October 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Former Town manager plans new weekend dance/drag party
Ba'Naka, gay news, Washington Blade, Avalon, Avalon Saturdays at Soundcheck

Local drag legend Ba’Naka will be at the first Avalon Saturdays event this weekend. (Photo courtesy Avalon)

The closing of Town left a hole in D.C. LGBT nightlife that is slowly being repopulated by parties at smaller venues throughout the city.

Avalon Saturdays at Soundcheck (1420 K St., N.W.) is the latest gay dance party to emerge in the city’s post-Town world. Promoter Dougie Meyer told the Washington Blade he decided to start a new party after hearing people over the summer mourn the loss of Town.

“Town as everyone in this city knows was an institution,” Meyer says. “That’s where everyone went and knew they could have a great time and dance all night long. Once it closed it was almost like there was no dance club left. We had many bars in the city but there was no actual dance club space. Over the summer, all I was hearing from so many people was, ‘I wish we had a dance club.’”

He decided that he could make it happen.

Meyer, who previously worked as a general manager at Town, reached out to Soundcheck as the home for Avalon Saturdays. He explains that he chose the space because of its D&B Audiotechnik Y-series speakers and its lighting system. Meyer says he, “could think of no better space to create a dance party than in a space like Soundcheck.”

Avalon Saturdays presents its debut party on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10 p.m. Drag queens Lena Lett, Ba’Naka, Sasha and Gigi will perform. Eddie Danger and Trevor Northman will give dance performances and DJ Steve Sidewalk will spin tracks all night. General admission tickets are $15. VIP tickets are $25 and give ticket holders access to express entry and a private VIP lounge with private bar.

If partygoers hope to make Avalon Saturdays their new weekly hotspot, they won’t get bored. Meyer promises that each party will have a weekly rotation of drag queens and DJs to give each party its own vibe.

Meyer also thinks it’s important to switch up the type of music played throughout the night. He surveyed groups of people immersed in D.C.’s nightlife to discover what people want.

“They want a little bit of everything from pop music and EDM remixes. But there’s also a massive group who want circuit music. There’s also people who want to see drag queens, they want to see performances. You’re going to get a little mixture of everything throughout the night,” Meyer says. “It’s not going to be a set, sit-down drag show but you’re still going to get those drag performances that are going to pop up throughout the night. You’re going to be able to come early on and get more of the top 40s, EDM remix feel but as the night goes on it will be more circuit.”

Upcoming events include Avalon’s Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 27 and numerous other events throughout November and December.

Although there will be varying music throughout each party and something new to expect at each event, Meyer hopes that every partygoer has the same feeling when they leave Soundcheck.

“I’m hoping that when they walk away they have a smile on their face because they danced their face off and they had one of the best nights that they’ve had in a long time,” he says. “I want everyone who goes there to feel safe and accepted and in a happy place, a happy space, and it’s gong to make them want to come back and do it the next week.”

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