After seven consecutive years, Neon Liger’s exclusive dance parties reached icon status within the Gainesville community. They not only created a safe space for marginalized citizens but also a home for many up-and-coming DJs and electronic music fans.
The infamous bar The Motor Room hosted Neon Liger’s first party on Feb. 2, 2008, which established their dedicated partnership until the bar closed in 2015 and Neon Liger, without having a venue to throw their weekend parties, ended their run.
Although they stopped throwing parties every weekend, Neon Liger wasn’t gone for long. They returned in 2016 to throw a nine-year reunion located at The Atlantic, The Alley and Arcade Bar.
Keeping up with the tradition, Neon Liger will be celebrating their 10-year anniversary by throwing one of their legendary parties at The Wooly this Saturday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
The party will include more than 10 unique DJs and special guests, live LED performances by Pyrotica Entertainments and three indoor and outdoor areas to enjoy the party.
Holden Howard, one of the DJs playing Saturday, has been a regular attendee of Neon Liger’s parties since 2010. He even said he would drive up from Ocala just for the music and atmosphere.
“I was lucky enough to be asked to play semi-regularly from December 2014 up until the closure of The Motor Room, and those gigs were easily the most fun I’ve ever had playing music,” said Howard. “There was just something special about that party. Between the music, the people and that badass Plymouth DJ booth, there was nothing like it.”
Howard said that if it wasn’t for Neon Liger’s parties, he might’ve given up working as a DJ, as they changed his life and his idea of what he could accomplish in the DJ scene. However, when discussing Gainesville’s DJ and electronic music scene, Howard admits that it’s currently in a transitional period.
“Without a dedicated venue or any regular weekly parties, it’s a weird feeling,” said Howard. “I think Over Easy, Lucid and Visionary FAM are all doing awesome work in their respective lanes, and I hope the scene will continue to thrive and survive.”
Andrew Garcia, a 24-year-old first-year UF College of Pharmacy student, agreed with Howard’s statement. He said now that Neon Liger and Realm are closed, he wouldn’t know where to go if he wanted to go somewhere especially for electronic music.
“I’m hoping they could have semi-regular parties again,” said Garcia. “The Wooly is a great venue, so if there’s interest, I don’t see why not.”
Garcia said he plans to go to the party to not only celebrate the reunion of Neon Liger but to get exposure to music that he doesn’t normally listen to.
“I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them pull out all the stops as far as staging and music goes since this will be their first party in a while,” said Garcia. “And I’m definitely looking forward to the energy, too, of some Neon Liger-deprived folks who I’m sure are ready to party.”
The Neon Liger 10-year Anniversary at The Wooly includes an 18 and up main room and a 21 and up back patio. The tickets are $10 with presale available at www.neonliger.com.