night, I got the validation I needed for my Endorsements section. In other words, I’m super-glad I endorsed We Are Your Friends: A Really, Really Big Party and I am certain I didn’t let you, my dearest readers, down.
It was absolutely fantastic. After going into the once-sugar factory, you end up in a 50-meter or so corridor which is at some points open-air. Dotted on both sides were several bars, some exclusively for beer or water, others for everything else. This was divine because there was no crowding, pushing or shoving to get your drinks, allowing everyone there to stay friends!
Beirut in the Mix’s Room
The first door on the left led to a high-ceilinged room which I’d say is about half the size of Art Lounge’s event area. That was where Ronin and Nesta’s Beirut in the Mix crew set-up shop, which also included Phil. Here you’ll forgive me for not mentioning everyone, cause 15 DJs is a whole bunch to remember! The room’s walls were run down and bare concrete, with simple graffiti illuminated with LED lights creating a neon-like glow on the walls, which flickered as the heads and arms of people dancing jotted up and down to the deep, subtly melodic warehouse techno and house.
What’s nice was the proximity of the DJ booth to the dancefloor and how the security staff were friendly and accommodating, versus brainless goons who have not mastered the art of speaking you encounter in other events. In fact, Lori and I spent a good portion of the night up in the DJ Booth with Ronin, Nesta, Phil, Pat, George, Tina and a few other friends.
I spent the rest of my time jumping up and down, while revolving in the air and orbiting around my gorgeous date. I also had a bit too much to drink (for the first time ever), with Yorgi’s signature drink of Vodka, RedBull and a single piece of Halls candy.
We Run Beirut’s Room
We Run Beirut’s room had white-washed walls and had a tiled floor, creating a somewhat stark contrast between it and the rest of the venue, but still a very much underground, industrial location. The DJ booth was up-high and the room had an adjacent, darker room, allowing them both to fit roughly as much as the other rooms. Here, I stuck around for a while as the Basement’s Diamond Setter dropped the bass loops that made me fall in love with him coupled with the massive beats that create the “diamonds” in the jewels of a set he creates.
The BCE’s Room
This room was the venue’s most intimate one. Its ceiling was low and its size smaller, creating a cozier, darker atmosphere with an impression you’re somewhere deep underground. The music though, was everything but dark and deep, with uplifting and mildly remixed house tracks like “I follow rivers” being performed in unison by DJette and the crowd: DJette dropping the beat, everyone else singing it. The BCE’s brand of indie electro and nu-disco attracted the Cotton Candy and Behind the Green Door regulars who spent most of their night in that room, which was packed all night!
All in All
It was a night where three giants of underground house music in Beirut teamed up for some sexy music, healthy fun and plenty of positive vibes. Personally, I had a ton of fun. From what I could tell, so did everyone else. What was also different, is that the organizers themselves were part of the crowd and having just as much fun, with DJs from each promoter spending some time at the other promoters’ rooms before or after their sets. In other words, no stuck-up diva crap and an authentic “we’re all friends” feel to the overall fluid event.
For the Doubters
For the doubters who think this was spoiling an underground venue, I say: Shush, you hipsters. Underground doesn’t mean unpopular or unsuccessful, it means staying true to your genre no matter what. So, if an event got 1442 attendees, decent coverage and some buzz, that doesn’t mean the music was any worse or that the underground street cred of the guys was in any way shaken, on the contrary, it’s promoting proper clubbing and raving in Lebanon and exposing more and more people to how fun should be had (unlike you, who want to hog all the fun).
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