The hottest DJ-and-dance-music scene in New York right now isn’t a nomadic collective popping up various warehouses and lofts in Bushwick and spinning ‘till the sun comes up—it’s an all-ages outdoor party by the banks of Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal that starts on Sunday afternoon and rocks until the sun goes down.
Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin’s Mister Sunday party, which began in 2008 as the outdoor shindig known as Sunday Best, is variously described as a dance party for people tired of the usual dance-music pablum served up at clubs, as the DJ’s DJ party (Justin and Eamon do the lion’s share of the jocking themselves, though they also fly in the best emerging selectors from around the world for occasional guest spots), or as club music without the club—though there is, in fact, a disco ball; it’s just hung from a grove of trees above the cement dance floor. In fact, both the scene and the music is most notable for resisting easy definitions or stereotypes. Go early and grab a sangria and a huarache from the Country Boys food truck while Justin and Eamon spin Marvin Gaye or Caribou; stay till the end for more obscure artists like Floating Points, along with the DJs’ own edits and original productions.
The crowd tends toward young creative types and young families (forget the rave stereotype; the only pacifiers we’ve seen here are in the mouths of actual infants). On the off chance you’re looking for the elusive nomadic collective DJing at a Bushwick warehouse—well, Justin and Eamon throw those parties too; they’re called Mister Saturday Night, and they are as bangin’ as bangin’ gets. If you prefer your dance party al fresco, though, we can’t recommend this one highly enough. (400 Carroll Street between Bond and Nevins; Sundays from 3 – 9pm; mistersaturdaynight.com)
Photo: Michelle O’Brien