For EDM enthusiasts, ravers and frequent clubgoers, this should come as no surprise. Echostage has been named the No. 1 North American nightclub for three consecutive years and ranked in the top 10 worldwide in 2018 and 2019.
From the outside, the venue itself is as unassuming as can be — but once you walk through the doors, the lights, music and the crowd transport you to a world beyond D.C. The production value at Echostage rivals that of international festivals and attracts world-renowned artists such as Tiësto, Diplo and Kaskade, to name a few. An alternative to your typical DMV bar-hopping scene, a night at Echostage promises carefree, uninhibited fun, surrounded by music lovers and those just looking to have a good time.
In honor of its newly earned title, Echostage held a massive (and free) celebratory party on September 24, featuring a surprise guest revealed mere days before the event. Tickets to the event sold out within hours of the initial announcement. Once Echostage revealed the surprise guest as Grammy-nominated trio Meduza, social media was abuzz searching for extra tickets.
I was fortunate enough not only to snag a coveted ticket but view the show from the stage-side VIP lounge. The experience was complete with everything one might expect: bottle service girls, flashing lights, couches, tables and plenty of room to dance. The stage-side lounge allowed us to get up-close-and-personal with the DJ spinning just a few yards away.
The night began with sets from local resident DJs EPX and Ryhett, each spinning a curated set of infectious house tracks. By 10:30 p.m., the 30,000 square foot room was already packed with club-goers. Attendees ranged from seasoned EDM fans to casual party-goers in typical preppy D.C. garb, to veteran ravers reliving in their glory days of the early ’90s rave scene. The dance floor was the perfect balance of crowded enough to fill the room, but not so crowded you can’t find a space.
Meduza, best known for their tracks “Piece of Your Heart” featuring Goodboys, and “Paradise” featuring Dermot Kennedy, took the stage around 12:30 a.m. and played an unforgettable, two-hour-long set. Unsurprisingly, Meduza took advantage of every production enhancement Echostage had to offer. The massive 14 x 40 LED screen displayed mesmerizing patterns and colors in sync with the music; lasers bounced across the walls and over the heads of ravers; cryo-jets emphasized the biggest musical drops, and confetti cannons showered the crowd. From the first track to the last, the energy was infectious.
I would be remiss not to mention the general admission experience as well. The best part of the Echostage was the crowd.
Adorned in glitter and decked out in neon, fellow concert-goers were overwhelmingly friendly and only interested in spreading positive vibes. This was unsurprising, as the EDM community is well known for its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. Afterall, one of the community mottos is PLUR: Peace, Love, Unity, Respect. PLUR is woven into the very fabric of the EDM scene, Echostage included.
Carried by Meduza’s uplifting melodic house set, PLUR was alive and well that night. It was clear that for many, the event was more than just a celebration of the venue, but a celebration of the DMV EDM community and everything it represents.