DC’s Best EDM Venues For Non-EDM People
If an EDM fanatic, the genres and culture surrounding dance music are currently literally included in every aspect of our lives. From the mall, to the gym, even the muzak in the elevator as we’re headed into the office in the morning could feature tunes by Krewella, Zedd, Avicii and more. If you’re like me, there are people in your life who are either curious or dismissive of EDM related venues in DC until they inevitably find a song that gets them interested in learning and/or hearing more. Thankfully, if in the DC Metropolitan area at the moment, there a diversity of nightspots that – given the characteristics of the person who’s interested – will entertain them and possibly win them over as new fans of electronic dance music and electronic dance music culture. From U Street to Northeast, Downtown and more, there’s certainly something for everyone.
Your boss is in her early 40s and awkwardly stops by your cubicle every time she sees you silently raging to that Dada Life mix. As well, she always brings up raving in high school while listening to Depeche Mode, and she name drops “Voodoo People” by The Prodigy as the song that set off her college parties. Currently, she doesn’t listen to much on the radio, but she definitely scores tickets for Moby whenever he’s in town.
The best DC nightlife spot for Person #1 – Send your boss down to U Street Music Hall’s bass heavy black box venue. Though she definitely has seen her fair share of bright lights and glowsticks, she’s going to want to take some time before jumping into the deep end of the EDM pool. Nights when electronica-era acts like techno king Plastikman play, it’s typically a reminder of everything old with a teaspoon of new material. Or, have her check out local DJ/producer and club owner Will Eastman’s Bliss parties. Known for less raging and more vibing, it may become her favorite monthly DC night on the town.
So, there’s this woman you see in Zumba class when you walk by that giant glass window that is on the way to the men’s locker room. She never misses a step, looks like she doesn’t mind getting sweaty, and guess what, you have her phone number and you are supposed to be going out on Thursday night. Is there a club in town that can satisfy her funky, percussive dance needs? Of course there is!
The best DC nightlife spot for Person #2 – Tropicalia’s name matches the vibe of what happens so often in the club. On the corner of 14th and U and built beneath Lost Society and Subway, for what Tropicalia lacks in being particularly eye-catching, it more than compensates for in the heavy Afro-Latino funk vibes of the DJs regularly spinning at the club. Definitely check the calendar for local DJs Mista Selecta and Mane Squeeze keep things drum-heavy and diverse.
So, your college roommate is moving into town. He was always a bit off the beaten path, and may enjoy science and a night with Dr. Who on Netflix after a day of working as a web coding specialist over pulse pounding electro rhythms. However, you two haven’t seen each other in five years, and he wants to have “a different night on the town.” It just so happens that the DC area has one of America’s best nightclub experiences for the “non-EDM person.”
The best DC nightlife spot for Person #3 – Echostage. Between a mammoth LED wall, enormous ground-level dance floor, second-level VIP seating, and a system that is calibrated well enough to allow for music to be loud and not quite grating against the senses. A sensory overload in the best way possible, Echostage is probably an experience in the Nation’s Capital that a non-EDM aficionado would be willing to have over and over again.
Person #4 (and 5)
Your best friend’s mom and dad are in town and they’re certainly known for being the “adventurous” sort. Though appearing very straight laced on the surface, the mother sky-dives, paints and has traveled the world, while the father knows five languages, brews his own beer and does Crossfit. While at dinner, with you and your friend, they want to “let their hair down” and “dance.” Where to take them?
The best DC nightlife spot for Person #4 (and 5) – To give those crazy lovebirds the night they likely want to have, check out Eighteenth Street Lounge. Eclectic, yet fun, the main room and outdoor patio specialize in all manner of house and disco. For parents looking to bump a bit while dancing cheek to cheek, or maybe feeling something a bit more adventurous, yet house-driven with DC-area legend Sam “The Man” Burns in the back room.
The guy who sits next to you on your uptown to downtown Metrobus ride every morning listens to 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar while he sees that your iPOD is filled with Kaskade and Dillon Francis. His girlfriend digs “your music” though, and he needs somewhere to take her where he can hear a bit of things they both like.
The best DC nightlife spot for Person #6 – Tell your Metrobus buddy that the best bang for his bucks can be found at Ultrabar. Five levels of different types of partying absolutely ensures that from A$AP Rocky to Steve Angello, they’re going to hear a solid mix of everything they both require to have a quality night on the town.