Kung Fu Necktie's legendary stage stands empty

Return To The DanceFloor (1 of 2)

By: Katerina Yusibova

October 13, 2021

It goes without saying that the past year was difficult for everyone but especially for the artists of the city.

When covid hit, we all thought that it was over. In March of 2020, the most glamorous venues of the city were boarded and shut. VIP rooms remained empty, the neon lights we called home went black. Drag queens, dancers, photographers and djs retired to their laptops, some opting for half hearted zoom streams and others giving up. It was a dark year, to see everything well...end. No more glitter, no more noise. Just re-runs of the office every night and the endless holier-than-thou statuses from self appointed armchair doctors of the pandemic. 

For the uninvited? This was heaven. But for those who built their lives around the glitz and glamour of night life?

This was a dead end.

For the uninvited? This was heaven. But for those who built their lives around the glitz and glamour of night life?

This was a dead end.

So..what’s the choice? Lay down your gauntlet and give up? Or try to adapt to the crushing pressure.

The strong chose to adapt.

A year without parties left people with a blank slate. With a lot of the nightlife giants at rest, it gave an opening for new people to take charge and act.

As things began to slowly re-open, it felt like entering a new frontier.

The Wild West of the east coast. No one quite knew *what* they wanted to hear. But they knew it wasn’t the same thing.

So David decided while Goliath slept, this was his time to act. In February, many DJs and event co-ordinators such as Dub Snacks, Fame Lust and the Home Grown Network decided that if there was a time to wait, it certainly wasn’t now.

It was a heavy risk. There was the possibility of being cancelled across social media or funneling in money but getting a low turn out. But that didn’t stop people from attempting to turn ware houses and dive bars into glowing dance floors for the night.

A poster for one of the many events thrown during that very tenuous time

There was the possibility of being cancelled across social media or funneling in money but getting a low turn out. But that didn’t stop people from attempting to turn ware houses and dive bars into glowing dance floors for the night.

Time limits and police activity loomed as a constant threat, but the crowds didn’t care. Whether the warehouse was about to get shut down by the cops or the club had to close at 12, they put on their dancing shoes and went anyway, realizing that if not tonight, it might be never.

We danced. In tunnels, in the woods. In parking lots, on the sidewalk, at graffiti pier. Anywhere the cops and cancel culture couldn’t find us.

Mario known on instagram as @famelustmario a staple of Philadelphias music scene

The most pivotal lockdown party had the most perfectly coined name. “At Your Own Risk”, held by the blonde socialite behind Fame Lust Mario Manzioni, was the “thing” that popped off on lockdown weekends in Philadelphia. And weekday nights? Hashland had our backs with homegrown network.

The most pivotal lockdown party had the most perfectly coined name. “At Your Own Risk”,

Come May, when the city lifted restrictions, it was clear. there were new top contenders.

If there was going to be something? It had to be something new. 

People wanted something they could *really* dance to. 

Now that the venues were back, people were starved for variety. And variety? Was delivered.

Warehouse on Watts came out of the screen and back to life with house, jungle and vaporwave.

I myself had came during the first weekend open, and it was a refreshing sight to see people bathed in blue light, dancing to house music.

 

--Will Continue in Part 2 Stay Tuned--

 

 

 

 Kat Yusibova, located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, does a little bit of everything including fashion, event and budoir photography, video, editing and installations. She is a passionate artist and an avid night lifer. to contact her you can use either facebook or  Instagram