Local club promoters Research and Reboot events recently combined forces to take the Irish clubbing experience from dark indoor rooms to a brighter setting of an outdoor area in order to party during Covid.

Social Service followed on from their ‘Sligo Weekender’ in the form of a secret location open-air day party. This party, however, came in a more traditional format, this included no social distancing and meant dancing was permitted. This ultimately resulted in many ravers first experience of partying as normal in Ireland.

The day commenced with a bus journey from the city centre which ambiguously lead a packed coach of ravers to an undisclosed location. The journey felt like times of old; early morning drinks, festival clobber, the overbearing scent of perfume, an excess of glitter and as the bus journey progressed morning drinks became afternoon drinks.

It all felt a bit peculiar… for a whole 20 minutes. You would think prior to attending an event like this that everything is going to feel a bit askew and that it may take a while to settle back into what used to be a regular occurrence but to be perfectly honest that didn’t last long and it felt as if I’d have never left.

On arrival to the location I eagerly found myself edging towards the dance floor which was a small courtyard that was barricaded to mimic a dance floor of a club. The sound system was amazing and the music matched this quality. I had recently arrived back from Berlin where I attended many open-air parties that were set up in a very similar fashion and I’m very patriotically proud to say this had the best sound system of all the parties I had attended during the summer months.

I was only really familiar with the later part of the line-up for this particular gig but I was pleasantly surprised that each set was of high quality and most definitely gave many DJ’s in Berlin a run for their money.

I’m always a fan of conflicting styles of DJ set’s throughout a party and it was refreshing to hear the drastically different sets during the day. Often Irish parties can be a constant rise in intensity and BPM throughout a day until a final climax of ear bleeding techno by the time the last DJ finds themselves stumbling onto the decks. This certainly was not the case and the kind of seesaw approach to the line-up was invigorating. Each DJ’s confidence to play their sound regardless of the previous DJ’s set was commendable and provided a broader taste pallet of music for the dancers.

Whether it was house, techno, garage, breaks, electro or UK bass the music was met by emphatic energy by dance deprived attendees. There was an air of positivity and togetherness at the parties site as if this was the moment we had all been waiting for – this was the culmination of 18 months of separation and we’re finally back. This air of alacrity was paired with similarly positive and tireless DJ sets. I would be lying if I said I could pick a highlight for the day as each set was catered for different moods. The day was rather an appraisable showcase of what an all Irish line-up can offer.

Asides from the return to the dance floor, there is many things that intertwine the many ideals and facets that make up club culture. Up until this point I didn’t realise how many friends I hadn’t seen in months because the only time I ever saw them was at gigs. So as well as dancing, I had some well over due catch up’s with friends that I hadn’t seen in what seems like forever. I even managed to make some new friends and thoroughly enjoyed meeting people I had only spoke to over social media and putting a various faces to a names was amazing.

The whole experience of meeting new people and rekindling old friendships was very therapeutic and made my hangover somewhat more bearable, I really stress the somewhat in that sentence. I felt a general feeling of positivity that normal life was restoring because I’m sure I’m not alone in sometimes feeling worried that normal life was never going to resume as we once knew it. This event put those fears to bed.

The whole day really did feel like a mini festival with a brilliant intimate vibe, it really encouraged everyone to chat with each other and promoted a really open and friendly atmosphere.

As the day progressed into night it began to revive older memories of day parties and festivals. The crowd knew the party wasn’t going to last forever and if you wanted to dance it was now or never. This resulted in a mobbed dance floor with an electric atmosphere. As the sky got darker, so did the music. Seasoned DJ’s Cailin and Aeron XTC finished off the night with a menacing but hypnotic master class. Much like the start of the night, the end of the felt as if we had never left dancing. The gritty yet euphoric closing from two of Ireland’s best DJ’s left a sweet taste of excitement of good times to come in the mouths of every single one of the attendee’s.

The wait is over, Ireland is dancing again.

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