Curator Spotlight: Verboten

The late ‘80s into the early ‘90s marked the birth of house music’s entry into the NYC club scene. Sure, we could lecture and debate about the technicalities of its birth – underground disco’s influence in the ‘70s and drizzle into the early ‘80s as an example. Hey, even Diana Ross – disco royalty – sat in the DJ booth at Studio 54! So, we acknowledge the connection.

The thrill, delightful shock, and whimsical happenings associated with NYC’s dance music subculture was briefly lost. Happily, one of our MLUSA curators also doubles as a NYC underground dance music revivalist. Amen.

Co-founder John Perez of one of Brooklyn’s coolest digs, Verboten, knows a thing or two about throwing a mind-blowing party. *clears throat* We have that in common. The entity has blossomed from a decade of events into its own quality nightclub. John says, “When Verboten [was] nomadic, throwing parties around the city, our biggest obstacle was finding great places to throw parties – bad sound systems, weird locations, or bad venue management always kept us on our toes. It's such a relief to finally have a home.”

In addition to executing top-notch parties every week in 2015 at their permanent space in Williamsburg, Verboten’s also showcasing their curatorial expertise in music, culture and art at MLUSA this year.

Below John dishes a bit and provides us with a sneak peak at what’s to come.

What’s the one thing you want the crowd to take away from your party at the end of the night

Escape.  That's why Verboten attempts to create a fictional world with our art, video, production and branding. When people go out dancing, they want to lose their problems on the dance floor, meet great people, and have fun. 

What’s the best part about being in the Verboten family?

That's it, it's a family!  Our staff and customers are so loyal, so sweet, and so willing to go above and beyond that it makes for some truly special moments – both on and off the dance floor.

What are your thoughts on the current New York music scene?

It's really come a long way since the dark times of Giuliani and his crackdown on nightclubs.  Now on any given night, you have a wide choice of venues, parties, and promoters throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.  

Define the art of deejaying.

For some it's technical, for some it's musical knowledge.  But honestly, we try to book DJs with a clear musical vision who can add to the party and are a pleasure to work with. That last one is more important than you think.

Can you give us a hint about what you’re planning for Mysteryland?

We're bringing two of our best parties to Mysteryland, one each day, curated by some of our best residents.  We really want each day to feel like a different night at the club.  To further bring the Verboten experience to Bethel Woods, we're excited to bring a lot of our culture programming with us, which is one of the things that really sets us apart from other places.  Wasabassco Burlesque will be performing. We'll be doing some outdoor deep house yoga classes at the camp grounds; and we'll maybe even be bringing our amazing chef to do some BBQ near our stage.