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Posted at 12:41 PM ET, 03/ 9/2010

Bliss, Nouveau Riche dance parties headed to U Street Music Hall

By Fritz Hahn

The new U Street Music Hall doesn't open until St. Patrick's Day, when it welcomes Belgian DJ duo Aeroplane, but it's already making waves on the club scene.

U Street Music Hall owner Will Eastman is moving his popular monthly Bliss dance party from the Black Cat to the new venue as of March 27, ending an eight-and-a-half-year association with the Black Cat. Nouveau Riche, the perennially packed monthly dance party at DC9, will also relocate to U Street Music Hall. Nouveau Riche won't happen in March; the next one will be on April 10 at U Hall (as its founders call it), and it will continue on every second Saturday after that.

These changes are partly a matter of size: U Street Music Hall can hold at least 300, while the Black Cat's back stage capacity is 200, and DC9's main stage is smaller than that. "I'm looking forward to having more space for the party," Eastman says. "We've had to hold the door [because Bliss reached capacity] most nights at the Black Cat for the past year."

"For us, any move is a really big risk," says Nouveau Riche founder Gavin Holland. (He's not kidding: The Nouveau Riche team tried to move the party to Five a few years ago, but the club was shut down just days before the dance night could start there.) "But we need to keep improving Nouveau Riche. Letting more people come in. Improving the sound system. ... We want to keep things moving forward."

These could be the first of many DJ nights to jump ship for U Hall. Friday and Saturday nights "are going to be focused on resident DJs," Eastman says, and while he's not ready to divulge names of the regulars yet, he says they will be names familiar to D.C. clubgoers. "They're people we've worked with, people we like and respect."

One early indicator: Local promoters 88, who run the Electric Cabaret at Muse,.will be doing one-off events at U Hall, Eastman confirms, including events for the upcoming Forward music festival.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | March 9, 2010; 12:41 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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Beyond stoked to be at U Hall on the 19th for FORWARD, , and what's in store for the venue overall. U Hall will be a game changer.

Posted by: davidfogel | March 13, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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