Chicago’s iconic former nightclub, The Warehouse, is making a grand return with a series of parties held throughout the Windy City.
Though the events won’t technically be held at The Warehouse—famously credited as the birthplace of house music—the new bi-monthly party series, Warehouse Presents, is organized in collaboration with the club’s original owner, Robert Williams.
Leading the project in tandem with Williams is Chicago-based house music producer Casey Dittmer—aka KC Wray.
Dittmer, who performed at Warehouse Presents’ opening show last weekend alongside techno creator Juan Atkins, Shaun J. Wright, and CtrlZola, told Resident Advisor that the new project will help to bring “authenticity back into the Chicago scene.”
“We felt the current state of the industry has commodified house music in such a way that its core progressive values have been completely sanitized,” Dittmer said. “House music is protest music. It began as a Black, queer, liberation movement in a post-disco era.”
Founded in 1977, The Warehouse was a vital gathering place for Chicago’s Black LGBTQ+ community, where resident DJ and “Godfather of house music” Frankie Knuckles first began experimenting with drum machines and laid the groundwork for the genre, which is believed to take its name from the historic venue.
In 1982, The Warehouse was forced to close after being deemed unsafe by the City of Chicago. Though Knuckles moved on to start his own club, the Power Plant, that same year, Williams secured a new location in 1983.
With the help of another genre trailblazer, DJ Ron Hardy, the new venue known as The Music Box soon became a widely influential house music locale in its own right, but it was shut down in early 1987 after the city passed an ordinance that forced Chicago’s after-hours “juice bars” to close at 2AM.
The Warehouse was officially recognized as a national landmark by the City of Chicago earlier this year.
More Warehouse Presents events will be announced in the coming weeks. The brand also plans to host events in Europe, as well as in cities like New York, Miami, Washington D.C., and Detroit.
Featured image credit: Serhii Chrucky.