When we started throwing parties in the early 90s (they were called raves then) inside random and forgotten buildings, authorities took a while to figure out what was going on and how to deal with it. When they finally did, and started to shut us down, we fell back and moved our events into mainstream, regular hours venues. We downsized our underground afters and were more clandestine. We settled into our cocoon and refined our audience.
Slowly over the following decades the underground afters began to come out into the light again with venues like Tires, Grenadier, Baltimore and so many more. History repeated itself and shut it down. We retreated again to more intimate, culturally curated events. Slowly the overlords in government have begun to recognize the value in our late night culture. Then Covid emerged and…full stop.
None of us want to present events that are responsible for hurting our guests. Some throw parties encouraging those who come to wear masks and social distance. Some have gone virtual, streaming their events online. Some have chosen to sit it out and come back when it can be done without restrictions or fear. We should not judge one or the other for their choices. We all want to keep the language of our underground culture alive. We can’t let this challenging time divide us.
We are in a moment, not unlike those in the past, that challenge us to redefine what our club culture is. It is an opportunity to create something new that reflects the reality of this time. I pray that this situation doesn’t divide us. We are Detroit. We are united in our desire to be an example of community to the world that creates, together. We all have our opinions. Let’s respect the choices that are made…and keep our family together.