Is Upscale Nightlife In Baltimore Still Shrinking?

A few weeks ago I found myself having an intense conversation at E-Villa (917 Cathedral) with a group of Baltimore promoters, deejays, bloggers and venue owners. The topic of choice was once again the never ending discussion of upscale nightlife in Baltimore.

Sparked by our day party post, it felt like déjà vu; a topic we wrote about over a year ago and one that still hasn’t seen much change.

During our conversation at E-Villa, I left with the perception that many felt defeated from years of trying to enhance the Baltimore nightlife scene with more options and had finally accepted that it wouldn’t change. “It’s impossible,” one promoter told me, “you just have to accept it for what it is.”

Do I really? Do we really? I don’t think so. Many Friday nights, my friends and I still find ourselves asking just what we were asking last year:

Picture this: It’s Friday night and you’re ready for a fancy night out on the town with your girls. You don’t feel like making the drive down 295 just to have a good time in D.C. Instead, you’d rather rock stilettos and sip on martinis in Charm City. You want to stay local and dance the night away with a young professional crowd. No fights. No shootings. No drama. You just want to have a good time with like minded people. But, where can you go?

Mirage in Baltimore

My answer continues to be that instead of expecting others to curate your nightlife experience, gather up a group of friends and find venues and bars to satisfy your taste. You can also head to monthly young professional events like the Alley Cat Lounge Live Music Series at Mirage (401 W. Baltimore) or any event held by the The Baltimore Urban League.

Still, wanting to get input from some of the city’s leading promoters, I caught up with Azikiwe of Events 4 Good People (the winner of Bmore Fab!’s Promoter of the Year Award), DeJuan of DeJuan D Hov Events Team and Zeke of Trix & Zeke to hear their thoughts on how more options can be provided for young professional nightlife lovers in Baltimore.

Azikiwe

I started Events 4 Good People ten years ago for this very reason. I felt like the city didn’t have a lot of options when it came to upscale partying and I found myself hosting get togethers for my friends, that’s when I knew I had to turn it in to something bigger. I’ve had many successful young professional/upscale event series over the years, but in order to continue them they have to be supported whether its weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Also, I want to remind people who can sometimes be hard on certain promoters, that you have to remember the “birds of a feather” theory. If a promoter isn’t considered a “young professional/upscale” themselves, you shouldn’t expect them to have that type of crowd or event especially on a regular basis.

DeJuan

What most don’t realize about Baltimore is that when it comes to nightlife we rely on and love the locals. It’s not like other big cities where tourist and people of all walks of life come just to experience the nightlife. For example at upscale parties in DC, you don’t typically find a lot of natives. It’s not like that in Baltimore, but still my team prides itself in hosting events for everyone. One week we can be hosting something that’s black tie and the next week a day party that seem more like a cook out. I believe that Baltimore can have an upscale nightlife, it’s just not going to be consistent, but it’s still possible.

Zeke

I think that we need to constantly keep discussing this topic amongst young professionals and promoters in Baltimore so that we can make it better. We want to give them more options, however it seems like when a new young professional happy hour or event series starts it’s only supported for the first few weeks or so and then it kind of dwindles down. Talk to us, tell us what day of the week you’d like to go out,  where you want to go, how much you’re willing to spend and how often do you want to come out. We need not only the support, but the advice as well. We’re working on different options for different crowds and hope to make it better in the near future. By the way we’d love The Fab Empire to come back to another day party!

Nothing will change if we don’t speak up or change it ourselves, right?

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