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Eighteenth Street Lounge’s online DJ sets
Instead of hosting a proper 25th anniversary celebration, renowned Dupont Circle nightclub Eighteenth Street Lounge permanently closed its doors in June. Citing growing safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the inability to come to a lease agreement with the club’s landlord, owner Farid Nouri’s closing announcement came as a shock to the D.C. community as the pandemic claimed another nightlife institution. Despite a bleak outlook for the immediate future of nightlife, Nouri hinted that the party isn’t over. Like many DJs and music artists attempting to weather the pandemic, ESL has pivoted to video for now, hosting a weekly schedule of virtual dance parties via Twitch and Facebook Live. “We believe it’s the only outlet for DJs to express themselves and for club culture to continue while we are all trying to avoid large gatherings,” Nouri said via Facebook Messenger. Each week, ESL posts its schedule of livestreams, which feature the club’s resident DJs spinning disco, funk, hip-hop, and everything in between for virtual partygoers. The livestreams also provide an opportunity for fans to purchase ESL’s 25th anniversary apparel; ESL donates the proceeds to local charities through its #ESLCares initiative. The weekly schedule and livestreams are available at twitch.tv/18thstlounge. Free. —Casey Embert