Last Saturday night was chilly, bordering cold. I pulled my scarf tighter and chugged down my "road soda" of whiskey and pranced up to the discreetly guarded warehouse entrance. Just a few feet down from the insanely packed Paper Box, I got cleared by a security guard and snuck past two heavily curtained glass doors.
Behind the bleak exterior awaited Dévotion - a nearly bi-monthly party that has been taking place since early 2015. Fundamentally, the party was created to transcend the monotony of the club and rave scenes in New York, by producing music oriented events with experiential components, similar to those that may be found at Burner attended parties. Patrons were encouraged to connect on a deeper level with the event and each other.
Initially, the parties were held in a defunct bar/brownstone near Union Square. Since those early beginnings, momentum has picked up tremendously, and the parties have progressed to booking well-respected electronic acts such as Noir, Kate Simko, Hoj, YokoO, and the Desert Hearts crew, and have moved to warehouse locations in Brooklyn.
I've known of Dévotion's existence for about a year now, and have heard from countless members of the electronic community that it is their favorite party in Brooklyn, so I was very excited for what was in store (and admittedly had super high expectations).
I walked in and was overwhelmed with the booming kick drum. I could see the edge of the dance floor peeking out from behind the check-in table, ablaze with moving lights. After getting squared away, I barreled over to see what was happening.
The warehouse space was open wide, with the DJ booth stationed at the back of the dance floor, flanked by open windows. An installation of the moon phases was affixed above the booth - an indicator of the event's title, "Shadows Of the Moon", reminiscent of the full Hunter's Moon outside. Visuals were projected onto the various moon shapes, as well as along the two walls on either side of the dance floor. The side walls had mesh screens hanging from the ceiling every few feet, adding a three dimensional element to the projections.
Since it was early in the evening, I made my way out back to the garden. The party had only begun at 11, and would last well into the morning (8 am to be precise). One corner of the courtyard had a roaring bonfire, and the other had an elaborate teepee, adorned with lights and teeming with rugs. A group was huddled beneath the teepee, steeping tea. They beckoned me to join the group and launched into a round of psychologically driven games.
The party began to fill up between 1 and 2 am. I weaved my way back and forth between the garden and the dance floor, making new friends and talking with strangers. It was by far the most welcoming group of people I have ever encountered at a party of this magnitude. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and willing to give you whatever you needed.
The installations and projections were mesmerizing, and set an ambiance that wavered between mystical and whimsical. Attendees are invited to "come as they are", and many were donning additional body jewelry, costumes, leather, neon, and everything in between. I was in the minority for wearing my black skinny jeans and hoodie, but no one batted an eye at it.
The artists who filled the bill for the night included resident DJ Ostro, Nitin, Clarian, and one of my tech house favorites, Animal Trainer. The DJ selection can make or break large warehouse events, and this lineup definitely made it. I took a moment to dance by myself in the middle of the crowded floor to Animal Trainer at 4:30 in the morning - the bass running through me and the melodic lines allowing me to daydream. It was quite a memorable moment.
If you haven't been to a Dévotion party - add it to your list. Between the quality of the music, event production, and the crowd, you will not regret it.
All photos by Chase Morgan - Driftshot.com