Ambitious Parties and Missing Last Shuttles
One of my favorite aspects of life in the commune is that we are constantly trying new things. This is especially true in the arena of party design. Ali threw a new DJs party last night. We have a cache of regular DJs who know what we like, can get an empty dance floor hopping with the right sequence of songs and serve us well. With no disrespect for this collective resource, Ali wanted to explore some of our less conventional and newer music selection talent. She did it at the warehouse.
When designing parties, one has to make a bunch of decisions which affect the event. One of the critical ones is how much space do you create for the participants. Too little and people will leave because it is too crowded. If you create too much, the party will feel under attended and people may drift off or cluster in some smaller area.
The warehouse is huge, the night was rainy, there were three nice spaces created – the dance floor, the hangout room and the smokers lounge outside. All of the spaces had some folks, but the party would have been well served by another twenty people. Technical difficulties prevented us from hearing a few of the 30-minute sets that our alt-DJs had prepared; time to head to Acorn.
After all the sets that worked, the Acorners left en mass and we scooped up a few Oakers who were interested in continuing the evening. We considered a couple of places at Acorn to play and ultimately decided on the Rec Collective – short for Recreation Collective – a lovely single-room straw bale building which currently has no residents.
Considerably smaller, only 6 or 7 people could dance at the same time here. One person felt comfortable enough that they were able to for the first time to dance topless, earning the party at least a B grade if not an A. But the right combination of music and people who did not want to go to sleep made for an event which did not end til 4 AM when I drove home the last shuttle.
When I examine it thru a funological lens and ask “What made this after-party so charming?” Of course, part of it was the choice of music and the people interested in dancing. But as I look deeper, some of it was also that the participants all knew each other well enough to trust each other, but many had lots to learn and share with the other participants in the conversations which went on amongst the people who were not dancing.
For myself at least, there was a feeling of having taken a chance and gotten lucky. Sometimes the after-party does not really work out. Especially if they are in a different location that the original, the new site needs to be prepped, technical difficulties can derail the effort, the group needs to hold together while things are being set up and not drift off to bed or to the arms of some romantic interest they have been chatting with.
Ali is capturing funological principles & adages:
“What is the best way to run the last shuttle from the party?”
“To not do it because no one wants to go home.”
And while some people ultimately did go home at absurd o’clock, this after-party definitely had a dreamlike quality to it.