Metro Weekly

Nightlife Highlight: Avalon Turns One

The weekly Saturday night party, produced by the congenial Dougie Meyer, celebrates its first year of success

Avalon Saturdays — Photo: Ward Morrison

“Maybe this is a sign,” Dougie Meyer recalls thinking in late summer of 2018. “Maybe it’s just time to come back to New York City.” The NYC native had moved to Washington to serve as general manager at Town Danceboutique, where he worked for four years, until the LGBTQ nightclub’s closing in June 2018.

Meyer returned to New York, but his “long extended summer” eventually brought him back to D.C. in the fall to launch his first party in the city at the hip downtown nightclub Soundcheck last October.

Avalon Saturdays was no one’s definition of an overnight sensation, and Meyer doesn’t mince words in acknowledging that there were “duds” during the party’s first few months. “There were weekends that were very successful,” he says, candidly. “And then the very next week, it was damn near empty. That’s when you have to get the creative juices flowing.”

Meyer was determined to make the party a hit, to fill the post-Town void of a place offering both a high-quality drag show and late-night dancing to top-notch gay DJs, as well as “a safe space to come to every single Saturday night.” Suffice to say, he succeeded.

“There are multiple things that have made Avalon what it is today,” Meyer says. “One of those is the great partnerships we’ve created with local nightlife organizations such as the Cherry Fund, Chorus-DC, Fruity Boy, and DC Takeover.”

This weekend, Meyer worked with all of those organizations to help celebrate Avalon’s anniversary with a blowout party at Soundcheck featuring local veteran DJ TWiN along with Isaac Escalante, a leading light on today’s gay circuit. It’s all followed by an Afterhours at Tropicalia with DJ Nina Flowers.

Meyer has big plans in the works for Avalon’s future, including the debut next month of two of the gay circuit’s preeminent veteran DJs, Tracy Young and Joe Gauthreaux.

He’s also working to extend the brand by launching an Avalon Fridays party in New York, hopefully in the next few months. The party’s name is an homage to Limelight, the storied New York nightclub that opened in a former church.

“Avalon is one of the first parties in New York City that I ever went to,” Meyer says. It’s where his nightlife career began, serving as an assistant to promoter John Blair. Meyer gives credit for his party’s name to Michael Fesco, the New York nightlife entrepreneur who worked with Meyer on the popular Sea Tea gay party boat company up until his passing last year.

Meyer has no intention of leaving D.C., a place that feels like home to the former history major who is an avid Washington Capitals fan. “I love D.C.,” he says. “I love everything about the culture and history and the community. I am absolutely sticking around D.C. I just love it here way too much to leave.”

The Avalon Saturdays One-Year Anniversary Party is this Saturday, Oct. 19, starting at 9 p.m. at Soundcheck, located 1420 K St. NW. Tickets are $25, or $50 including the Afterhours party at Tropicalia. Call 202-789-5429 or visit www.dougiemeyerpresents.com.

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @ruleonwriting.

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