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Brooklyn bash ‘I Feel Love’ transports attendees back to 1970s club culture

‘An Immersive Music Experience Reimagining Late ’70s Nightclub culture’

September 13, 2016 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Attendees turn out to “I Feel Love” in eccentric attire. All photos by Getty Images for Republic Record
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Music lovers familiar with New York nightlife may often grow nostalgic for the glory days of the late 1970s when an unfettered love for music trumped the bottle service, strict door policies and high entry fees that characterize today’s club scene.

Last weekend, however, thousands of revelers from Brooklyn and beyond were able to travel back in time to relive those golden years at “I Feel Love,” a two-day celebration dubbed “an immersive music experience reimagining late ’70s nightclub culture.”

Seventy-six-year-old disco legend Giorgio Moroder, who’s won four Grammys and three Oscars, curated the groovy gathering along with his record label, Casablanca Records.

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The sold-out event was held on Sept. 9 and 10 in an abandoned Crown Heights warehouse where attendees were treated to a soundtrack from a time when Donna Summer reigned supreme.

And in an era plagued by the Vietnam War, when nightclubs represented a refuge for young adults looking to escape the everyday problems of society, it was only fitting that “I Feel Love” — on the weekend of the 15th anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11 — brought people together and reminded everyone of the power that music has to unite in the wake of chaos.  

The curators behind “I Feel Love” cautioned ticketholders prior to the event that they should expect “standing, walking, climbing stairs, being touched, interacting with participants and being alone.” Attendees were also encouraged to keep their cellphones in their pockets and off the dancefloor so that revelers could enjoy the moment.

Partygoers of all ages dressed to the nines and came equipped with bellbottoms, rose-colored glasses, faux Afros, glitter and high tops, among other accessories.  

The expansive warehouse boasted two dancefloors, a photo booth, a Twister game room and a vintage trailer complete with a bed, kitchen and sofa. The massive 3,000-capacity abandoned factory was like an interactive maze with hidden rooms and surprises around every corner.

Upon entering, attendees were given a playing card, which represented their form of entry. After handing the card to a bouncer, revelers were ushered into the adult playground that would house them for the next six hours.

At one point, poker chips were handed out to select guests, which provided access to a room behind a curtain that revealed an intimate dancefloor lined with a plush rug where bartenders made savory, sweet and potent concoctions in exchange for tokens.  

The tunes blared all night from a lineup of DJs including Moroder, who headlined Friday alongside Scottish DJ, producer and recent Mixmag cover star Jackmaster. Legendary Studio 54 table master Nicky Siano, 61, also graced the turntables.

On Saturday, Siano and Moroder played again. Notable tunes with diva-driven vocals and funky basslines from the evening included Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” and “On The Radio” and “You Take Me Higher” by Rogerseventytwo.

Summer’s single “I Feel Love,” which the event was named after, was played and produced by Moroder.  

But it was Armand Van Helden who was crowned king of the night as he played old-school house classics, including his own “Night Life” and “You Don’t Know Me,” along with Cajmere’s “Brighter Days” and Jodeci’s “Freek’n You (Mk Dub).”  

At one point, Van Helden left the DJ booth to encourage fans to come and dance behind him on stage.

Following the event, Casablanca Records/Republic Records Executive Vice President of A&R Rob Stevenson said, “I grew up in the clubs of NYC in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which had a profound influence on me. Those clubs, and the ones that preceded them, were the creative heartbeat that fed the spirit of the city.

“This weekend we revived that spirit, and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved,” Stevenson added. “Now everyone who experienced it should carry it forward! We’ll be back soon, but that’s for another time.” 

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