The monthly gay dance party CTRL has quickly expanded from a small event in an Eritrean restaurant to one of the most popular parties in Washington. More than just a dance party, CTRL is a brand experience. They’ve rented party buses, spun their own pool parties, and have appeared at more than one BYT/Capital Pride main event. This week mark’s CTRL’s largest growth yet as they bring their monthly party to their new home – TOWN.
Brightest Young Things talked with Adam, Brett, Devon, and Jeff – the boys behind CTRL – about their party style, what you can expect on Saturday night, and hot tubs.
Brightest Young Things: Why are you guys moving the party to Town?
CTRL: It’s easy to become a little complacent when you’ve achieved some success with a regular event. We’re taking the party to Town because we didn’t want to fall into that trap of doing the same thing month-after-month for a long stretch of time, just because it became an easy option. That’s mainly why we took the summer off, to give ourselves time to think about how we could mix things up, without losing too much of what we love about CTRL. This will be the third location we’ve called home, and much like our last move, it feels like a new chapter for us. And in a way it also feels like a new chapter for Town, so we think it’s going to be a good partnership and are very excited to kick things off.
Brightest Young Things: What are the benefits of having CTRL at Town?
Brightest Young Things: CTRL is known for adding something “a little extra” to their parties (bawdy drag acts, gogo boys, twerking contests). How do you plan to continue that tradition in a venue like Town?
CTRL: Town’s upstairs is a different venue environment than we’ve had before, so we need to find what’s right. While we have no doubt resident performers like Birdie LaCage and Pussy Noir would never get lost in the crowd, we know it’s going to take a lot to grab the attention of a dance floor filled with 1,000-plus attendees. That’s why we’re doubling down in the coming months on special events like larger performances, focused themes, and bigger crowd competitions. We’ll also be evolving our fan favorites, like our monthly swag — we hope you’re ready for hundreds of neon lights this month — and our signature photobooth, by the super creative and innovative photographer David Claypool.
CTRL: Town’s space and capabilities create a lot of exciting opportunities for CTRL. We plan to continue the mainstays our CTRL crowd has become accustomed to (gaggy drag performances, twerking, competitions and, of course, fabulous music) while finding new ways to use the stage, the larger dance floor space and bringing some new elements that the typical Town crowd may not be used to. We have a lot of ideas stirring around and some things in the works, but for now let’s just say we don’t think people will be disappointed.
Brightest Young Things: CTRL is more than just a monthly party. You’ve thrown pool parties and party buses. Should we continue to see the CTRL brand to continue to expand into other areas?
CTRL: CTRL has always been about the music and the party, so we’re always up for expanding into new venues and events that allow us to showcase our unique and outrageous perspective. Thankfully, we’ve also established wonderful relationships with other promoters, social enterprises and DJs in the area that have allowed us a lot of the opportunities we’ve had so far. We couldn’t have done it without their support — Thanks, betches! All that being said, our monthly event is our first and foremost focus as a group, and we look further to making it an even larger success, and we’re always keeping our eyes open for new and creative ways to bring fun and exciting experiences to the community, where at Town, on a bus, in a pool, or other places we haven’t even thought of yet!
Brightest Young Things: For Town patrons who aren’t familiar with CTRL, what type of music will you be bringing to Town.
CTRL: The greatest thing about CTRL is having four DJs who each bring something different to the table. You could say our overall sound is indie-, electro pop, but you will always hear dance and house tracks, as well as hip hop, R&B and fun remixes and mashups. We like to play music you don’t hear on a typical club night. It’s music that we love to listen and dance to and share with everyone on the dance floor. If you’re not immediately into what you hear, wait a few minutes and we bet you hear something you like!
Brightest Young Things: Have you checked out the soon-to-be-open outdoor cocktail bar at Town?
CTRL: We have not had a chance to check out the outdoor bar yet, but we are really excited for it to open! From what the owners and managers have told us (and Dusty Martinez’s sneak peak photographic updates/selfies), we think it’s going to add a great new dimension to the club and experience overall. It’s certainly set to be the biggest change Town has made since they’ve opened and we can’t wait to check it out.
Brightest Young Things: There is a long-running rumor that there is a secret hot tub on the roof of Town. True or not, what would a CTRL patron have to do to talk their way into your hot tub?
CTRL: We cannot confirm nor deny the secret hot tub exists or you may not see us on Saturday. That said, if one were trying to talk their way into a CTRL hot tub party, they should keep in mind that flattery (and amazing use of cat GIFs) will get them everywhere. Song requests and screaming bachelorette parties need not apply.