Ithaca’s own 18+ pop-up, inclusive dance club is going virtual with all of the proceeds going to The Advocacy Center. In the past, Pop’d has been held at The Cherry Artspace, but to accommodate the social distancing guidelines, it has been moved to Zoom after their April event was cancelled.
The new event, the first of which will take place June 6, will serve a slightly different purpose than before, while still functioning as a way to connect with the nightlife community and raise money for a good cause while having fun.
“We started looking at what Pop’d really is, and it’s not just a dance party,” said local performer and artistic director of the event Mickie Quinn. “It’s about community and creating a safe space for people to come and be themselves while watching fabulous performances.”
Quinn will be the emcee for the evening, and the event will feature live go-go dancers, live DJs, and pre-recorded performances from drag and burlesque performers. An LED hula-hoop bonfire experience has also been promised. And all of this will occur while participants of the virtual event have their own festivities from wherever they are quarantining.
“Clear out your living room, set up some lights, and make your own little dance club,” Quinn said. “We’re encouraging people to get invested and be a part of the night with us. We want to bring the visual of the whole community dancing together.”
Pop’d is known for its glittery, and funky aesthetic, with many of the events having themes that allow the club goers to express themselves through their outfits and fashion. The theme of this year’s event will be “At Home Quarantine Realness.”
“Be you, be at home,” Quinn said. “You can dance in your pajamas. Or you can wear a full body latex bondage suit! Whatever works.”
Pop’d has always had a focus on consent within its events. In the past they have had consent monitors throughout the space that attendees could go to if they felt uncomfortable or witnessed anything.
“We’ve been talking about what that looks like online and making sure that continues,” said Sarah Chaneles, the treasurer and aesthetic director. “We probably will have some online version of the monitors on the communal chat feature.”
While the challenge of bringing a social event to a virtual scene is one that the team has embraced forthright, it also brings about its own advantages in terms of accessibility. The absence of crowds allows for individuals to participate who would not normally be able to.
“I have one friend who has always wanted to come to Pop’d, but cannot handle loud music, so this is an opportunity for her to just turn the volume down and enjoy,” Chaneles said.
Organizers are optimistic that the event will also reach far beyond Ithaca as individuals quarantined all over the United States now have the opportunity to tune in with no worry about travel or room capacity limits.
“I’m excited to see new faces, as well as old faces, because who has seen people recently? No one,” said Katt “Double T” Hass, the production manager for the event.
Tickets are sold on a sliding scale basis with all proceeds going to the Advocacy Center, aside from direct tips for performers. VIP ticket buyers will receive their own choice of Pop’d branded backgrounds to use, and local folks will get a Pop’d goodie bag delivered to them that includes a bottle of champagne. The performer set list has not been finalized, but will be released in the upcoming week.
For ticket information visit The Cherry Artspace webpage or the Facebook event for “Virtu-Pop’d June 6.”