Every night at Foundation Nightclub has its own unique personality. Substance Wednesdays bring out the bassheads en masse, clad in t-shirts, jeans, and bandanas. On Resonate Friday, you get a well-dressed club crowd looking to go wild for the weekend. Walk in on Progression Saturday and you’ll get the always loyal trance family, ready to dance. But for Foundation’s newest night, we get a brand new experience thanks to Departure Thursday.
USC Events VP Doug McIntyre is no stranger to the house scene. Having come up in the 90s Portland music-scape, bringing the appeal of the old-school rave scene to the new world order became a “lifetime project.” Uniting two generations of concertgoers was a tall order, but a wide-open Thursday night slot afforded the perfect opportunity.
We’re bringing the two worlds together. In order for this thing to resonate the way we want it to, the new and old fans alike need to know that sometimes they’ll hear the people they love, and sometimes they’ll hear artists they never knew about.
Held every other week, Departure Thursday carries with it a simple message: exploring “the world of soulful and emotion-filled house music.” The inaugural celebration featured house legend Sasha, bringing a whole different mood to what’s normally a raucous club. For a night, we took a step away from the all too familiar “build/drop/go crazy” routine we’ve grown accustomed to. Instead, we were treated to the deeper stylings of Sasha, as a decidedly chilled-out collection of old-school ravers grooved the night away.
But it’s not all about giving the old-school crowd a place to congregate. Departure is just as much about bridging the gap between the people who grew up on house, and the newer generation looking to broaden their musical tastes. Says Foundation Marketing Coordinator Trevor Leon, “we’ve got plenty of nights for the Beatport Top 100. This is a departure from that into another realm.” And depart we did.
Gone were the amped up visuals and layered drops, replaced instead with “classier, muted” lights, and soulful beats meant to move more than just your feet. The second we stepped inside, it was clear that the night was less about getting wild, and more about closing our eyes, bobbing our heads, and slithering along to the 4/4 rhythm. Diversity defined the night, as a mix of Foundation regulars, spirit-hooded 20-somethings, and bearded rave vets united in their love of house in all its forms, new and old.
The goal of Departure operates on this idea of unity. Foundation is a refuge for a variety of newer genres and artists, and the vision calls for balancing this with the classic elements of dance music.
We want to create a home for tech house, deep house, and minimal. We want to infuse that soul into a club night with Departure and go back to our roots.
You might not be getting the festival mainstage type you’ve come to expect on any given night at the iconic Seattle club. But what you do get is something else entirely. Leon posits that a Thursday night crowd may not “know who XY DJ is, but if they love the sound and stay true to it, they’re going to experience something memorable and unlike anything they’e ever seen.” After just the first edition, we can promise you Departure embodies all this and plenty more.
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