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City at Night. Photo: Siamak Abrishami.

City at Night keeps Ottawa dancing with a different kind of trip… a different kind of rabbit hole—06.20.20

By Livia Belcea on June 18, 2020

As the pandemic forced the temporary closure of music venues of all types, the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and nightlife community around the world braced itself for total blackout. Flickers of light were observed in the dark as DJs broadcasted live sets on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch, but dance music just isn’t the same without the venue, without the vibe, without the music filling every nook and cranny of your body, mind and soul and, of course, the people. But after three long months in isolation, we are starting to see the lasers and neon lights at the end of the tunnel.

City at Night, one of the pillars of EDM in Ottawa and host of White Rabbit, the capital’s only after-hours dance event, has decided it’s time to welcome their loyal patrons back into the rabbit hole, even if it means doing so virtually. Pre-COVID-19, City at Night was a bustling intimate downtown venue, home to local and international Trance, Techno, and House DJs as well as to Ottawa’s loyal EDM community. The venue fosters an inclusive and safe environment and, for over a decade, has been the gathering place for people to dance their hearts out to the sounds of their favourite DJs until the sun comes up.

A DJ in action at City at Night. Photo: Bender Black.

Missing the people and missing the music, City at Night decided to team up with Framework Music, the host of the bi-weekly White Rabbit party, to organize White Rabbit: Through the Looking Glass, their very first Zoom dance party. This free event is taking place this Saturday, June 20, from 8pm to 1am and features five local DJs who will be spinning live from the venue while social distancing.

Poster for the Zoom party. Image provided by City at Night.

Attendees can join the event via the Zoom platform and interact with each other on screen and through the chat room, while dancing and watching the DJs spin. Guests are encouraged to “come as they are,” whether that’s wearing pyjamas or their best clubbing outfit, and set the mood for an all-night dance party by decking out their apartments and homes with lights and decorations. Those showing their best dance moves will have the chance to be spotlighted on the live feed, and several prizes will be up for grabs during the event, as well as free download links for tracks by local DJs and producers.

While tickets are available at no cost, attendees must register through Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link. And as City at Night starts to plan its eventual reopening, attendees are encouraged to purchase support packages, which include tickets for future White Rabbit events, branded merchandise (masks and t-shirts), and drink vouchers redeemable once the venue reopens.

City at Night. Photo: Siamak Abrishami.

City at Night is diligently monitoring the government’s phased approach for a safe reopening and is working with its partners, promoters, and DJs to re-book the postponed shows and hopefully welcome everyone back in person this fall.

More information, including DJ set times and guidelines and tips for the night, is available here. You can also follow City at Night, White Rabbit Ottawa, and Framework Music on Instagram for upcoming news and shows. Don’t forget your rabbit ears!