Dance music can often seem, to the uninitiated, esoteric and occult, with all the late-night clubs, youthful ecstasy, and endless lists of genres, subgenres, and microgenres that accompany it. Sometimes it feels like you need a magic key or secret code to unlock its mysteries.
At its heart, though, club music is a communal, inclusive phenomenon. That’s what some of Knoxville’s top house and techno DJs hope to demonstrate this weekend with an all-day dance party at Tyson Park inspired by Atlanta’s huge House in the Park Labor Day event.
House at Tyson Park, which runs from noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 3, will feature Kevin Nowell, Rick Styles, Mark B, JMo, Gregory Tarrants, Alex Falk, Dialectic Sines, Saint Thomas LeDoux, and Nikki Nair. It’s being organized by the Art of House, a group of local house and techno DJs; TEKNOX, an underground house and techno “music party series” based at the Birdhouse in Fourth and Gill; and Headroom, a “nomadic party crew” that hosts dance nights at regional nightclubs and Burning Man-style events. The event is free.
“It’s something I’ve thought about doing since the ’90s,” says Nowell, of the Art of House, in an email interview. “I was talking to a friend about how I would like to do a party for my birthday weekend and have DJ friends from across the country. Most venues here do not see value in underground music and want to charge huge room fees and I wanted it to be free, so I figured if I had to pay out of pocket to keep it free, a park party made a lot of sense. Atlanta’s House in the Park event has also been a huge inspiration, with the way that event shares the positive message of the music I love.”
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