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All photos by David Claypool / Kalorama Photography

After five successful year, no one much questions the popularity of the monthly Mixtape party. Well, pretty much no one except the 9:30 Club.


“We got a call from the club noting that we had only sold about a 150 advance tickets,” said Shea Van Horn who throws the party with fellow DJ Matt Bailer. “I think they were nervous, and I get that since we’ve never thrown the party there.” Mixtape switches venues from month-to-month, but most often finds a home at the Black Cat. “I told them that our audience always buys night-of, and that when we do it at the Black Cat we only sell about 50 advance tickets.”


As a result, the club pushed up the stage (a trick they use for under-selling acts) to make the dance floor smaller. They also understaffed the coat-check, not even opening its secondary coat-check when doors opened at 11:00pm. Yet, when we arrived at midnight, there was a line stretching down the block. Actually, there were two lines stretching nearly a block-long in opposite directions.


What started as a nervous feeling by the 9:30 Club turned into a packed crowd that danced to mixes by Van Horn and Bailer. What started as a small party in the dining room of an Eritrean restaurant five years ago had grown into a 1,000-plus event at the 9:30 Club on Saturday night. It was enough to tamp out any doubts by the host venue, which will certainly be trying to book Mixtape again.


The next Mixtape party in on Saturday, February 8 at the Black Cat. See MORE photos at Mixtape’s Facebook page.

ponylittleFor more on DC’s queer nightlife scene, follow the @BYGays on Twitter.