On April 29, French President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped to remove most restrictions in the country on June 30, but nightclubs would remain closed.
Many DJs have said they want the clubs to reopen as soon as possible, and not just for their work. Clubbing wasn’t just about the music, said Marea Stamper, a DJ better known as Blessed Madonna, after performing a set at the Liverpool event. “We come to raves to dance, drink, fall in love, meet our friends,” she says. Nightclubs create communities, she added, “and having this cut is terrible.”
“It’s not just a party,” she added. “It’s never just a party.”
In Liverpool, that sense of community was evident at 7:30 p.m. when Yousef Zahar, DJ and co-owner of Circus, the event’s organizer, took the stage. For his first track he put on a touching house track called ‘When We Were Free’, which he did last year in the midst of Britain’s third lockdown.
It seemed like an odd choice for an event celebrating the return of clubbing, but as it wrapped up he began playing a clip from Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech “Free Finally, finally free; Thank you Almighty God, we are finally free, ”said Dr King, his voice echoing through the warehouse.
Then, as the green lights flashed above the crowd, Zahar released Ultra Naté’s’ Free ‘, a dance hit from the’ 90s. As soon as he reached his euphoric chorus – “You’re free, for do what you wanna do ”- confetti cannons exploded, spraying paper all over the crowd and ravers started to sing. For the rest of the night, they would follow the song’s advice.