No Rest for the Weary: Inside Brooklyn’s 26.2-hour marathon rave

January 12, 2018 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Thousands thronged to East Williamsburg to take part in Cityfox’s 26.2-hour marathon rave on a recent weekend. The party offered more than 16 acts across two stages. Photo by Zach Dilgard
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Caffeine could do only so much by hour eight.

Time by that point was a blur. Had it been four or five Red Bulls? There was no telling.

Rays of sunshine crept through the drapes. Fatigue set in.  

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For as far as the eye could see, sweaty bodies pulsated to hypnotic beats.

Ears began to ring. The only food option was a halal cart stationed outside in the 11-degree arctic tundra.

The clock was approaching noon on a recent weekend in East Williamsburg, where, for roughly 14 hours, thousands of young adults took part in Cityfox’s 26.2-hour marathon rave.

As some retreated for the warmth of their beds, other wide-eyed partygoers were just arriving. They, perhaps, took a different strategy from the night owls, securing a full evening’s sleep before arriving energized and rested.

A rare few, a breed of their own, stayed for the full 26.2 hours. This reporter was not one of them.

“About two minutes before we announced an event titled ‘Marathon Fest’ going for 26 hours, we realized an actual marathon is 26.2 miles,” Cityfox’s Head of Strategy and Marketing Simar Singh told the Brooklyn Eagle. “The rest is history.”

Running from 10 p.m. Sunday to 12:12 a.m. Tuesday, this was not for the faint of heart.

The party’s lineup boasted more than 16 acts across two stages, and offered numerous nooks and crannies throughout the adult playground.

With some of the biggest names in the underground electronic dance music scene on the bill, including Dixon, Lee Burridge and Serge Devant, this was not to be missed.

Closing the event were the Bronx natives The Martinez Brothers, who after playing a party in Miami the night before, flew to New York to perform at this musical labyrinth.

“We started working on the lineup many months ago,” Singh told the Eagle.

“It begins with which artists are available, who we personally want to hear, who would create a lot of excitement, who we know will throw down for longer sets — nearly every DJ has at least 3 hours to hit their groove — and piecing together set times so each of the two rooms has a bit of a different style in music at the same time.”

In addition to the two stages, the festival offered a lounge complete with couches and benches for weary revelers to rest their feet.

With vinyl-only down-tempo music filling the air, the holistic hallway allowed partygoers a moment’s rest before they moved on to the next room.

A glance at this reporter’s pedometer reveals a total of 24,894 steps taken, roughly 9.1 miles danced.

Asked what separates Cityfox’s party from others, Singh answered candidly.

“Everyone has [his or her] preferences,” he said. “The New York City and Brooklyn scene is so diverse, [there are] many different options in terms of music, size, style, people and where friends will be.

“We [offered] long sets from some pretty incredible house music acts, among the most well-known, some lesser-known, some who’ve been at it for decades.”

Many Brooklynites may be familiar with the party’s location, which houses The Brooklyn Mirage in the summer, a 12,000-square-foot pop-up club in a former industrial lot at 140 Stewart Ave.

The club encompasses an outdoor portion of a 6,000-person, 80,000-square-foot compound known at the Avant Gardner complex, and includes indoor and year-round facilities.

Avant Gardner announced a $47.2-million plan in February to expand its space to include two year-round indoor venues dubbed The Great Hall and The Kings Hall, where the marathon fest took place.

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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