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Holocene (Portland, Oregon)

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File:Holocene logo.png
Holocene in portland.jpg
The venue's exterior in 2016
Holocene is located in Portland, Oregon
Location within Portland, Oregon
Address1001 SE Morrison Street
LocationPortland, Oregon, U.S.
Coordinates45°31′02″N 122°39′20″W / 45.5173°N 122.6555°W / 45.5173; -122.6555Coordinates: 45°31′02″N 122°39′20″W / 45.5173°N 122.6555°W / 45.5173; -122.6555
OpenedJune 2003 (2003-06)

Holocene is a music venue and nightclub in Portland, Oregon's Buckman neighborhood, in the United States. The venue, which opened in June 2003, hosts a variety of events and was named the city's "Best Place to Dance" by Willamette Week readers in 2017.

Description and history[edit | edit source]

Holocene was established in June 2003 in a former auto parts warehouse.[1][2] The venue is "dedicated to the avant-garde of the Portland art and music scene, with an über-modern interior".[3][4] Holocene has a "stark industrial feel" with two large rooms, a bar, high ceilings,[5] and a sunken dance floor, which has been described as a "living room in the midst of a gritty industrial loft".[4][6] According to Willamette Week's Sophie June, Holocene offers "boozy slushies" and "indie-rock shows that often tend toward the psychedelic or the threateningly abrasive".[1] The bar has cocktails called "Claire's Knee" and "Kiss Kiss Bangkok".[1] Gina Altamura serve's as booker and curator, as of 2018.[7][8][9]

Events[edit | edit source]

The Builders and the Butchers performing at Holocene in 2007

The venue hosts a variety of events, ranging from concerts to weddings.[10] According to Willamette Week's Sophie June, "Holocene began as one of the only spots to bring national-caliber electronic acts to Portland following the fast demise of the B Complex. It remains such."[1] In her guides of Portland, Rachel Dresbeck said the venue hosts many "musical experiences—secret shows by famous artists, up-and-coming bands that will be famous shortly, veteran and nouveau DJs, house music, shoegaze, modern soul, and other musical attractions keeping hipsters crowding the place".[3][4]

Monthly events include "Double Down", which has been described as a "hot and sweaty queer-friendly dance party",[6] and "Slay", a "queer-centric" hip hop event catering to an "intersectional crowd".[5] The recurring event "Cupcake" is a dance event "devoted to 'fat folks and allies'".[11] "Snap!" is a 1990s music dance party "designed to evoke middle school dances",[4][12] and "Sympathy for the Disco" is a Rolling Stones-themed dance event.[13] Holocene has also hosted dance events called "Candi Pop" (bubblegum pop),[14] "Emo Nite",[15] and "Gaycation".[16][17][18] Tribute events have included "Beyoncé Nicki Rihanna Night", "Holla!: '90s vs Early '00s Rap & RNB Night",[19] "This Party Is Killing You: All Robyn All Night",[20] and "Cake for Drake", where cake was served for Drake's birthday.[1] Holocene also has a recurring dance event dedicated to the Talking Heads.[21] The 2018 event "Four Horsemen" featured music by Drake, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Kanye West.[22]

The venue hosted the "Ping Pong Pandemonium Party" in mid 2010; participants included Fred Armisen, as well as Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney.[23] In 2018, Holocene hosted a "Club Kai Kai Pride" event featuring drag queen Aja. The event was part of the "Club Kai Kai" series, which caters to the LGBT community and features "a rave-style club scene with plenty of drag royalty, voguing and butterflies for the stomach".[24] The venue was also made to resemble the Sunnydale night club from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as part of a Halloween celebration,[25] and hosted Jo Ann Hardesty's election results viewing party.[26] Holocene hosts StorySLAM monthly, as of 2018.[27] In 2019, the venue hosted Girl Fest,[28][29] and was one of several screening films as part of the Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival (or POW Fest).[30]

Reception[edit | edit source]

In 2014, David Greenwald of The Oregonian said, "If there's a dance party in Portland, it's probably happening at Holocene, which is routinely home to laptop experimenters, DJs spinning hip-hop classics and LGBT-friendly events such as the monthly Gaycation."[16] Queerty included Holocene in its 2016 list, "5 Nightlife Gems You Can Only Find in Portland".[17] In 2017, Willamette Week readers named Holocene the city's "Best Place to Dance".[10] The newspaper's Sophie June said:

Holocene is maybe the best spot to go for some bump-and-grind—especially outside the Old Town zone. There's a photo booth and tall white ceilings, and it's really one of the only appropriate places in the city to do Molly on a random Saturday night. Beware that it's sweaty and you'll probably see the younger sibling of someone you went to high school with, which isn't always great.[1]

In 2018, the newspaper's Walker MacMurdo wrote, "Fifteen years in, whether Holocene is hosting a dream-pop trio, a live podcast or its birthday party for Drake, it still feels like the coolest place in Portland."[2] Shannon Gormley of Willamette Week said Holocene "feels like an intimate warehouse party on any given night",[5] and the newspaper has also said the venue "regularly feels like a warehouse party if warehouse parties were kind of cozy."[31]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 June, Sophia (May 23, 2017). "Holocene Is an Art-Rock Bar That's Not Afraid to Bump and Grind". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 MacMurdo, Walker (June 9, 2018). "Fifteen Years in, Holocene Still Feels Like the Coolest Place in Portland". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dresbeck, Rachel. Portland, Oregon: Including the Metro Area and Vancouver, Washington (6 ed.). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 99. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Dresbeck, Rachel (March 1, 2017). Insiders' Guide to Portland, Oregon. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 89. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gormley, Shannon (June 12, 2018). "Five Queer-Centric Dance Parties in Portland". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 McCollom, Hollyanna (May 10, 2016). Moon Portland. Avalon Publishing. p. 174. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  7. "February 2014: Gina Altamura, Vivian Hua and Rachel Hays' We Will Outlive Our Current Concerns". Independent Publishing Resource Center. March 1, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  8. Singer, Matthew (May 4, 2016). "Friends of Noise Wants to Bring a New All-Ages Music Venue to Portland". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  9. Carroll-Allan, Justin (March 13, 2018). "The Spacey Soul of Brown Calculus Should Be Sold In Health-and-Wellness Stores". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Kilts, Alie (July 12, 2017). "Here are the Winners of the Best of Portland Readers' Poll 2017". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  11. "The Spin 101: The Best Nights Out This Month". Spin. 22 (8): 98. August 2006. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  12. "Snap! '90s Dance Party: Halloween Edition". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  13. "Sympathy for the Disco". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  14. "Candi Pop":
  15. "Emo Night":
  16. 16.0 16.1 Greenwald, David (September 16, 2014). "With Kaleidoscope cancelled, where to see EDM in Portland and beyond". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. ISSN 8750-1317. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "5 Nightlife Gems You Can Only Find in Portland". Queerty. January 21, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  18. Helmsworth, James (June 9, 2015). "Near and Queer". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  19. "The 27 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Nov 2–4". The Portland Mercury. November 1, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  20. "The 29 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Feb 15–17". The Portland Mercury. February 14, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  21. "Six Portland Bars Where You Can Shake Your Booty". Willamette Week. May 23, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  22. "The 34 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: Dec 7–9". The Portland Mercury. December 6, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  23. Singer, Matthew (January 17, 2018). "How Perceptions of Portlandia Have Changed Over the Years". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  24. Rushall, Jack (June 12, 2018). "A Pride Events Calendar That Ranges From "Mild" to "Super Hot"". Willamette Week. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  25. "Things to Do Halloween Night!". The Portland Mercury. October 30, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  26. Jo Ann Hardesty:
  27. Prado, Emilly (May 7, 2018). "Portland's newest Moth storytelling producer sets stage for inclusion". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  28. Moore, Jenni (November 29, 2018). "Lineup Announced for Girl Fest 2019!". The Portland Mercury. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  29. "Elton John, a Reptile Expo and 9 Other Things to Do and See in Portland Jan. 9–15". Willamette Week. January 8, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  30. Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival:
  31. "21 Portland New Year's Eve Events, in Order from Lit to Chill". Willamette Week. December 26, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2019.

External links[edit | edit source]

Others articles of the Topic Oregon : Monroe Schwarzlose, The Portland Mercury, Second Foundation (Oregon), Sullivan's Gulch Bar & Grill, Carriage Room, Imago Theatre (Portland, Oregon), Oregon Women's Land Trust
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