An Interview With Mister Saturday Night AKA Eamon Harkin & Justin Carter

Michael McKinney speaks to the duo behind one of the finest NYC clubs Nowadays, about the parties and DJs that opened their curiosity to the underground, building a community and much more.
By    February 11, 2024

Image via Guarionex Rodriguez Jr.

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Before Mister Saturday Night became an institution of New York’s dance-music scene, it was a dream and a plan. Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter started working together in the late aughts. They had both been DJing for years at that point, spinning records in hotel lobbies, backyards, and DIY spaces, always under the long shadow of the Rudy Giuliani administration. One New Year’s eve, at a party in a friend’s loft, the cops shut things down a few hours after the ball dropped. That was it: It was time to move towards something fully legal. Harkin and Carter had been running parties for some time, and it had proven a success; setting up a more permanent home was a risky move, but a logical one. So, Mister Saturday Night—the name of Harkin and Carter’s party, and the name they donned when they performed together—set up shop in a shuttered cabinet factory.

In the fifteen years since, Harkin and Carter have built a universe. Mister Saturday Night became a critical hub for New York house music, and with Mister Sunday, a companion party, they only expanded their reach. That old factory became Nowadays, a club which is widely regarded as one of the finest dancefloors in the world. Their bookings strike a balance between being exploratory and reliable; the resident DJ program gives DJs chances to get to build community at Nowadays, and their other programming functions as a who’s-who of modern club music. Harkin and Carter’s full-tilt focus on inclusive spaces stands at the center of the whole thing: No matter the details of the billing, a Mister Saturday Night event is certain to be communal joy filtered through a great soundsystem.

In early 2024, Harkin and Carter celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of Mister Saturday Night with a gargantuan box set: One cassette for each year, summing up to nearly a full day’s worth of DJ mixes. It’s a remarkable effort, a tangling of histories, BPMs, and genres; you can practically smell the sweat and hear the laughter on the tapes. Harkin and Carter get opening and closing duties, digging into the sun-blasted grooves they’ve become known for—boogie, funk, house, disco, techno. In between their offerings, they open the floor to all sorts of critical selectors: longtime resident Aurora Halal spins chunky techno, and disorienting ambience; NYC dance-music trio Soul Summit look towards funked-up house and disco; Physical Therapy meanders between low-slung pop gems, slow-mo grime, and high-speed acid wigglers. The box set balances New York’s proud dance-music histories with the kitchen-sink sounds of Nowadays, Mister Saturday Night, and Mister Sunday.

About that party, though. Back in the late aughts, Harkin & Carter would DJ at a friend’s loft: A venue called 12-turn-13, which doubled as its owner’s apartment. Before they kicked off festivities, everyone who’d be working or playing that night would sit down at a dining room table. They’d eat together, and when they finished, they picked up the table frame and moved it into the kitchen, where it became the DJ booth. Years later, that table made its way to Nowadays; now, it’s in their office. In the Mister Saturday Night universe, community is the only foundation upon which you can build a soundsystem; there is no party without mutual uplift. That idea thrums underneath every kick drum and vinyl crackle at Mister Saturday Night, Mister Sunday, and Nowadays. New York’s dance-music scene has been undergoing a perpetual renaissance ever since Eamon and Carter picked up their records fifteen years ago, and here, they give the scene the kind of full-bodied celebration it deserves.

We recently had a chance to speak with Mister Saturday Night over Zoom, digging into their histories with New York dance music, the parties and DJs that opened their eyes to the underground, the relationship between Nowadays and the parties they throw, the importance of building a community, and much more.

(This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.)

How did you find your way to New York?

Eamon Harkin: I’m from Ireland, but I went to college in London. I was very much a music fan, and I’d started to DJ in London after college. I was working in tech—this is 2002, so it’s not Silicon Valley stuff. It’s Web 2.0, pre-social media. I was doing a lot of web design, and I got offered a job in New York. I was at a moment in my life where I needed something new. I went to New York, and I had a romantic view of it. I decided I was going to throw myself very seriously into the music scene and see where it went.

That’s wonderful. I’m glad you’ve been able to make it.

Eamon Harkin: It’s been quite a journey. I don’t think I ever dreamed that everything that happened could have happened. I feel very fortunate to be at a place where we’re talking about 15 years of a party, a club, and a state of nightlife that is in such a healthy state of affairs. It’s pretty wonderful.

How did you find your way towards dance music?

Eamon Harkin: My early musical tastes were, like most people, in pop music that was happening at the time. This was mid-’80s, so it was a lot of synth-pop from England. I was a huge fan of a-ha, Depeche Mode and The Human League. As a teenager, I got really into guitar music; at the time, grunge and shoegaze were big with my friend group. Dance music wasn’t anywhere on the horizon, and we were probably a bit snobbish towards [it], because we were serious guitar guys. When I went to college, I started to see DJ culture differently. I was in London, where I was seeing different dimensions of DJ culture that were adjacent to guitar music and live music.

This is where I became interested in DJs: Andrew Weatherall, Giles Peterson, Optimo, Trevor Jackson, Erol Alkan. They were doing something that was on the fringes of dance music, and it had a foot in live music. They were also playing all sorts of different types of music, so they were great educators. I learned a lot, and I dipped my toes into dance music from a place that felt a little less purist. From there, I went deeper, and I opened up to dance music. Seeing its culture—record collecting culture, record store culture, production, and making music from a non-musician’s perspective—became very interesting to me. Then, I was like, “I’m gonna dive into this, buy some turntables, and go for it.”

Justin Carter: Eamon, I’ve never understood what it was that opened you up to listening to those people in the first place. You can be in a zone where you’re embargoed, and dance music is that thing over there, and I feel like that was a pretty common thing. That’s certainly what it felt like to me in the ’90s. What was it about being in London? Did you fall in with a new group of friends? Was there something about being in London that was different from being in Derry that made it somehow feel more accessible to you?

Eamon Harkin: I have an old friend from Ireland—Kieran McCafferty. We were friends in Derry, and we left to go to college. I went to London, and he went to Cambridge. He was an Irish guy who landed in the most elite educational context in the United Kingdom, and he felt so out of place and lonely. He’d go to raves in the countryside, and he’d be so enthusiastic about them when he came to see me in London. When he graduated, we moved in together in London, and he had turntables. The first time I went record shopping, he took me to Berrick Street. We went through and bought a bunch of records. The first DJ gigs we did together were open-decks in Bethnal Green. He opened it up for me.

Justin Carter: Was he also the person who said, “Let’s go to this night together?” Until then, were you in the live-music world, and then was he like, “Let’s go to fabric?”

Eamon Harkin: He dragged me to fabric every Friday. He texted me the other day—he was partying hard at Sasha & Digweed. He’s partying to the same DJs that he did back then. I give him grief for not staying contemporary, but he led me down the path. Maybe I would have gotten there anyway; my sister was living in Glasgow at the time, and she’d take me to see Optimo. Dance music has always been huge in the UK, so it wasn’t an underground thing. You were always gonna have people that you knew were into it. If they were influential enough on you, you were going to end up on the dancefloor eventually.

Justin, how did you find your way to the dancefloor?

Justin Carter: I grew up a music person. My dad is a guitar player; we had records in the house. My mom and dad didn’t live together, and every other weekend, I was in the car, taking a two-hour drive to be exchanged. My dad worked far away, too, so we were just in the car a lot. It wasn’t a talking car; it was a listening car. There was just music around. My dad was a player, and I became a player as well. That was just part of who I am, and part of what my family is about.

With dance music specifically, there was a chain of record stores: Blockbuster Music. At these stores, you could open up CDs and listen to them. As an employee there, that’s what we would do: You’d work there with your co-workers, and everyone would trade off putting something on the player and listening to it in the store. For me, it was an amazing time of discovery—This was my junior and senior year of high school.

The manager was a gay man in his 20s, and he pulled me over to the small dance-music section that he curated. The first thing I bought was, in retrospect, really terrible. But that was the entrypoint for me. There was a gay club in Raleigh [in North Carolina] that he invited me to a couple of times. They didn’t change my life: I went, and there was nobody there, and the music didn’t strike me as anything particularly interesting. But that was a door opening.

When I got to NYU, I ended up in a dorm with seniors. I was three doors down from this guy named Tarek. Tarek had an older boyfriend, and he was from New York; he was a more cosmopolitan and worldly person than I was. Within the first week that I was there, he was like, “You’re coming with me to Body & Soul.” That was a party that Danny Krivit, Joe Claussell, and François K were playing. I didn’t understand what was happening, from a DJ’s perspective, for a number of years. But I loved it.

The crowd was absolutely incredible. I realize now that it was very much the legacy of the Paradise Garage. It was a really interesting spot. It became a place that the folks who were at Twilo for Sasha & Digweed, on Saturday night into Sunday morning, would come to. They were still on the roll. You’d have the Garage crowd; you had the white gay male Chelsea crowd that may have been at The Sanctuary 10 years prior. It was a cross-section of a lot of different pieces of dance-music culture, and its own piece of dance music culture.

To me, it was a place where the soundsystem was amazing, even though I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that, and the music was amazing, even though I wouldn’t have understood how to describe that. What I would understand was: I really loved going there and dancing, and I felt like this was so New York. I had out-of-body experiences, where I’d look down on myself, like, “Here I am, this 18-year-old kid from North Carolina, and I’ve got a spot in this room amongst all these people from all over the world.” That was when it started to click for me. I went to that party all the time. I’d go there with friends, and I’d often go by myself. That was where I finally got it.

One night on the [Body & Soul] dancefloor, a soulful house tune faded out, and in comes a drum-and-bass track. Most people stopped dancing. I stopped dancing, but not as a way of protest: In a way of being like, “Wait a second! What just happened?” Then it clicked for me: There’s a DJ. Those guys up there are doing something, and it has a really big effect on what we’re doing. I had a moment of awe at it all coming together.

It never occurred to me to be a DJ. That also was a North Carolina friend who I moved in with and became close with. His name is James Hopper. He’s been running Mister Sunday on the day-of for years for us, and he’s one of the managers at Nowadays, and he’s the person who takes care of the plants. He’s a DJ, musician, and creative person himself. James had turntables. I was a huge collector; I collected on CDs for years and years and years. When I moved in with James, I was exposed to DJing as an art form, in person, with the tools. I now had access to a new way of playing music. If I couldn’t get something that I was trying to learn about on CD, I could buy it on vinyl.

A friend of mine named Vance Lin had a regular gig in a hotel lobby—this is the early 2000s. One night, I walked in with a bag of records, and he asked, “Do you want to play some records?” It had never occurred to me that I could do that. Vance laid that possibility out for me. I moved in with James in 2003, and I ended up buying turntables in 2004; I threw my first party that year.

How did the two of you connect in New York? What led to starting Mister Saturday Night?

Eamon Harkin: We were both out DJing, and we got ourselves to a certain level within nightlife in New York—We were working at clubs. Justin was the music director at APT, a spot in the Meatpacking District, and I was a resident DJ and a booker at a club in Greenpoint called Studio B. I reached out to Justin to try to ask about booking a DJ he’d booked. I tried to convince him that it would be okay for me to book the same DJ that weekend in New York, which was a bit of a ballsy move. He, quite rightly, told me that would not be okay. But it got us connected.

We were both independently working with Sasa [Crnobrnja] from In Flagranti, and he recommended to each of us that we meet the other, because he thought we’d be good partners. Through spending time together, we realized that we had a shared perspective on the state of nightlife in New York at the time—It was a kind of frustrating place. I don’t think that the scene was in a particularly great place; it had been hammered by the authorities thanks to the efforts of Giuliani’s administration to stigmatize and eradicate nightlife. 9/11 had happened, of course, which was a hugely traumatic event for the city.

We were out there trying to do something—really passionate, young, energized people. And we felt like there wasn’t any real infrastructure or leadership in the city. Our experiences of working at various clubs were really underwhelming, and there were things about the current parties that we didn’t like. We just wanted to have a good party with good sound and nice people. So often with the experience of going to clubs, a lot of that was missing.

More importantly, though, we recognized in each other another person who wanted to do this right. I’d come to New York and decided that I was having a change in my life. I didn’t know anybody, and I was going to take music more seriously. I think Justin could see that, and I saw somebody who was already doing that. He was throwing parties. He was working as a music director at a club. He was really in it. We’d both done parties with other DJ partners, but I think we recognized that that seriousness wasn’t there.

We were like, “Finally, we’ve met someone who’s going to take this as seriously as I am, and we share values and ideas around how this should work, and we seem to like each other, and we have similar tastes in music.” So it felt good, and we decided to start working together. Justin was working with a person named Doug Singer on an outdoor party in Gowanus, and they asked me to join. The three of us started Sunday Best, which was the original party in Gowanus. From there, we did a summer of Sunday Best.

Justin Carter: That was in 2008. And then we started Mister Saturday night.

[When] Eamon reached out to me, we started emailing because he was inquiring about this DJ. And I think that’s an interesting point to flesh out more. There was a scarcity of audience and space in New York in the early aughts through the mid-2010s—But especially in 2006-2007. Before I went to work at APT, as soon as I started to DJ—I did a couple of gigs at bars, just doing anything that I could—I realized a lot of them were unfulfilling. If I wanted to do something fulfilling, I would want to tap into this newly developing DIY scene that was, to my knowledge, coming up around this !!! / LCD Soundsystem dance-rock promoter named Todd P. It was mostly in the world of noise-rock and underground concerts.

There was an overlap there—specifically with !!!, who would do shows, DJ, and play parties. I was super into them. That was my entry into this world of DIY parties. Quickly, I said, “That’s what I’m interested in.” That took off, and it was going really well. I was throwing parties at a place called Asterisk Art Project. Through that work, somebody knew about me and put my name forward for the music-director position at APT.

Pretty much as soon as I started to DJ in 2004, I decided I wasn’t interested in what was going on at APT, or at most of the clubs in Manhattan. But APT was a respected place; there was interesting stuff that was happening there, from a curatorial perspective. I didn’t feel like it was my spot, and it felt a little expensive; there was bottle service, and there was an exclusive feeling to the place that turned me off. But it was also where I heard Theo Parrish play for the first time. There was something respectable about it, and it was a job that I could get in this world. When somebody reached out to me about it, I took that job.

In terms of us meeting, he was at Studio B, and I was at APT. We were both DJing at other events and with other people. I asked Eamon to do a residency with DJ Lindsey and Afrika Bambaataa on a Tuesday night. That was the first time we worked together, and I saw how seriously he took it. We talked about: This is what we need to do to promote this. It’ll be your responsibility to post it in these places and share it. Think about how we’re going to promote the event. He would do the things that he said he was going to do, and he took it really seriously, even [if the party wasn’t completely successful].

I invited him to a birthday party up in Harlem. He was seated next to my friend Doug Singer, who was one of the people I was doing events with. I had thrown an event during the summer in Gowana, where we would go on to do Sunday Best and Mister Sunday. Doug said, “We should do a Sunday afternoon party there.” Doug was seated next to Eamon at this lunch, and Doug said, “[Eamon’s] a good guy. We should get him involved for the Sunday thing.”

I’d been in this world for five years at this point. I came into the scene as a new person and looked up to a lot of local DJs. I started getting invited to play at their gigs, and I started to understand the lay of the land, and I realized there was a ceiling. These folks would play to the same small audience that was mostly their friends; they would play at each other’s parties; and that was that. I saw people fading out of the scene. I looked at that, and I said, “If I want this to be a career, I need to focus on one thing. Every time I DJ, it’s going to be that thing, and it needs to be called the same thing. That’s going to be the thing that’s going to take it outside of my friend group.” It’s amazing to have a crew, but that’s not a career. If I wanted this to be sustainable, it would need to go beyond that.

At that point, I was working with a few other people. I went to each of them and I asked them if they wanted to do it. Eamon was the only person who said yes, and he said it emphatically—”Yes.” And, probably, “I’ve been thinking the same thing, too.” We became very centered on, “This is the thing that we do.” The second summer that we did Sunday Best, we started to bill ourselves as Mister Saturday Night. We started the party Mister Saturday Night. Every time we were on anyone’s bill, we DJ’d as Mister Saturday Night. It was always us together, and we threw our own party.

So that’s how we came together. The first summer that we worked together on our own party, we DJed at Sunday Best together. That was before we had this meeting of the minds. We started to have this conversation in 2008. By 2009, we’d started Mister Saturday Night.

How connected are Nowadays, Planetarium, and Mister Saturday Night?

Eamon Harkin: Initially, Nowadays was built to be a home for Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday. We had spent many years as a roving operation in lofts, DIY spaces, people’s homes, backyards, and courtyards. There was no sense of permanence or stability. It was pretty exhausting. These places often weren’t legal, so there was a risk in putting these on. Simultaneously, the authorities in New York were moving in on the DIY scene. One of the places that we did the party at for a long time was our friend Steve Rogenstein’s loft space, called 12-turn-13. It had existed as a DIY space for over 15 years. It was surely on the radar of the local precinct, but they were happy to just let it be. Then they decided that they weren’t happy anymore: A New Year’s Eve party got shut down by the cops at 2am.

This was happening more and more across the city. I turned to Justin, and I said, “I can’t keep doing it this way. We have to figure out something else.” That set us in the direction of finding a place to build a legal venue for Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday. We spent a number of years trying to find a place that had a big outdoor space with an indoor space adjacent to it. Ideally, the indoor space would allow for some natural light to come in so it could be more functional than just a black-box club space.

We found an empty kitchen cabinet factory in Ridgewood. It was being purchased by a property developer landlord; he was in the process of turning it into lofts. We said, “We’ll take this outdoor space”—the parking lot for the employees of the factory—”and 6,000 square feet of the factory.” The factory was around 35,000 square feet; it was huge.

Building it took more than we envisaged, financially and emotionally. We went on this exhaustive process—almost four years—of hustling for investment from anybody that would take a meeting. We used our email list to tell people, “We want to build a place. If you want to invest, let us know.” We pieced together the cost from 36 separate investors, plus a general contractor who agreed to work in exchange for ownership. We had a woodworker, a metalworker, a designer, and an architect. If you would work for free, we’d give you part of it. I think of it as the DIY spirit continuing, but on a whole new level. It was crowdfunding before crowdfunding was a word.

With the parties and with Nowadays, was there a certain approach you took towards booking or finding community within dance music?

Justin Carter: For the first few years of Mister Saturday Night, sometimes there would be a new record out, and we would be psyched about it. We’d say, “Let’s book that person to DJ.” That was it: What music are we excited about? We got more experience, and we realized that sometimes we might be excited about something that nobody knows about. [laughs] But at its core, it was based on what we like. In the first couple years of Mister Saturday Night, we booked everybody: DJ Premier, DJ Pierre, Francis and the Lights, James Lavelle, DJ Q. We went to a lot of different areas, musically, because we were interested in a lot of different things: [DJ] Harvey, Larry Heard, Theo [Parrish].

Eamon Harkin: To fast forward a bit: The curation at Nowadays starts with the idea that this is a club that exists in New York City today. So, what should that club do, from a curatorial perspective, for the community of artists in New York, and in North America, and so on? We’ve thought a lot about that over the years, and our residents are the bedrock of that. We work hard to come up with a list of residents that we think reflects the diversity that exists within the community; we want to make sure that’s reflected behind the DJ booth.

The idea is that the club shouldn’t feel like an attempt to copy something in Europe. It should manifest something that is uniquely New York; it should exist for the culture of dance music that exists in New York today, and it should contribute something to that. That’s what New York was so special for way back in the day. When things were leveled after 9/11, it felt like New York was playing second fiddle to Europe, and that the clubs were attempts to be Berghain.

Justin Carter: So much booking was about that. It really felt like that in order to get people to come out, you had to have a guest DJ, and that DJ often had to be from Europe, with plaudits on RA. If you didn’t book those people, it wouldn’t work. If you tried to book them multiple times in the city [on the same visit], it wouldn’t work, because there wasn’t enough of an audience to go around. To that point, we got into this world because we liked the culture, we liked the creative act of DJing, and when we promoted events, it was in the name of finding a space for us to get out there and do our thing: Creating the right environment for what we were doing to land.

There was a point—2013, maybe?—where we almost completely stopped booking guests for a few years. We just played the party ourselves. We realized there was a fear of not having a guest. We once had a party happen where somebody was supposed to come, and they couldn’t, so we canceled the party. Shortly thereafter, there was another cancellation, and we decided we would put the party on by ourselves.

When we did that, we saw: “Oh, right. There’s a lot of familiar faces in this room; we’re playing the whole night, and the party feels really good. We’re allowed to more completely tell a story that we want to.” We started to sprinkle those events in with intention where it was just the two of us playing, and as we did more of those, we realized that it felt less random, because we had people who are interested in the consistent thing that we were doing as DJs. So let’s just do it ourselves. We didn’t set out with this intention of booking guests and then moving away from that, but we did start off with the intention of DJing. We realized that the whole package made more sense when it was more consistent.

We’ve taken that idea and carried it forward into Nowadays, where we want residents to establish an identity of the club, and an identity of themselves. That helps build relationships and communities. When something becomes too guest-driven, things can start to feel transient. I feel that we’re in a place now where there are people who just like Nowadays, and they come to Nowadays for the experience it offers. It’s developed its own identity that allows there to be fluidity in who’s playing. But, at the time when we were throwing our parties, the idea that we’ve taken forward is: When you have a DJ playing on the regular, and they can build an audience that knows what to expect from them, and knows what to expect within a specific space, [then] people start to build their plans around that. They start to see each other more frequently. They start to realize, “I’ve been seeing them on the dance floor.” It makes it easier for people to talk to each other without feeling awkward. That’s how friendships are built.

This whole thing sprung out of the consistency of us playing and doing a party in a particular way. It made us realize: There’s a community here. We started trying to foster that, and that idea—Consistency of space and music—was carried into the residents program.

How did you think through assembling the box set?

Eamon Harkin: We’ve always been a vinyl-centric label, because we’re big record collectors, and we’ve DJ’d with vinyl for many years. But DJ culture’s use of vinyl seems to be at an all-time low. Last year, we experimented with putting out a cassette, an amazing drum-and-bass mix from Analog Soul, recorded at Nowadays. It’s clear that cassettes, for a lot of people, are a very meaningful physical artifact. I think it’s super cool: The first music I ever bought was on cassette.

We were talking about what we would do for the anniversary and Justin came up with the idea of a box set: One cassette for every year. There’s been a few gaps, but we’ve recorded most of the parties. From the minute the doors open at Nowadays to the minute they close, the recorder’s on in the booth. We talked it through and came up with a process to select the artists and the recordings; [we talked through] the artwork and the mastering.

With the selection process a matter of saying, “We want to pick artists who are representative of the scene?” Is it, “This is what Nowadays sounds like?” Is it, “We love these sets?”

Eamon Harkin: Kind of all of it. Initially, it was, “What are artists that represent the party over the years?” One of the things we really wanted to include was the Floating Points recording, because that was his first-ever gig in the United States. He went on to write a track called “Myrtle Avenue,” because he played Market Hotel, which was on Myrtle Avenue. That was a formative experience for him, and it was a wonderful one for us as well. So it was really important to have that in there. Avalon Emerson has been a real part of our story in the last few years, and she’s played Nowadays many times, so it was great to have her in there. Optimo was in there because of what they meant to me, and it was also a really special party, with Sal P getting on mic. The first eight or nine mixes came off the tongue straight away. After that, it was a bit of a jigsaw.

Justin Carter: It’s a question that gets to this larger thing. When we started, we were starting off with this very specific intention: Let’s do a party with the same name every time. If we’re gonna DJ somewhere, we DJ under that name. A few years later, we started a record label with the same name. Everything was Mister Saturday night. We got the opportunity to do the Sunday party and run the space ourselves: Mister Sunday. Everything was that.

With Nowadays, we entered a much more expansive universe, and now, it’s a lot harder for us to put a point on what that thing is. So we stepped back, and we said, “There were very cool parties; it would be great if we could include those.” We thought we should include some Planetarium stuff, because that’s a part of our story as well. Then we said, “The residents are such an important part of Nowadays, and a number of those residents have played at Mister Saturday Night parties. So let’s reach out to some residents about including them.” Avalon, Aurora, musclecars, Physical Therapy. There’s all these different parts of the story that we’re telling in these 15 cassettes.

In your estimation, how has the party, and the culture of your space, shifted in the past 15 years?

Justin Carter: I think the first real shift that happened within me, and that I saw happening within the party, was in the formation of a real community around it. There was a guy—TJ Ryan—who worked with us on the label for a while. TJ was going to Mister Sunday week in and week out. This young woman named Amy was going to the party week in and week out, and they met each other. They had a conversation at the bar: “I see you all the time.” They’re married and have two kids now. That story is not rare. Eamon and I have played a couple of weddings for people who met at the party. We’ve seen people who met at the party bring their kids to the party. We’ve really seen a community build around that. That was the first big shift: Becoming aware that that was happening and watching how that manifested. The next big thing would be when we moved into Nowadays.

Eamon Harkin: What comes to mind to me is what has changed on a more macro level within the city. I landed here in November of 2003 and basically spent a year going, “Where is all this legendary nightlife in New York?” It was at a real low point; it had been beaten away, villainized, and stigmatized.

We’re now at a real high. You’ve got the repeal of the Cabaret Law. You’ve got a mayor who goes clubbing. You’ve got ongoing dialogue about changing zoning to make the landscape even more friendly to nightlife. You’ve got an infrastructure of clubs run by DJs, artists, and musicians who are in it for the right reasons. You’ve got choice, and you’ve got amazing musical talent. It feels so healthy. It’s not perfect, but compared to where it was in 2003, it’s so refreshing. We’ve come a long way, and we’ve got a lot to be grateful for. We’re probably one of the best cities in the world for this culture right now.

Justin Carter: As it should be, for the birthplace of so much of this culture.

Eamon Harkin: It’s back to what I was saying right at the beginning. When I landed on these shores, I never dreamed of having this adventure. My experience maps tightly to this resurgence of nightlife in New York. To be a part of it, and to be celebrating 15 years of a thing that we started together, that is also tied to this club that we’re very proud of, that exists alongside all these other great clubs in New York—It’s been one heck of a ride, but it’s been really amazing.

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